Apr 26, 2011

TAG! You're It! - Tuesday

Welcome to  
TAG! You're It! - Tuesday
where I ask the questions and my guests answer them.  

But that's not all, my guest also gets to tag my next victim. 
This week,   JENN WILKS has been tagged . . .  
by last week's Stacy Henrie.

My Questions:
Most of my questions I've asked so far have been about writing, but since I found out some fun and exciting things about you, I want to ask something a little different. I'd like to know more about the triathlons you participate in. What kind of training and discipline does it take to prepare for a triathlon? What drives you to put yourself through such torture and, in keeping with my usual writing theme, how does accomplishing the dream of finishing the race compare to finishing a novel or any other writing project?

Jenn's Answer:

I'm so excited to get to talk about triathlons. Triathlon has to be the best sport ever, which totally explains why so many people are doing them. (to get an idea, consider this: the Women of Steel triathlon coming up in May is so popular, 800 people signed up within 24 hours of registration opening up last December. Who knows how many would have signed up if they didn't put a cap on it???)

What does it take to prepare? Lots of biking, running and swimming, for starters! My schedule for each week includes 3 days of running, 2 days of biking, 2 days of swimming, and 3 days of weight lifting. Obviously, since there aren't 10 days in a week, I have to double up on a lot of those.

I found out recently that some of my friends have been going to to gym at 5:00 in the morning, so I started going with them. So, I spend a couple hours at the gym five days a week. On top of that, I'm trying to watch what I eat. I'm still struggling with that part, but I'd love to lose 30 pounds or so. What a difference it would make to have 30 less pounds to drag across that course! So, the dedication really needs an extra boost there. :-)

Ironically, I don't particularly love running, biking or swimming. In fact, I have a general dislike for all three, some more than others. It does feel like torture some days. At the very least, it's painful and tiring. 

So why do I do it? What drives me to put myself through it? Lots of reasons. First of all, because it's an amazing feeling to cross that finish line, whether it's at the race or even just the end of a run on the treadmill, and know I did it. To feel strong and healthy and accomplished. The other reason is the energy and excitement of race day. I just love race day!

As for the question of how it relates to writing, I'm going to revise an analogy I once heard of how life relates to triathlons. 

First, you get in the water and the race starts, the gun goes off and everyone cheers and you dive into the water. It's kind of like the excitement of the beginning of the book. The characters and the scenes and everything just kind of take off and you know where you're going and how you're going to get there. 

But then you suddenly find yourself getting slapped and kicked and swam over the top of by dozens of other racers. Like how your characters go out of control and won't do what you want and nothing is making sense and you lose your bearings and start wondering why on earth you thought this story was a good idea. 

Then, you get on the bike and there are lots of ups and downs. Sometimes the climbs are intense and your legs start to burn and you don't know if you can possibly make it, but eventually you come to more level ground or even a steep downhill run. Kind of like the ups and downs of writing the story. Sometimes things seem to be going well, and other times, it's just hard. You don't feel like sitting down and writing, but you just keep doing it anyway, even through the murky middle. 

Next comes the run, and it's just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. There's no resting, no coasting. And sometimes, we have to just keep plodding along, writing one word at a time even when we don't think it's any good and we don't know what we're trying to say or even what happens next. 

And then, of course, the finish. When you see it ahead, you get a rush of energy and enthusiasm. After going through so much, you know you're almost done. And when you finally cross it, your name gets announced over the PA system and everyone cheers and they have doughnuts and fruit and Gatorade and gifts for you and you know you did it. What a feeling of accomplishment! Just like when you finally finish that novel, write that final scene and tack The End at the bottom of the page. You just feel so amazing and accomplished and, frankly, like going out for ice cream to celebrate!

I have a first draft I'm trying to get written by the first week in May, and I feel like I'm in the "run" part of the analogy. It just feels hard right now, but I know I'm in the final stretch and the finish line will be coming up pretty soon if I just keep pushing through. 

Now that I've said all that, I'm feeling excited about finishing up this first draft. I can't wait for that celebration at the finish line!

More about Jenn:  Jenn Wilks is a busy wife and mother of four, a triathlete, and an aspiring author. Makes you tired just thinking about it, doesn't it?
Visit Jenn's Blog here: http://jennwilks.blogspot.com/
And now it's time for Jenn to TAG a friend.  

Sara Olds
TAG!  You're It! 

Come back next Tuesday to see if Sara accepts the challenge and to see if you've been tagged.
And just in case you're wondering if I've skipped the letter "V" in the A-Z Blogfest Challenge, here it is:

And after what Jenn has just written above, need I say more?



  1. You're amazing, Jenn! Good for you. I love the analogy to writing.

  2. Yay for finish lines! I can't even remotely imagine what it must be like to participate in a triathlon, but I sure can appreciate how hard it is to run a WRITING triathlon! Great analogy Jenn.

    Good luck on finishing that draft! And yay for Sara!

  3. You're unfreaking believable! Are you human? I sincerely hope not, as I've never had such dedication, well I do exhibit such obsession for chocolate, but I LOVE IT!

    You are an awe inspiring being that makes me the rest of shleps feel gorgingly inadequate. Keep doing it, I might, not promising anything, probably won't happen, try to keep up!

    Going to find your blog to punish myself. lol

  4. Thanks for being such a good sport today, Jenn. I've loved having you as my guest. And a HUGE thanks to everyone who commented. I love comments.

  5. Thanks for having me. :-D And thanks to everyone who said such nice things. I'm really not that awe-inspiring in real life. It just sounds good on paper. :o)