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Team Zoot Athlete - Jason Horne

Team Zoot Athlete - Jason Horne


With the racing scene being a little lean this year, even non-existent, there has been plenty of time to reflect.

A little over 10 years ago, in the solitude of a quiet basement bathroom at work, I found a copy of Triathlete magazine with our marketing director’s name on it.  I found an article within, that instantaneously became confusing as I read terms like IM, 70.3, T1, T2, Sprint, and OLY.  Being a runner first, and a cyclist second, I was captivated by speed laces and sockless shoes, and the claim that you could run out of the water, onto the bike, and on to the run without blisters…or so it was claimed. 

I found myself visiting the basement each day wanting to read another article.  I became hooked.  Except for the swimming in open water part.  I was terrified.  The thought of nearby murky reservoirs and not being able to see all the dead bodies below was not something I was interested in.  And ocean swims?  Yeah right…the ocean is where Jaws lives.  Eventually, I accepted the fact that triathlon was something I needed to try, and the terror of the swim was something I needed to overcome.

Being a husband and father, I decided I should probably start with my family physician.  I didn’t start triathlon at age 10, so I figured the ask a doctor before disclaimer you find on the label of an aspirin bottle was applicable in this situation.  We engaged in small talk, he told me I appeared to be eating and living right and then I told him my latest ambition – he looked up from his readers, set down his stethoscope and rolled his little wheeled doctor stool closer to me.  I thought he was going to tell me he had heard something in my breathing while moving the ice cold disc from the stethoscope across my naked back.  As I sat there, shirt off, with goosebumps…he got real serious.  He told me he had known a couple triathletes…and that it becomes an addiction, and that both athlete’s marriages had ended in divorce.  Most likely from the strain of long hours of training, racing, etc.  He made me promise before I left his examination room that I’d talk to my wife first.

As I drove home, I was scratching my head.  I had hobbies and my wife seemed completely ok with them.  I was a rock climber, a snowboarder, I frequented the local gym, I went on long runs and long rides and my wife had never once complained.  But the more I read that issue of Triathlete, and learned of the dedication and time commitment of triathletes,  and the more I thought about the look on my doctor’s face, his concern, and experiences he shared with me…I knew I needed her approval.

My game plan was simple.  I’m a morning person, my wife is night owl.  I would promise to do all of my workouts in the morning, and leave evenings open for family time; same on Saturdays with the addition of late mornings and early afternoons for “chores” in and around the house.  And I’d take Sundays off completely.  After a lengthy explanation of what triathlon was, and reading countless highlighted sentences and paragraphs I had marked excitedly in that copy Triathlete, she said, go for it.  And I did.

Fast forward 10yrs.  I’ve kept true to my promise.  And in that time, my wife and my kids have all competed in at least one triathlon.  We’ve enjoyed Race-cations in Hawaii, Florida, California, as well as races a little closer to home.  We look forward to more Race-cations in 2021, hopefully, after the pandemic slows down or bugs out completely.  I hope to continue training/racing for another 10 years…even more.  My schedule will not change – and neither will that promise I made 10 years ago. 

Make a plan, put those who matter first, stick to the plan, and enjoy the journey and the memories that will unfold, together.  

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