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The Cougar Chronicle

Experience in my triathlon club

Michael Tran, Staff Writer

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When I was 20, I took a semester off from college to focus on Triathlons.


In case you are wondering, a triathlon consists of a run, bike and swim. I spent my entire semester running six to 14 miles a day, biking 20 to 90 miles a day and swimming five miles a week.


It was a sunny March morning, and I had just gotten my new road bike at a great discounted price.


I wanted to break in my bike by going on a ride with other fellow members of our local Triathlon club. It was a great bike, except for the seat. The seat didn’t conform well to my butt, and I was chafing at mile 20 of our 75-mile bike ride.


It was the three of us: Rick (club leader), Christie and me, still out of shape from the previous semester. At mile 20, Rick warned us of a bend in the road where a fellow cyclist died because he turned too hard. Rick said, “It’s better to take it slow than go blindly into the turn.” We went through the bend and I took it very slow.


About seven miles later, we were climbing a narrow mountain road in Fallbrook, near the exit to Oceanside. Rick and Christie were off in the distance as I battled severe chaffing and being flat out tired on a bike badly fitted for my body.


I took a deep breath in. As I did, I swerved into the opposite lane to me. I couldn’t see the road ahead of me because of the tight mountain bend ahead. I corrected my position and got back into my lane. Five seconds later, a car turned from around the bend and into the lane where I had been.


In that moment, I wondered what would have happened if I had been there as that car was turning. What if the driver left five seconds earlier? There wasn’t any time to process what had happened, because I was busy battling my way up the mountain, while Rick and Christie waited. I didn’t think much about it when we got back either.


It wasn’t until some time after when I met a girl, who later became my girlfriend, did the subject of fate come up in our weekly deep conversation.


“What would happen if we didn’t meet that day?” she asked. “What would happen if I didn’t have the courage to speak to you?” I asked.


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