Do more of what makes you happy.
I’m not a triathlete and frankly I’ve never even considered doing a triathlon. Having said that, though, there is an underlying quality that all triathletes share: spirit. Running a marathon takes a special kind of person. Completing a triathlon takes a remarkable kind of person.
I was recently given sneak peek access to the recently released feature length film called TRI.
TRI: When surviving cancer is not enough
When I first started watching the film, I was expecting to be fascinated about the inner workings of a triathlon and how a triathlete prepares for such a monumental task. While I did learn a bit about the sport, the story focused much more on the “why’s” than the “how’s.”
TRI is a fascinating look at what happens when a cancer patient / assistant race director encourages a medical practitioner to step outside her comfort zone and train for something incredible. While I was expecting something completely different from the synopsis I read and the trailer I watched, I was very happy with the plot line. I cried more times than I have in a while, and the characters were extremely relatable.
When surviving cancer is not enough
The crux of the story, as suggested by the title, revolves around cancer. Each character has been touched by cancer in some way or another and the overall “concept of TRI is to raise awareness and hope for those who are seeking compassion or understanding while dealing with cancer” — in the capacity of caregiver, patient, and survivor.
The story focuses on Natalie, who starts off as a timid ultrasound tech but ends up pushing her limits and overcoming her tendency to never finish what she’s started. Her best friend, Skyler, is her antithesis and they make quite a duo. And then there’s Candice, the cancer patient that plants the seed in the first place.
Stepping out of your comfort zone
When Natalie first mulls the idea of a triathlon over in her mind, she sits on her sofa watching Julie Moss’s iconic 1982 Kona IM finish. Moss’s legs buckle — several times — and she’s reduced to crawling across the finish line. Natalie is fascinated by her sheer will and determination and decides she’s in for a tri herself. Natalie and Skyler decide to tackle the race together. One of my favorite scenes? When they pinky swear to each other to finish the race. A pinky swear! I told you people still do it!
Throughout the flick we watch Natalie and Skyler embark on an incredible, and incredibly challenging, journey. All their hard work comes to a head at the end of the film… which you’ll have to watch for yourself.
A few takeaways from TRI
At one point one of the veteran athletes/coaches mentions to the newbies the run is the hardest part. I’m not a swimmer and the cycling I do is indoors on a trainer. But if I could have agreed harder, I would have. There’s always an inner battle during a run. Do I have what it takes? How much farther can I go? Does my leg hurt? Why am I doing this? A runner’s brain is so easily flooded with all sorts of questions and self-doubt. I wasn’t surprised at all when that point came up in the movie.
Another piece of dialogue that struck me was at Natalie’s first swim practice. She quite obviously was in over her head and one of the veteran athletes reminded her it’s hard work but to enjoy it along the way. What an insightful point of view. Runners, cyclists, swimmers — triathletes — we all work hard. And it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the grind and lose sight of why we do what we do in the first place. And why do we? Because our sport of choice is enjoyable. If it weren’t enjoyable, we wouldn’t do it in the first place. Enjoy your journey.
There were so many wonderful characters in TRI. Rex, Natalie’s husband, is hilarious. Zeus is amazing. Christy is a complicated girl whose story is revealed later in the film. Quite the colorful cast which makes for a very entertaining 105 minutes of run time.
TRI is a smart, enjoyable, tug-at-your-heartstrings flick. It was funny, it was poignant at times, and it was very well done. If you’re an athlete of any nature, TRI is worth a watch. I went in to the viewing of TRI with an open mind but I assumed it would be hard for me to relate to as I’ve never completed a triathlon. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Among the many accolades TRI has received, it received Film of the Year at the Northern Virginia International Film Festival, Film of the Year at the Nova International Film Festival, and Winner of the Best Story Line at the Boston International Film Festival. It’s truly an amazing story worth your time. I’m glad I watched it and I think you will be, too.
Special thanks to the staff at TRI for allowing me to preview the film and review it on my blog today.
For more information on TRI, visit www.TRIforcure.com.
And to view the trailer, check it out here:
TALK TO ME!
Are you a triathlete?
If you are, what’s the hardest part of the triathlon for you?
And if you aren’t, have you considered a tri before?