The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Students prep for upcoming race

The Caveman Triathlon is just 24 days away. 

As the clock is counting down, the stopwatch measuring Helen Huber’s training times is still counting up.  But not quite as high as it had been.

Huber, a first-year tri-athlete in David Bertrand’s wellness class, represents her fellow tri-athletes well. The group’s time has dropped, their physical fitness has improved and their excitement for the big day is mounting. 

Regarding her personal progress, Huber commented that she has experienced some ups and downs.  A lazy Spring Break hindered her momentum, and a lack of motivation slowed her down when she returned to training. 

Huber kept her difficulties secret from her bicycling-enthusiast mother. She said with certainty her “mom would freak out” if the she knew the truth.

Instead, when her mom calls every day after practice, Huber focuses on the positives. 
Last week, the group biked 14 miles together on Kady Trail.  Huber cruised past training-mates, making it appear easy. 

“Biking is still pretty easy for me,” Huber said, “The only thing that really bothers me is the pain from sitting on the bike seat.” 

Her padded bike shorts only help so much. They certainly don’t do much to break a fall. Huber experienced that first hand. Racers sometimes sacrifice balance for speed, and clip-in biking shoes make recovering balance difficult. 

Huber was concerned about practicing clip-ins with the class because traveling and stopping in a group creates safety concerns.

“People don’t know what they’re doing.  I mean, I don’t even know,” she said. 

On an off-day, Huber and a workout buddy biked on their own.  The absence of witnesses gave her courage to practice with her clip-ins. 

But as she turned onto Airline Road her wheels slipped out from under her. 

“I was falling in slow motion,” she said.  She stood unscratched and peddled away.
It’s bumps in the road, like Huber’s fall, that make the training memories. She said the interval bike workout from last week was fun, but its memory will fade.  But fun times with her sorority sister and fellow tri-athlete will be remembered. 

Sydney Howe, also a first-year and Huber’s acquaintance before class began, wanted to quit the triathlon class after the first week. 

“And I wouldn’t let her,” Huber chimed in. 

Howe benefited from toughing it out. She and Huber have grown closer and motivate each other. 

Howe recognized and identified with Huber’s fitness improvements.  For example, both tri-athletes shared a concern for the swimming portion of the race. 

Now they are confident they will sail through it with ease. 

Huber’s worries from a month ago that she would “just drown or something” have disappeared. She scoffs at the distance now. 

“Like, we do that as a cool down,” she said. 

With fears squelched and physical fitness achieved, Huber, Howe and their training mates are becoming excited for race day. Even Huber’s mom and step-dad are awaiting their trip from Kentucky to support. 

“I guarantee they are going to be at all the stops with water bottles and stuff,” Huber laughed. 

They may even time each length and coach from the sidewalks.

But when the race is underway the stopwatch will finally be on the tri-athletes’ side, because they will be ready.

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