Sound Mind & Body
By Adam Hodges
The Poetics of Sport
"A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways as they're capable of understanding." - Steve Prefontaine
Consider for a moment
the race as a poem, and the athlete as poet. What would it mean to engage
in a race as an artist creating a work of art?
Triathlon: No Longer Just a Summer Sport
Triathlon is no longer
just a summer sport, but now has a full-fledged winter complement. When
swimming is relegated to indoor pools and the water outside is mostly
found in the form of snow, the fast-becoming-standard winter triathlon
consists of running, mountain biking, and skate skiing-in that order,
and all on snow, of course.
Retooling Triathlon's Competitive System
It seems arbitrary
at best to artificially differentiate a 24-year old from a 25-year old,
or a 29-year old from a 30-year old, especially when they may be of
equal abilities. In reality, it is athletes of relatively equal ability
levels that are competing against each other rather than athletes of
similar ages. Whether at the front of the race or the back of the race,
the real competition takes place among triathletes of similar racing
levels, regardless of age, duking it out for honors. One may be 26 versus
another who is 33, or 24 versus 37
Unfortunately, age-group categorization
tends to suppress this competition, often by starting different age-groups
in different waves and putting an athlete's true rivals out of sight
during the race.
... in a sport that has never been afraid of experimenting, it is time to retool the structure of its competitive categories.
The Gift of Health
Health is an item that triathletes generally possess. Fit and concerned about physical and mental well-being, multi-sport athletes strive for the acme of a healthy lifestyle. When injury sidelines us, or a bout of illness catches us by surprise, we are temporarily reminded of the gift that health can be.
But not everyone is as
lucky. No matter how diligent one is in seeking out health, external
forces may turn it into an elusive goal. Multiple sclerosis is a disease
that affects individuals worldwide. MS attacks the body at the heart
of its control center-the central nervous system. For reasons that are
still not completely understood, the body's autoimmune system turns
against itself and destroys the myelin sheath, or insulating material
that is wrapped around nerve fibers. As the National MS Society describes
it, "Without myelin, signals transmitted through the central nervous
system are slowed, garbled, or blocked and symptoms develop."
... With this spirit
of multi-sport innovation in mind, special recognition must go to race
director Darrin Eisman for his work in putting together the first ever
off-road Ironman-distance event in western Colorado. This takes the
idea of mountain bike triathlon to the extreme and offers a unique variation
on the triathlon theme...
What About the Ironwomen?
Maybe if more young
females could be exposed to the stories of our women triathletes, we
could help shape a future society where the struggle for self-esteem
and self-worth is a moot issue among adolescent girls, and boys grow
up with Ironwomen as role models.
The Young Guns
In a few quick moments
on the opening weekend of the Sydney Olympics, triathlon broke through
the finishing tape and jumped from its position as Olympic hopeful to
Like any sport that has come of age, triathlon has done more than change over the years. It has evolved...
Triathlon Jargon 101
You know you're part
of the multisport community when you describe your races and workouts
in triathlon-ese. Here's a tongue-in-cheek glossary of triathlon jargon
for those who still speak multisport as a second language. And for those
who have fully mastered the register, some insight on what the rest
of the world has in mind when you utter those words out of context.