There is a saying in the world of Triathlon. "Triathlon doesn't build character, it reveals it".
I can remember as a little girl sitting in my parents basement on Apple Street, glued to the TV watching the early days of Ironman. How is this even possible? How can they be doing this? Holy cow, it must be super hot for them! Cool socks! Aren't those shorts uncomfortable?? (Give me a bit of a break here, I was only 9 when ABC televised their first Ironman)
The First ever Ironman was held in Hawaii on February 18, 1978. 15 People started and 12 finished. The idea was based off the question: Who was the better endurance athlete, The Runner, Biker or Swimmer? The winner of the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile event, said Navy Commander (and the man credited with creating the race), John Collins, "we’ll call the ‘Ironman.’"
Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon-news/articles/2003/01/a-look-back-at-a-look-back-ironman%E2%80%99s-first-10-years.aspx#ixzz5NonzNU1A
Throughout my life, I jumped into every sport my parents would allow me to participate in and some they still have no idea about. I may or may not have thought I was Evel Knievel at some point in my early double digits. (Sorry Mom and Dad, I'll explain later) I was a cheerleader (shocking I know), ran track, played soccer, was the only girl on an all boys Baseball team, making it to the All Stars for several years in a row. (Much to the chagrin of a few local boy's parents.) I took swimming lessons, in the water for hours on end having to be begged to get out by my parents at the end of the day, I surfed short boards at the Inlet and participated in anything that would get my heart pumping.
I sailed competitively, even going to sailing camp in the Adirondacks to hone my skill. My competitive side always forcing me to push myself harder and harder, I was after all going to be the first female Captain of an America's Cup winning vessel. My Parents brought me everywhere to watch, learn, meet the crews and be near the ships.
Skiing came easily for me as I started when I was about 4. I couldn't get enough, I knew I wanted this to be my life. There is nothing in the world like being the first person at the top of the mountain after a fresh snowfall. Everything is white, the sun sparkling, cold breath filling the air. Quiet. Then came Ski School Instructor followed by National Ski Patrol at Hunter Mountain.
Then life happened. I grew up. The little girl with the big dreams got a "real" job, met a guy, had two kids and grew some serious roots in her hometown of Wall, NJ. Life became all about these perfect little people I created. Late nights, early mornings, meal preps, calendar keeping, shuffling back and forth to school, sports, clubs, teams. Watching them learn and grow and become exceptionally gifted athletes in their own right.
But something was missing. I clamored for more. Maybe I should try a triathlon? How would I even go about doing such a thing? These people are in fact, animals. I, however am not. I'm just a middle-aged Mom.
A few years after my divorce, something amazing happened. I met a man. Not just any man. An Ironman. This is the man I call my Soul Mate. His name is Michael. On the day I met him, he reached out to shake my hand and there it was....his "M Dot" tattoo. I believe in signs and this one literally walked up, shook my hand and introduced himself to me. Crazy, right??
So Why Tri?
Because of how I am wired, I refuse to allow the "what if's", "why's" and "why not's" rule my life.
After my 2011 diagnosis of Hashimoto's Hypo Thyroid Disease with Auto Immune (Celiac's Disease), I knew there was no better time than the present to let the old me over rule the new one.
Michael gave me his blessing, his coaching and three very important pieces of advice:
1) The only one who's stopping you is you.
2) If it was easy, everyone would do it.
3) The sport of triathlon breaks you down into who you really are as a person and shows you what your really made of.
Maybe that's just what I needed, I thought. A reminder of who I am and what I am truly made of.
If your in for an adventure, get in, buckle up and hold on. Your officially invited to a front row seat on this crazy journey of my life. I hope you enjoy! ~ T