Back in August of 2010, I decided to become a Triathlete.
What is funny about this?
At that point, I had only completed two 5K events in my entire life; zero cycling events (and my bike was gathering cobwebs in the garage). Oh, and zero swimming laps since about age eight.
So that was the first funny thing.
The next funny thing is that I was about 100 pounds overweight. Okay. So 50 pounds, but still. Probably 65 pounds. Regardless. Overweight. Chubby. Chunky.
Fat Albert. Hey hey hey.
And even funnier, I had two kids under three years of age. And a husband. And I worked a full-time job as a litigation attorney (bleck!).
And I thought I had time for triathlon.
Now, in deciding this, I wasn’t a complete idiot.
I used to be an athlete. Sort of. I played basketball, volleyball and softball. I was a lousy softball player, because I could not hit the ball on purpose. But if I hit it by accident, it would go pretty far. I did swimming and gymnastics as a kid, but I was too chubby to really be any good at gymnastics and too young and stupid to recognize that I was a good swimmer. Plus, I am (and always have been) a massive chicken, so gymnastics was terrifying.
Then there was my real sport – Olympic weightlifting.
By “real”, I mean the one that stuck the longest and the most intensely. I won the Junior National Championships back in the day, went to Junior Worlds in South Africa (placed fifth in one lift, and seventh overall, and missed the next world team by a hair), did a few stints at the squad camps at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, etc. etc.
Weightlifting was a good sport for me, because while there was a huge risk of injury (e.g., dropping 200+ pounds upon my head, busting apart my knees, spontaneous breaking elbows), it felt safe for me.
Triathlon. Was. Not. Safe. For. Me. Triathlon. Scared. The. Hell. Out. Of. Me.
Sowhere did this idea for triathlon come from?
Well, after I had my youngest child three years ago, I was a puffy, sluggish and tired mess. I joined the athletic club and found my way to a Spinning class. I ran (a little). I did NOT get into a bathing suit. I continued to spin off and on for almost a year.
And then it hit me. I had been in this crazy rut for so long. And I liked to blame the rut on my commute or my kids, but really, it was my fault. I had let it all go.
Read the blog post here about How I Changed —-this is my Oprah-inspired “ah-ha” moment…what I like to call “the Spark.”
I needed a new “for me” purpose. One that was separate from work and family. Something that was me. And for some crazy reason, I thought triathlon could be me.
I hired a coach, who I have lovingly dubbed “Coach Monster.” Not because he is a tough as nails Ironman monster or because he’s caring and sweet like a Sesame Street monster…but mostly because he loves REM. He calls me “Grasshopper.” Better than Shamu, I suppose.
My athletic hero, Mountain Goat, is a fellow attorney and general running badass. She and I have been scheming on how to get out of law and make money by just riding bikes and running…. when we figure it out, we’ll do a post.
Last but certainly not least, my husband, the Expert.
He’s my best good friend. I pulled him into triathlon by my greedy little infectious nature. The Expert finished an Olympic distance triathlon before a sprint. Meaning, he did a longer distance… first.
Because he’s the Expert. And that’s how he rolls.
Since October 2010, I have competed in my first Sprint Distance tri, several other sprint tris, several 5ks, 10ks, a half marathon, my first Olympic distance race in May 2011 at St. Anthony’s, and another Olympic distance race.
My first half Ironman (70.3) finish was October 30, 2011. One year after the start of my journey. That’s all it took – to go from “can’t run a mile” to a half-Ironman.
My second half Ironman finish was September 30, 2012 – and was almost 40 minutes FASTER than my first.
But guess what? I’ve survived it all, and I keep going back for more.
Like a freaking IRONMAN. Holy guacamole, save me Tom Cruise – I’ve signed up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, 2013.
The message? You. Can. Go. Go forward. Move. If you move, no matter how slowly, you are passing all the people who aren’t moving. Go take your dreams. They’re yours for the snagging.
Just Keep Moving Forward,
“…Every victory, and every finish is not luck, it’s not fairy dust, it’s not good genes. It’s killing myself for sometimes two or three hours a day, six days a week (not to mention the long days… 5-7 hour workouts). While I think eventually triathlon is going to get every last ounce of fat off my body — fat and food isn’t the end game. Triathlon is deeper than a flat stomach and thin legs…It’s precisely about that hard work - the pride in the actual work, the process and the perseverance - not always the end results or finish time. Life really is about the journey [but hopefully the destination ends up somewhere tropical...and with an umbrella in it.]“
- From post, February 1, 2012.