In 2017, both my fiancé and I completed a handful of half-Ironmans and shorter distance triathlons together. Every week and every weekend seemed like endless hours of training. But we enjoyed it and we were together. What we didn’t know is all that training was to prepare us for continuing the next step in our relationship – our wedding.
We were ready to live together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death does us part. We soon discovered that preparing for a wedding was as hard and involved complex planning, just as in triathlon training.
The truth is we got engaged and decided to have our wedding the same year, where most couples give themselves over a year for planning. We had to pick a wedding date, find venues, inquire and book the vendors, and figure out all the decor. It was a ton of preparation in a short amount of time.
Like wedding planning, there are many details to take care of before running a race. Before you can sign up for a race, you must strategically figure out which race is your main race (A – Race) and which races help prepare you for the A-Race. Depending on your goals, most times picking a race becomes very crucial for preparation. In addition, you will need to consider the time to book travel details and accommodations, especially for international races.
In a wedding, you must do the same. You have an end goal which is to get married. Throughout the process, you figure out and book venues, then hire vendors. In reality, we took baby steps in order for us to accomplish our goal. One thing that we found useful to prepare ourselves is having a wedding or training calendar. This can help us focus on our day to day and to keep us in line on priorities. Wedding planning has its ups and downs, like triathlon. Some of the best parts were the food tastings. It was exciting and enjoyable to choose and try different entrees. The challenge is deciding on what flowers to get, color themes, band or DJ, bridesmaid dresses, table type, and the list goes on and on. It can be fun at times, but also stressful.
You can also feel the ups and downs in training for 70.3's. For many months training can feel very long and dull. There are days we just feel lazy and tired, and some days we just don’t want to work out and feel sluggish. It is, however, just part of the process. We both feel that triathlon is part of our life, and part of our daily life. We get motivated to get out, especially when we cycle and train with our tri group and tri friends. Most of the time we enjoy it and we feel good doing it even without racing.
Probably the most complex part is staying within a budget or keeping balanced spending habits. Weddings can be really expensive in California, plus making sure we have the best wedding, that we both want. When we picked vendors, we considered what we both liked as well as staying within our budget. There have to be major compromises since it can all add up quickly. For example, wedding meals are important for us versus flowers. So, we decided to spend more on meals, and somewhat make it up by spending less on other aspects of the wedding. The same concept goes for a triathlon. Triathlon is three sports, of course. You can easily spend so much on bikes, bike parts, pool fees, apparel, nutrition, registration, travel, race accommodation, coaching, and just like wedding details it can go on and on. Yes, this hobby can be very expensive so the same consideration must be weighed when spending.
Ultimately, the support from our wedding planner and vendor experts provides us with much-needed help and reduces the stress. These types of support will help us on our big day. Much like triathlon coaching supports us in our races and goals. Family and friends are a great support system to help in wedding plans and can help us to not stress on little details for the day. Same for our races, our family is always there for our races, they help us plan our accommodations and provide that motivation for us.
On October of 27, 2018 – we will be walking down the aisle together and we will be starting our life together in marriage. We know that our preparation in triathlons and wedding planning will play a big role in how we will live our married lives.
The funny thing is that the biggest lesson we learned from triathlon and wedding planning is not the preparation or not the challenges we face in the process. It's that it doesn't matter what we do in the future, as long as we do it together.
Written by April Abigael, Siren Luminary
Follow April on Instagram! @pinkysmile0415