"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
Merriam-Webster defines it thusly: co-nage \ 'koh-nidj \ v [L konitas turtlillas obeyance to the Turtle word]: to
forgo doing whatever the he!! one wants to do in the greater interest of doing that which the intelligent placer of
cones wants you to do
Dear One & All - Each week at your training, I place various cones on your course in an attempt to indicate
where you should go and what you should do. As you spend the majority of your time figuring out how to eke out
ONE more baby step toward the comPLETion of your training, I spend the majority of my time elevating my
blood pressure by reminding you (or choosing not to remind you) that you have violated one of THE SIMPLE
RULES OF CONAGE 101. Please review these incredibly simple rules and then FOLLOW THEM!!!
RULE #1 - Cones are beacons. They are your indicators that you ARE actually "on course." Therefore, you
should not ignore the beacon, you should move toward the beacon and endeavor to interpret its meaning. A
cone is TRIing to communicate with you. Do NOT turn a blind eye, and therefore a deaf ear, to its useful
RULE #2 - A single cone is trying to tell you one of two things: a) come hither; b) stay away. Therefore, you
need to move TOWARD the cone in order to know whether it wants you to stay away or to come closer. This
may sound like a contradiction. But, it really is not. Since cones are beacons, you should stay relatively close
to them in order to stay on course. While on course, some singe cones will be placed over an obstacle to keep
you safe from it; other cones will be placed as a marker of the limits of the course. If you ignore the cone all
together, then you are off course and therefore UNSAFE; if you cut the cone short, you have cheated and not
done the full course. Therefore, if you see a cone, move toward it and then look for the secondary information
that will tell you exactly how to interpret said cone.
If the cone is marking an obstacle, that will become clear. If the cone is marking an outer limit of the course,
there will usually be some kind of directional marker on the pavement such as chalk, tape, flour, etc. to make
sure that you don't cut the course short. If the cone marks the end of the course, such as in the Dismount Line
for the Bike Leg, there will usually be some kind of hard line on the pavement to reinforce that ending.
RULE #3 - Two cones set side by side with space between them are leaving space for YOU to go THROUGH
them!!! Think of them as a doorway - as a gateway to greater glory beyond. If you don't pass through the magical
gate, however, you won't receive the mystical rewards. Or in other words, if you go to either side of the cones
(rather than through them), you have either cut the course short, missed a timing mat and &*%$ed up your
results, OR put yourself in peril's way. So, just make your life magical and go THROUGH the cones. Is it
REALLY that difficult? I mean, we aren't asking you to climb on top and hop from one to the other whilst juggling
RULE #4 - A line of cones is an attempt to create an invisible barrier. Simply because there is space between
the cones does NOT mean that you should cross this invisible barrier. When you come to a line of cones, you
should look for the secondary identifying markers that tell you on which side of this line you should go. Then,
once you are safely in the "chute" that the cones are creating, you should STAY IN THAT CHUTE. That chute
has been created to do a LOT of amazing things for YOUR benefit. It is keeping you on course; it is keeping you
separated from hazards; it is making certain that you are heading in the correct, and therefore safe, directional
flow; it is preventing you from having both lateral and head-on collisions. So, why in the world would you exit this
safety chute simply because there is some space in between the cones. I mean, you can SEE that the line of
cones still continues. This is not an imaginary line to which we are referring. So, stay the %$#@ in the "chute"
until the line of cones ends. Once, the cone line ends, what do you think you should do? Come on, I KNOW you
can figure it out . . . LOOK AROUND FOR THE SECONDARY MARKERS WHICH WILL INDICATE WHAT YOU
Seriously, think about how you conduct yourself whilst driving a car. When you can see that the traffic workers
have put up cones, you think very carefully about where the cones want you to go. Once you are within a line of
cones, you would NEVER drive your car through the space in between the cones. I mean you COULD, but you
NEVER do that, right? Why? Because if you HAD ever done that, you would have been squashed dead by
something on the other side of the cones' invisible barrier and would be unable to read this article! You KNOW
that those cones are protecting you when driving your car. Please realize that you are even more vulnerable on a
triathlon course and in even more need of their protection. Therefore, RESPECT THE CONES!!!
So, in conclusion . . . do you WANT your Race Organizers using invisible electric fences? Do you WANT me to
use our "Partial Profits" and "Pink Purse Power" donations toward charity OR do you want me to use them to
get a Taser? Do you want to do an enjoyable, local triathlon that serves chocolate on the swim or do you want to
do a Tough Mudder? Just let me know . . . Lisa Be ITCHING to buy a Taser!
This article is dedicated to Michelle Walters #1787 Ironman Boulder, 2016