By Reed DeSalvo
Today will prove to be a special day for the Sherman family, as three generations will gather to compete in the annual Sunfish Triathlon set to begin at 7 a.m. at Bonita Lakes.
Kelvin Sherman, 51, alongside father, Ross, 75, and son, Christopher, 23, will showcase their talents as a family in hopes of making a good showing.
“I’ve been doing triathlons for three years now,” Kelvin said. “My son has been doing them with me over the past few years, and this will be my father’s first year participating.
"I think this is great. I've never heard of three different generations competing in triathlons. I'm really excited about being able to do this tomorrow with my dad and son."
In addition to the three generations of Shermans competing in the triathlon, they also share a love for devotion to their country, as each has served in some military capacity.
"I'm a retired (National) Guard and my dad is a retired (National) Guard,” Kelvin said. “My son is going to get commissioned next month and soon be transferred to Fort Richardson, Alaska.
"I joined the guard out of high school, and used it to help pay for medical school. My dad was in the (National) Guard, and I got into it because of that. And then my son (Christopher) used it to pay for school."
Additionally, Christopher felt it was his responsibility to continue the Sherman tradition of serving their country.
“For me it's just something that I felt I was called to do,” Christopher said. Nothing else seemed right for me. Ever since I was young, it was always something that I felt I wanted to do, and I am just trying to do my duties.”
Christopher, who is a member of the ROTC program at Mississippi State, said his military background has him well-prepared for the challenges that today may bring.
"In regular training, I do a lot of CrossFit training,” Christopher said. “Really for me, I won’t do much more preparation than what I'm already doing. In the military, you have to have this all around fitness. So I'm always doing endurance and strength training.”
The race consists of a 1/3-mile swim, 17-mile bike ride and a 5K run.
"I started participating in triathlons three years ago and couldn't do a mile," Kelvin said. "But you slowly build up from there, and you keep trying to increase what you do each few weeks, and eventually you'll get there. You can also get help and tips by reading about it.
"You just get out and try and swim as much as you can in preparation. Maybe go out to your local gym, maybe take some swim lessons to try and get better. You can also ask advice from others."
Ultimately, today’s event serves as an opportunity for families to spend valuable time with their loved ones in addition to one another’s company of those close to our hearts.
"I'm looking forward to it and expect a good fun time," Christopher said. "To be able to spend time with people close to me is great, and I'm going to cherish these moments. I'm pretty excited. Not many people can get to say they've done a triathlon with their father and grandfather. It's a neat thing, and I hope one day I get to experience this with my kids.”