City/State: League City, TX
Age Group: 35-39
Biggest Inspiration: My family. I want to be a fit and present mom for my babies. I want to be a fun and healthy companion for my husband. I want to be a supportive and encouraging daughter for my parents. When lap after lap after lap in the pool starts to wear on me, I think of my family and I draw strength from knowing that I’m transforming myself into a better, stronger person with each stroke.
When the road seems dark and lonely and cold, I know that my heart is waiting for me at home (usually with pancakes, bacon, and hot coffee – I nabbed myself a good Sherpa).
When I’m racing, I know who my biggest cheerleaders are. They get up at dumb o’clock with me and are there cheering me out of the water. Seeing my family at my races with smiling faces during the race and waiting for me at the finish is enough to fuel me through anything.
Scary 2015 Goal: I’m tackling my first half iron distance. (insert nervous laughter and shrieking here)
How Triathlon Changed Me: I am so happy. I’ve been running for 2+ years, but training for and competing in triathlon for the past 5 months has made me so darned happy.
I’m a better mom, a better wife, a better person.
I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. Three years ago, I did crunches because I wanted a flatter belly. Today I do core stabilization exercises so that I can rock the brick workout. And guess what? My belly is flatter anyway. Boom. Ten years ago, I ran 2-3 miles and thought that was hard core. I figured if I could at least make it 2 miles, I could totally rock the 5k, which, at the time, was awesome. I also ran so I could drink more (college is hard, people). Today I run because it makes me happy.
I can think. I can breathe. I can pray. I can just be without having to answer a million kid questions (honest to God, real life conversation with my first grader, “If I threw a glass of wine on the floor, would it ignite? No? What about tequila? No? What about gun powder?” No, I am not raising an arsonist or an alcoholic… at least I hope I’m not.) And I can still rock the 5k. I used to do box jumps so I could… Wait. I lie. I never did box jumps. But now I do box jumps so I can have power in my glutes. I do box jumps so that I can explode up hills and power my way through mile after mile. And guess what? I got some good lookin’ legs to show for it.
I guess what I’m saying is this: I used to do all of this stuff for many “goofy” reasons – vanity, better fitting clothes, free calories, etc.
Now it all has a purpose. I get to take all of these pieces of the puzzle and put them together and have an amazing picture, not just some random hours spent in the gym with no real purpose. Triathlon has given me a new purpose.
Favorite Piece of Gear: My AquaSphere Vista googles.
I Race For:I race for myself. I wear a million different hats – cook, wife, taxi driver, minor emergency nurse, dog walker, house cleaner, hide-and-seeker, Project Director, room mom, CFO for Carey Family Inc. When I run, I am me. I am free. I am my own person without any obligation to anybody except for me.
When I ran my first half marathon, I collapsed just after I past the 13 mile marker. I know now that the Augmentin I had been on the week before threw my electrolytes out of whack and I was likely dehydrated before I even laced up my shoes. I had trained hard for 6 cold, long months for that day. It was my moment to prove myself to me and to everyone I knew. Around mile 12, I knew something was wrong. I was cold (it was 85 degrees in Houston spring). I couldn’t hear much. My vision was closing in and I started blacking out. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the side of the course in my own vomit watching everyone finish the race. I was so dry the EMTs couldn’t start an IV.
I was given a choice – double fist the Gatorade or they were going to stick a needle in my neck. Needless to say, I drank the Gatorade. Lying on that gurney and listening to the EMTs discuss my status, I made a decision. I could’ve decided that running wasn’t for me. I could’ve decided that I had given it my best and it just wasn’t good enough. I could’ve decided that I was too embarrassed to try again. I could’ve decided that I had proven myself unable to race a half marathon. But I didn’t. I decided that April 6 just wasn’t my day.
I decided that it didn’t define me – as a runner, as a person, or otherwise. I decided to try again.
Before I was golf-carted into the finish area, I had already chosen my next race – the Fall race that would take place on the same route. I had a vendetta out against that course and I was determined not to quit. I was determined to have that 13.1 sticker on my car. I was determined to succeed. Six months later, I ran my second half marathon and finished strong in 2:34:and change. My husband ran with me and my parents and children met us at the finish line.
I won’t say I wasn’t scared. I won’t say it wasn’t hard. I won’t say I didn’t have my doubts. I won’t say that I didn’t turn the last corner and say to myself, “Well, Sheri. You made it this far last time and you didn’t make it.” And I sure as hell won’t say that I quit. I race for me.
How I Pay It Forward: I try to pay it forward every day. I believe in kindness, in helping others, and in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. I strive to put back into my community in any way I can.
What Else You Should Know About Me: When Meredith (Swim Bike Mom) called me to chat with me about the SBMAT, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. The caller ID said Georgia and I thought, “I don’t know anybody who lives in Georgia.” Never in a million years did I think I would have Meredith Atwood’s phone number in my contacts list. [Swim Bike Mom Note: Awwwww…. crap….. 🙂 ] ….Never in a million years did I think I belonged on a team like the SBMAT. Never in a million years did I think I could be an ambassador for our amazing sport of triathlon.
Apparently, that’s the point of the SBMAT. All of us – young, old, new, experienced, fast, slow, middle of the pack – we all represent the SBM Army and we all represent the beautiful sport of triathlon.
I haven’t overcome any big tragedy by doing triathlon–but I simply wanted to be a better person. A healthier person. A happier person.
Five months ago, I stood on the side of a pool and I thought to myself, “That’s far. That’s really far.” Today I’m training for my first 70.3 and I swim at least 3 miles a week.
If you’re standing on the side of the pool thinking, “That’s far,” it is. But you can do it.
And you can do it well. #justkeepmovingforward