Matt the Triathlete
Like a surprising number of people I meet or hear about in triathlon, I found it because I needed to turn things around in my life. After my Dad passed away from sodding Cancer back in 2017, I found myself struggling with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and subsequently depression that was interfering with all the usual suspects in life: friendships, work, fitness, a load of crap.
I was getting unfit, fat and lazy, which made me feel increasingly worse...you get the idea.
I'd always admired Ironman triathletes I'd seen on TV and YouTube, it was something I had previously said I would add to my bucket list, but it was a million miles away from anything I could have achieved in that state. So, I started with a small step - I entered a sprint triathlon.
Realising I didn't have a bike, a good pair of trainers or a wetsuit, I was a touch concerned that I'd bitten off more than I could chew. I started training a little and bought a basic road bike from Halfords. I managed to fit in one open water swim before my first triathlon, and then, in May 2018 I turned up to Stourhead Estate for my first event.
It was tough, I was shocked at how crap I was.
But I finished, and I was hooked. But most importantly, I was hooked on something that got me out of the house, that gave me a reason to train, to cook properly, to get up early and go to bed at a normal time. It just started to help me get back on track. My mind was sharper at work, I started to slowly lose weight, and I got better week-by-week at each of these new disciplines.
I love triathletes, they're the most positive, friendly, helpful and inspirational people you could ever wish to meet.
A year later, I've now done 2 sprint triathlons, a duathlon and an Ironman 70.3 event in Austria. I'll be completing an Olympic distance event in August 2019, before I start training again for another Ironman 70.3.
If you're into triathlon and want to follow along then I'd love to connect on Instagram @MatthewSpurr.