The Triathlon Lifestyle
Author: Travis Hoffman
Last updated: February 23, 2013 12:36
So, for me anyway, the 2011 triathlon season ended with the Golden State Triathlon in October. After it was over, I went through a bit of a reflective period with regards to what I had done this year in triathlon, and how the sport has changed my life in a relatively short period of time.
My introduction to triathlon was in 2007, when I almost drowned myself. I entered the Icebreaker swim at Granite Bay with TBF, trying to impress my girlfriend who was/is a swimmer; that backfired! I figured I was a good swimmer since I grew up boating…ha! I quickly learned the difference between splashing around and swimming for distance when I had to crawl into the safety boat and was taken to shore. I had my reality check, and a new challenge, since I hate being bad at things! That is the day I met Bill Driskill, who kindly took the time to offer some advice and peak my interest in doing a full triathlon. Fortunately for me, that girlfriend later became my wife, and she very patiently coached me in the water. I had been dabbling in mountain bike racing for a couple years at this point, and I spent some time helping her with cycling. The running part, well, we just ran. It wasn’t until a couple years later that we began to get some run coaching and learn about fartleks, repeats, and hill training. Later that year, we did our first Super Sprint Tri at Rancho Seco, and we were hooked!
Fast forward to the end of the 2011 triathlon season, the average “mid-packer” I have proudly become, and that moment of reflection after Golden State. I was thinking about how far my wife and I have come since 2007 in the sport, and how it has truly changed our lives. From doing one or two a year for the first couple years, slowly increasing our participation and training, to completing 12 triathlons in 2011 between the two of us, including Boise IM 70.3 and Vineman 70.3. I will be racing “Honu” 70.3 in June 2012 and have set Louisville 2013 as my goal date for my first full Ironman. I think back to when I was preparing for my first tri in 2007, and thinking that an Olympic was going to be a stretch for me. I now know it’s about progression.
All that being said, what has changed in my family’s life? Well, we truly know what the triathlon lifestyle means. We now live and breathe it. We look at the events calendar at the beginning of the year and fill the weekends up with races we want to do, and then fill in the necessary time to train for those. Everything else gets scheduled in around that. Now, it’s normal to be out of bed at 5:00 a.m. on the weekends, which was unheard of before. We now plan our vacations and visiting family based on what events we can incorporate, such as a family visit in Boise the weekend of the 70.3, and vacation during “Honu” next year. Now we go to bed much earlier because most mornings we are up early to either train or race. Now I know what it means to set goals that I used to think were unattainable, put in the work, and attain them. I know what it means to push myself to my limits physically and mentally, and later reflect and work on taking it further the next time. I now know what a true sense of accomplishment means.
My wife Michelle, our three year old son Cameron and I are very close, and I greatly attribute that to triathlon. We train and race together (Cameron is always with us either racing or training), as opposed to heading our separate ways on the weekends or evenings. We have similar goals and do everything we can to encourage and coach each other to attain those. Along the way we have met some of the most amazing, inspirational, and motivating people that have become great friends, as well as coaches that have generously taken the time to offer priceless advice and support…our triathlon family. I have had people tell me we are crazy and that we have gone off the deep end, and by some standards maybe.
All I know is that I love the shape I’m in, my family is extremely close, we have made amazing friends, we live a “clean” lifestyle, and we are constantly setting new goals to work towards…if that’s the definition of going off the deep in, we are guilty, we are triathletes. It’s hard to put into words what triathlon has done for me and my family, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally (so instead of trying and failing I won’t). I’ll just say that my time in triathlon so far has been a great adventure that I wouldn’t trade for anything and I fully plan on living this lifestyle throughout my days in order to continue progressing and enjoying this adventure that is a triathletes lifestyle.
TBF Racing has enjoyed getting to know the Travis and Michelle Hoffman and wish the family the best of luck in their upcoming move to Florida!