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Hermes Soyez {August 2007}

Why do I tri? I tri because I never developed a lethal jump shot, because I don't have the requisite bloodlust to play linebacker, and because I just can't be trusted to field a ground ball. I also tri because there's generally nothing good on TV, because I look much better with a tan, and because I've spent way too much money on sports equipment over the years to just let it to sit around collecting dust.

Why do I tri? I tri for health reasons. I spent almost four years working a full-time desk job and simultaneously going to school at night. During that time, I gained a lot of weight (i.e., 60 pounds plus) and my blood pressure went through the roof. Now that night school graduation has come and gone, my reward is a relatively high-stress job (Don't shed too many tears for me though, 'cause I love what I do and the $$'s pretty good). Training for and competing in tris keeps me relatively fit and very happy. No one is calling me "Slim" just yet, but I smile a lot more than I used to and I'm half-way back to my pre-night-school "racing" weight. I also sleep better at night, I can focus for longer periods of time at work, and I'm much more fun to be around.

Why do I tri? I tri because physiological and biomechanical principals say that I shouldn't. I'm a big guy, and I will always be a big guy. Big guys shouldn't run 26.2, right? They don't make bikes for big guys, right? Heck, big guys can't even squeeze into a wetsuit, right? WRONG!!!

Why do I tri? I tri because Tom talked me into running a 10K back in grad school and because Jocinda looked so darned good running around that track at speed workouts. I tri because Winny dragged me to a Masters swim class one day and because Coach Mike thereafter became a tri mentor, a friend, and a drinking buddy. I tri because of everyone I've ever trained with, because of everyone that I've ever raced against, and because of everyone who is reading this. Tris can be very competitive. However, for me and most age-groupers and Clydesdales that I've met, tris are about competing against yourself and encouraging others. No one is going to yell at you if you take too long in T1. If you get a flat out on the bike course, odds are that someone is going to throw you a spare tube as they're riding by. Let me tell you, that kind of camaraderie is not found underneath the basket while fighting for a rebound.