How did this whole triathlon thing start?

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my first finisher medal

To me it’s an interesting story, so I figured I would share it. In case you want the short answer, you are welcome to skip down to the last paragraph where I sum it all up in one italicized sentence. But if you enjoy my random ramblings, keep reading for the longer version.

I was working at an all women’s, super-sprint, beginner friendly race when the idea first popped into my head that I could be a triathlete. A gentleman working the event, who has since become a friend, looked over at me and asked why I wasn’t doing it. I didn’t have a good response other than that there are things I would need to do first—things, I thought to myself, like losing weight and figuring out how to run. But that conversation would play over and over in my mind until one day I just started walking. After about a week I tried incorporating some running into my walks. Three months later I completed my first 5K in about 45 minutes—but I finished and was proud of that! Then I added swimming and then biking and the next season I completed five super sprint distances races and a true sprint race.

Rewind a little further in my life and I was a kid who grew up with asthma–diagnosed at the age of 5. Running was something that I was told not to do. I played different sports growing up but mostly ones that didn’t involve a lot of running. I played soccer as a kid, but always goalie or fullback, played volleyball in middle school and high school, and that one glorious season on the high school golf team. But I remember wanting to run. There was a two mile path around a lake by the high school and I tried many times, but never could get around it without having an asthma attack. I had no idea back then that you needed to work up to these things by training. That urge to be a runner struck again while I was in college and again it was an utter failure. So I resigned myself for years to the fact I would never run. But something stirred within me when I was helping at the triathlon watching women of all shapes and sizes crossing the finish line.

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setting up transition at Yam City Tri

Looking back on my journey, I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish. At the same time, I know I still have far to go—140.6 to be exact! (Fingers crossed for IM Chattanooga!) But I did not get here on my own—there were many people along the way that helped me to get here, who sit in my cheering squad and inspire me to set big goals. From Megan who was my first training buddy, to Coach Canada and the Fitbirds who were my first training group, to Susan who helped me figure out how to run fast (at least for me), to PF who has always been coaching me from afar even though we finally made it official, to the FJR crew who makes the hard work that much more fun and so many more…

5 or so years later I am still at it, but I never would have started had that one person not planted the seed in my head and told me I could do it. So make sure to invite friends on this crazy journey with you–you never know who will be the one to yes.