All triathlon essentially boils down to one thing: time. Slow. Fast. Short. Long. Ultimately, every iota of meaning in training and racing boils down to the tick of the clock. But, time is not measured merely on the bike, or during a swim set, or while on a tempo run. It is measured intrinsically. Every step and every stroke is completed within a cadence. Rhythm and time are not an option or an afterthought, They are everything, Time is the sport. But time is integral to something else in my life too, music.
Time, in music, is so apparently important that I shan't remind you. However, what I do want to bring up is how rhythm and time is the binding glue to my life. My two halves are very disparate. One done with multiple layers of clothes on, one with much less. One in physical agony, while performing, the other purely mental. So why does time link the two?
Time is the frame for the construction of both entities. A race happens in a challenge to time. Music is all set within meter and a time signature. What you do with time is integral to the formation of the activity. In music, the choice of speed changes how we perceive the feelings of a piece. An ethereal aria loses its poignancy when done too quickly. A march becomes a durge when done too slowly. The manipulation of time and time feel is everything. It is the building block. But so it is in triathlon as well. Time determines how you approach any given workout or race. A long race merits a slower, steadier pace. A short race begs ferocity and speed. Time changes the meaning of workouts, just like it changes the way we approach music or music practice. I am always perplexed by how we manipulate time and its effects. In triathlon, it is a challenge and an adversary, yet deeply part of us - urging us forward or holding us back. In music, it does the same thing, changing the emotive qualities of the music and its feeling as a whole. That is why I do these two seemingly separate pursuits. I am always courting time.