A million years ago, in a time of much healthier knees, I did triathlons. If you’ve never stood next to me, I’m 5’10” and built like a refrigerator, so when I tell you I did triathlons, I did them slowly, and I did the shortest distance class: a sprint, which is usually about a half-mile swim, 15-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run. I could do one in about two hours. Competition in these things is often by age group, but because I’m no pixie, I competed in something called the Athena division, for female athletes over 165 pounds. (Lest you were curious, the men’s division, for athletes over 200 pounds, is called the Clydesdale division.)

When you go to a local sprint-distance triathlon, you see all shapes and sizes. You see weekend warriors like me. You see the more ambitious amateur athletes, really going for it. And you’ll often see a few pros that are doing a little sprint to stay sharp, or begin a season, or test the waters recovering from an injury, or maybe just there to inspire their local triathlon club. There are prizes, pizza and beer at the end. It is an absolute hoot.

One of the many things I love about dressage is what I loved about local sprint-distance triathlons: There’s a level, and a competition, for everyone.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!