How I built my own Triathlon and came in first!

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Exploring the “Many Modes that Can Lead You to Roam”
by Olivia Rossi, RN, MSN
Your Personal Trainer

I’m not a triathlete but I was that day. I was away from home at a conference in Eugene. It was an exercise conference and we sat for hours listening to lectures! I was ready to move.

It was a free Sunday afternoon and it wasn’t raining. My hotel was newly built at the edge of a wooded, growing housing area with lots of hills. Whenever I’m away on vacation or business, I love to explore on foot. My motto? Have running shoes, will travel!

I headed up the hill from my hotel, looping in and out of quiet cul-de-sacs, admiring gardens as I ran, saying hello to gardeners, smiling at a sudden splash of daffodils and, at the top of the most challenging hill, meeting my reward, a waiting cat. It was time for a break anyway. My other motto? I break for cats! His reward? A belly rub . . .

After an hour of exploring the neighborhood, I arrived back at my hotel but I wasn’t done yet. I headed for the fitness room where I chose the elliptical trainer and put in twenty minutes while looking through the window at the empty, tempting swimming pool in the adjacent room—that was my next stop. I like to use all the amenities available at a hotel. A quick change and shower later, I slithered into the cool, refreshing water and swam laps for half-an-hour, alternating between vigorous crawl strokes (okay, for me they were), breast stroke, back stroke and the ever relaxing side stroke. How often do you get a pool all to yourself? What a treat!

It was my own personal triathlon. It fit the definition: “. . . a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events.” The most popular variation typically involves swimming, cycling and running over various distances from the sprint distance to the ultra distance, the Ironman.

There are many coming up around the Portland area. Check the Oregon Triathlon Event Calendar online for specifics. If you’d like to know how to get started in the sport or learn how to prepare for one, check any number of websites with those titles. There is a triathlon for anyone who wants to try one.

Mine was not a typical triathlon but it was mine. I built it and I loved it–and I came in number one in all three events in my age group! I enjoyed myself, had a great work-out, explored a new area, and I got my money’s worth out of my hotel!

Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM

Related articles by Your Personal Trainer:
“You Can Take it With You—From the Columbia to the Potomac.” Women’s Report, April 7, 2009.
“Sole Searching—What Makes a City Livable.” Women’s Report, April 14, 2009.
“Exploring Everyday Exercise Opportunities.” Women’s Report, May 19, 2009.