My fears about training for a tri

Staff - cnn.com - 01/25/2012
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Editor's Note: This year, CNN selected 7 viewers to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Each participant is new to the sport of triathlon, and receives all of the gear and training necessary to compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in September 2012. Adrienne LaGier is a journalism teacher and mother of two from Maryland, who will be getting married two weeks before the Malibu race.

One of the questions on the CNN Fit Nation athlete questionnaire our coaches sent to us centered around our fears. I've decided to make a list, hoping nearly all of them will prove to be unfounded by the end of the process.

My set of probably totally irrational fears include ...

1) Not looking drastically different after 9 months of training. I want to lose 60 pounds during this process and hope that my trainer will help me accomplish my goal. I've come across a bunch of triathletes in the past few weeks online who are my size now who only ended up losing 15 to 20 pounds after all their training. Not gonna be this gal.

2) Riding a bike on Rt 4. Those of you who live in Southern Maryland know that Rt 4 is a serious highway. Commuters drive into Washington more than an hour each day and Rt 4 is the only way to get them there. There are mysterious bike lanes in random parts of Rt 4 that disappear and reappear without reason. Where is one to go when the bike lane ends? Merge with 70 mph traffic? I don't think so. I grew up in Buffalo, the land of the sidewalks. Whoever was the urban planner in Southern Maryland clearly had not experienced the wondrous functionality of these strips of concrete.

3) Falling off the bike. I had no absolute clue before reading the blogs of last year's members that bikes actually came WITHOUT PEDALS! What the heck?? Clearly, I know nothing about racing bikes. And supposedly you are clipped in to them? From what I've read initially, some have serious wipeouts when they forget to unclip. Poor Kendrick last year had a crash in Kona that required a few stitches. I have an extreme fear of needles and hope to keep the word injury out of my vocabulary the next nine months.

3) Swimming with fish. Sharks specifically, but really any fish that have teeth. Or sting. Or nibble.

4) Swimming in the Chesapeake Bay. We've had a bunch of friends contract strange viruses and infections from just wading into the bay. Maybe a wet suit will help cut down on that possibility... but swimming in murky water frightens me. I live two miles from Long Beach, so it would be a shame for me to not take advantage of the open water swim opportunities in my own backyard.

Okay, there they are. I'm sure there are more, but those are the major ones. Time to start proving to myself that there's nothing to fear except fear itself.

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