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Blog - marine corps

Finishing at the Starting Line

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I started in Triathlon 10 years ago with the dream (read ‘hope’) of just finishing a race. Little did I know they came in various shapes and sizes and that I had to leave what ego I had at the starting line. My first experiences were, at best, somewhat pathetic. I barely came from a running background and thought I could pull off the swim and bike by some natural gift acquired from the gods. In reality, they had never gifted me with anything in those disciplines and, it turned out, that I nearly drowned my first few attempts in the pool and I also could not switch gears efficiently on the bike. In time, I slowly learned how to swim through the guidance of a swim coach. The biking, well, that took several years before I was able to whip my butt into gear (pun intended).

Several years passed and I slowly started to build my race resume like most athletes. I joined a club team at the University of Arizona and even worked for a famous triathlon retail store for a short while. But, something was missing. I had an urge to do something great with myself and decided to join the Marine Corps. Now, I was never Chesty Puller, but I had determination to develop myself mentally and spiritually. I figured the physical part would come by default.

Fast forward six years to me flying EA-6B Prowlers over Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush staring back at me. Something was speaking to me. “Mike, this is not your destiny. Find your heart.” I spent the next two years trying to figure out what that calling was. It came slowly one night and I called my wife during one of my many training exercises away from home. I told her of my desire to start a small triathlon shop and “let’s just see what happens”. Surprisingly, she didn’t think it was crazy and agreed that we should pursue it together.

So, now here we are. Ten years later and we’ve gone full circle with a promise to all our customers: We promise to be real. We promise to share our experiences with what works to improve your race and not sell you on the fluff. We promise to cheer and support you along your own journey to finding yourself within the spirit of triathlon.

See you all at the starting line.

-Mike Cortes

CEO and Co-Founder of TriTheSwim.com

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