JROTC Triathlon Outcome Is Worth the Pain

If you have ever heard someone say, “Embrace the pain,” they are often times talking about a sport and how, yes, practices are difficult and cause pain but the final outcome is worth it. If it’s a JROTC cadet saying it, they most likely mean Triathlon.

Junior Miao Miao Yuan said, “The pain is kind of fun.”

Sophomore Sydney Sears said, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

Triathlon consists of three events, the Swim, the Bike, and the Run. The JROTC programs across the District all train and compete with teams of three girls and five guys, while Dimond brings three teams to the competition: Gold, Maroon and Grey.

Senior Meghan Lindbeck, a fourth-year triathlete, said, “I continue to participate and compete because I enjoy doing it. I like winning.”

The instructors from Dimond created the event, and Dimond has been the reigning champion for 11 consecutive years. The Triathlon takes place in the third quarter each school year, and cadets begin training the first week after winter break.

Senior Brandon Thomas said, “Even though there is no official practice on Mondays, I still come in and swim laps at the pool in the morning.”

Triathlon takes dedication. If cadets want to make Gold, the top team, they have to be willing to put in the extra practice and effort and try their very hardest every single day without fail.

Junior Sarah Knowlton said, “It’s hard to be there every day and ready to practice and then go to class. Sometimes I fall asleep in math.”

Practice for Dimond Triathlon team starts at 5:30 sharp every morning. Cadets do not want to be late. If they are late to practice it is extremely likely they will not get as good of a practice as usual.

Junior Chris Bulfa said, “The reason I keep showing up and participating is honestly the food and party at the end of the season.”

Master Sgt. Thomas Shelley, the Senior Army Instructor for Dimond JROTC, hosts an annual Triathlon party at the end of each season for all the cadets who participated and put their effort into it.

Master Sgt. Dylan Youngblood, another JROTC instructor for Dimond, said, “Participation kind of builds itself, kids talk about it. It has the mystique of being cool so kids just show up and want to do it.”

Triathlon is said to be the hardest PT (Physical Training) event that JROTC has, and it takes dedication and drive to continue to participate.

Thomas said, “The end game is what makes me keep going. Competition day and being able to look back and realize how much you accomplished.”

While Knowlton said, “The reason I compete is if everyone else can do it, then I can do it. But I can do it better.”

Triathlon is by far the hardest PT event that JROTC participates in. However, in many cadets’ eyes it is also the most fun and the one with the best end result. Who wouldn’t want to be on the team that trains the hardest and wins?

Sears said, “Triathlon is the overall hardest and best JROTC PT event.”