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, and most recently an Olympic distance event in August 2019.
2020 basically put a stopper in any progress on the triathlon front, but in 2021 I'll be back more determined than ever and in the meantime just trying to stay fit.
If you're into triathlon and want to follow along then I'd love to connect on Instagram @MatthewSpurr.