Note: This was supposed to go up a week after my first triathlon. Due to some unforeseen commitments, I’ve been unable to complete it until now. Still, a month later, I’d like to share it with you.

In the distance, the tail end of the olympic-distance competitors splash around a green buoy and make their trip back to shore. The officiant gestures for the next wave to come down to the starting gate. I kiss my wife and walk down the beach with the other orange-capped men.

I’ve been working toward this moment for how long? Six months? I only learned how to swim six months ago, so that should probably count as the time I became serious about finishing a triathlon. Or does it start from the first YouTube video I watched because it seemed “interesting”?

I tug at my swim cap. I’ve never worn one before. I went bald long before swim caps were relevant to my life. Do the earlobes go inside or outside? Probably outside. I look to the other men in my wave, try to evaluate their earlobe orientation. (more…)