I know my friends I grew up with just fell off their chairs laughing at the thought of me as a triathlete. In a way they are right. I am not an athlete, never have been, but as the gangly physique of my youth morphed with age, four babies, and a traitorous metabolism, even I have had to turn to exercise for help. It was just before I turned 40 that my body seemed to turned on me, I could no longer indulge in my hedonistic ways without consequence (I hate that!). I am a somewhat healthy eater, but with a big appetite. You know the formula, I had to ramp up my physical activity . I needed a goal, and one that I really had to work for. I had heard about sprint triathlons and had always wanted to give one a try. After all I thought, individually I could handle each leg, swim a ¼ mile, bike 12 miles or run 3 1/2 , maybe I could string them together and complete a triathlon. My fear of drowning or collapsing had me on a 12-week training schedule and I was amazed at how well it actually prepared me for my first race. I convinced several girlfriends to do it with me, because I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it alone and, as a first triathlon for all of us, we had a blast.
Since then I have completed four more sprint triathlons, never placing mind you, but each time achieving my goal of completion and beating my own time from the previous race. The group of girlfriends we race with has snowballed and we have turned our triathlons into fun girls weekends in different destinations.
I love encouraging other women to give it a try. The truth is that if I can do it, anyone can, with proper training of course . My kids always ask me if I won, and I do have to admit that I love that they think I possibly could win. Some of my friends that I do it with actually do.
Below is my text exchange with my 11-year-old son just after I finished my last triathlon.
Me: “I finished my race!”
Him: “Great, what Place did you get?’
Me: (Pause) “712”(this was out of 950 & you can read about why I did so poorly, yet it was my favorite triathlon so far in an upcoming post)
Him: “Is that good?”
Me: (This is why I love him so much!) “Yes, it is good for me because I finished the race, didn’t get hurt, had fun and wasn’t last”