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Travis Siehndel {August 2007}

I was never described as athletically gifted when I was growing up. In fact, I think my most glowing athletic achievement involved riding the bench for my high school football team that went 0-9 on the season.

I was never described as athletically gifted when I was growing up. In fact, I think my most glowing athletic achievement involved riding the bench for my high school football team that went 0-9 on the season. That’s right, we were winless and even still I wasn’t good enough to get on the field. Maybe it had to do with the fact that the ONE offensive play which I did get in on produced my TWO career offensive statistics: One reception, one fumble. Then there was that Rec. League basketball team I captained. My claim to fame there was that I was the league leader in technical fouls for the season. Two years in a row. Like I said, I was never described as athletically gifted.

Fast forward to the spring of 2003. I’d been out of college for two years and realized that my only means of exercise was sitting on the couch, playing Xbox and shoving Doritos in my mouth. Though I was able to achieve some pretty lofty goals in those three areas I realized that it was time to change my focus. I set a goal for myself that I was going to run the Army 10-miler in October of 2003. At that point, running 10 miles seemed to me such a noble feat that I wasn’t really sure that I wasn’t going to die trying to complete it. Amazingly, I didn’t die and it turned out that in the process I found out what the term “Runner’s High” really meant. I’ve been hooked ever since and have completed several more 10-milers and my first marathon last fall

Last winter over some drinks – actually, several drinks -- a friend of mine convinced me to sign up for the NYC Triathlon. I must admit that I was a little surprised to wake the next morning and find a $160 charge on my credit card for the registration but I decided to just go with it and see where it would take me.

At the time I was running with a tight knit group of friends but I wasn’t active with a local running club so I decided to look into joining a triathlon club. DC Tri was hands down the best looking club on the web. With the incredibly active forum, the lively social calendar and the New Triathlete Program it didn’t take me long to decide which club to join. I signed up and am currently an active member of this year’s NTP group and will be completing my first triathlon in New York this July.

To answer the question “Why I Tri?” Well, I’ll be able to answer that question fully in July but I have a pretty good idea right now. Sometimes life comes at you fast and before you know it you’ve missed a huge chunk of it. Participation in these sports forces me to slow down and get out and breathe the fresh air and enjoy the world around me a little bit every day. Something that is all too easy to forget. As far as becoming a better athlete… I’m learning that I may not be the most gifted person on the course but I can always improve within my own abilities. And that is what really matters.

I’m looking forward to getting to know more members of the club and competing with you all at the Pittsburgh Tri in August.