Sarah Groff Compares Wedding Planning To Being A Pro

American Olympic triathlete Sarah Groff writes about the similarities between wedding planning and being a pro triathlete.

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American Olympic triathlete Sarah Groff writes about the similarities between wedding planning and being a pro triathlete.

In January, I said “yes” to the most wonderful question I’ve ever been asked: whether I would marry my amazing boyfriend of three years, Ben. Overnight, I transformed into a whirling dervish of manic wedding planning — alarming my poor fiancé. I’m sure that he wondered what latent insanity was unleashed by presenting me with a ring!

In my defense, we had only two weeks to find a wedding venue and planner before I would travel from our home in New Hampshire to my winter training base in New Zealand. Since arriving in Christchurch, I’ve kept up my planning, albeit at a less fiancé-scaring pace.

Between the workouts, meals and naps that define the training camp grind, I have been able to research and slowly chip away at a vast to-do list, thanks to the wonders of the Internet.

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While it is entirely likely that I’m making far-fetched connections worthy of a deluded conspiracy theorist, I can’t help but see some parallels between the wedding planning process and my life as a professional athlete. Here are 10 of the (possibly tenuous) similarities I’ve discovered:

Don’t underestimate the value of hiring a guide. One of the first actions I took was to hire a wedding planner. I am disorganized and inexperienced in planning and get too caught up in minor details to see the “big picture” — and I have a triathlon coach for the same reason. Although plenty of brides successfully plan a wedding themselves and quite a few athletes self-coach, I find that having an expert with vision allows me to enjoy the process and keep my stress in check.

Keep your budget in mind. While Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are planning to spend $30 million for their wedding, most of us have a far more modest budget. Athletes also have to stick to a fixed energy and time budget. By constantly being aware of and respecting your limitations, you can avoid pushing yourself into debt of any sort.

Be wary of trends. I was pretty shocked to discover that there is currently a Disney princess wedding trend. For adults. While I’m guessing that this trend will quickly go the way of Jazzercise, it highlights the danger of jumping onto a trend bandwagon, whether with fashion, technology or nutrition. Sure, Jane Fonda looked amazing in a leotard and leg warmers, but many people realized how ridiculous they seemed with the benefit of hindsight.

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