Minutes turned into hours and months brought up the years but still I can remember my first ride with the Nevis Cycle and Triathlon Club (NCTC).I was a road side critic like many today so I can relate to a lot of what they say. “dem dey got to be crazy”, is very common on the street but is when you join the fleet you realize this thing yah sweet.
Winston had a shop down town and I’m sure he was glad when I came around, because I would encourage him in his endeavors after I let him know how crazy I think he was of course. Day after day he would encourage me to join them but all I could see was a bunch a crazy people riding up and down the place like they have time to waste.
After two years I finally agreed, and within a week I was in my first road race, huffing and puffing and asking myself if a vein was blocked to my brain why I decided to do this.
When the race was over I regain consciousness and surprisingly I felt like I would do another when it came around. Oh and I was 10th from some where near 20 riders which also added some inspiration and talking about my first race with the other competitors was insightful as everyone shared their experience all In all it was good fun and a good laugh as the sun bid us farewell until another day.
I did it and a sense of accomplishment hovered over me not knowing that was just a mere introduction. Weeks passed and my love for the sport only grew more and more then something happened.
I went to visit Winston at the bike shop only to have him tell me oh James there is a Triathlon in ST.Kitts this weekend and we are going you should come too. What in the world is a Triathlon I thought to myself but if they are going I and too and I aint backing down from the horn of the bull. Swim bike run basically describe a triathlon and little did I know that it would change the rest of my life. There was an area called Transition where all competitors would have their bikes running shoes etc. I watched everyone set up so I could know what to do. We all were new to this sport so I did not feel so bad. The course was a 250m swim 15km bike and a 3km run. The whistle blew and we were off, struggling to keep my head above water was all I knew how to do as I again wonder what went wrong with me to agree to do this thing, and to make it worse this time its in water and I don’t have scales. Finally we were out somewhere at the back but the bike was our stronger point as we began to prove as we were back from the bike in the first ten. Still huffing and puffing we had to set out running for a 3km run this is where I could not gain control of my legs as they were not accustomed to this type of exposure so I wobbled my way along and grumbled every kilometer of the to the finish.
This is when I realize I have found the sport that I loved as painful as it is I loved it the more, so I began to train and train and what do you know in one year I was able to become the first federation top tri athlete but the best part is that I held it for four consecutive years 2000 to 2004. I am still here and at a different level all because of a certain gentle man hard work, Winston Crooke, all I wanted to say in my little crooked way was thanks for you encouragement because you believed in me even when I doubted myself, thank you very much and thanks for the bridge you have created now I can step boldly into the unknown. thanks again.