I taught my usual 9:30a class this morning. When I walked in to the classroom there was already one man pedaling away, wearing full cycling gear. I wasn't sure if he'd stay for class or leave when it started.
He stayed. He was in great shape. I was actually nervous that my class might not be challenging enough for him. (Most of my students are indoor cyclists with a few outdoor cyclists mixed in, but few people like him.)
After class I got to chatting with him. He complimented me on the class (phew!). I learned that he was training for the Lake Placid Ironman and was obviously an avid triathlete. I was impressed.
I told him about my upcoming events, Spin Odyssey in March (six hours of spinning) and my lofty goal of running a half marathon over the summer. He was encouraging and told me that he'd only started doing tri's about four years ago. Prior to that he was a runner and had done several marathons. An injury in the NY marathon put him on the DL and his doctor told him to try swimming.
For me, swimming is the scariest part of a tri. This guy told me that when he started he could barely swim a lap. He said it takes about three months of thinking "I can't do this" and then all of a sudden it clicks and swimming becomes your exercise of choice.
He had never done a spinning class or rode outside. After some rehab he took a spin class, after which he went home and signed up for his first Iron Man (he didn't even have a bike).
I think it takes a certain personality to do an Iron Man, and I definitely don't have that trait. But his progress and motivation were inspiring and I'm looking forward to channeling him as I begin my training.
I am constantly impressed by what people are physically capable of. Just thought i'd share.