My name is James Scott and welcome to The Long Tri. I am a middle of the road, average age group triathlete, with a corporate career and family. I firmly believe that triathlon and other sports will help you in all aspects of your life.
How did you get involved in triathlons?
I didn’t grow up particularly sporty. I was nearly the last one to be picked in school teams, couldn’t run very fast and didn’t really enjoy playing compulsory school sport. After I left school and got into my 20’s I took up smoking, drank too much, ate crap most days for lunch. Sport and fitness was the last thing on my mind.
As I moved into my 30’s, divorced beckoned and I knew I had to change something. I certainly wasn’t coping with life and work stresses by smoking more and drinking more. So I took up running. Very slowly at first. I still remember the first time I ran 5kms without stopping. It was a huge achievement. It was also a very long walk home, cause I ran 5kms in one direction! Rookie mistake.
Over the next few years, I ran a few half marathons and a couple of City to Surfs. My times were not fantastic and I kept injuring myself. After the third or fourth time pulling my calf muscle, I decided enough was enough. So, towards the end of 2016 I started doing lunch time swims to keep fit.
Like all Australian kids, I had learned to swim as a child. So, I figured I knew how to “swim”. The first 100m in the pool soon showed me otherwise. I’d never felt such a lung burn in my life. But after a bit of practice, I was soon completing 500m at lunch time.
This lead to my next brainwave. I am always looking at ways of testing myself further and I’d seen an article on Ironman races. Wow, I thought, I’d love to do one of those. I figured I could run, I was swimming and I had ridden a bike as a kid. How hard could it be? I’d even managed to run a half marathon, so surely that was far enough?!
It was just an idea, bubbling around inside my head and probably wouldn’t have gone any further.
Then, my wife made her fatal mistake……
It was the day after Christmas 2016. We were at my parents place and I weighted myself.
I’d never been that heavy in my life and was probably 8 to 10 Kgs above my skinny weight. All the drinking, good food and Xmas cheer had taken it toll. I could actually feel myself waddling as I walked. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling.
As I wandered into the lounge room, my wife was sitting on the couch. I complained loudly about my increase in weight. I was officially my version of “fat”. You know, the sort of size where you look down and your toes are hiding under the veranda of your protruding gut. Not pretty.
For some reason, then I mentioned that I’d thought about doing an Ironman race. One day.
My wife rolled her eyes, gave a knowing smile and walked off.
If I’d ever needed any motivation for anything in my life, having your wife think you couldn’t do something was all the motivation that I needed. Tell me I can’t do something is the best motivator I have. Within the hour, I’d signed up to Port Macquarie Ironman 70.3, downloaded a training program and was off for a walk / run.
My life has never been the same again.