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Create Your Community, I Did – Adina O’Neill

Create Your Community I Did - Adina O'Neill
Adina O'Neill
Year started: September 2012
Next race: February 23, 2003 / Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival / Newport VT
Favorite gear:

Zoggs goggles, TYR swimsuit, Dry Robe

Fitting in was never easy for me. I have been involved in teams and clubs since I was a young girl. Despite getting along with everyone, I felt alone. There were times that I saw others sharing inside jokes or making plans outside of the group. Those were the types of connections I craved. High school was probably the worst for me. On top of normal challenges of life as a teenage girl, it seemed nobody wanted to be friends with the short, fat, smart, Jewish kid in the band. It was awful to feel left out. Create Your Community? I never thought about that back then.

With loving support from my parents I learned important lessons from those experiences. I learned that judgment is hurtful. Compassion became an important lesson. I grew to learn that I was happy being me. Another lesson that I was taught, was that your REAL friends will love you for who you are, not what you look like.

At age 40 I did my first triathlon. I thought I found my community. The atmosphere was energetic with people that were friendly. I gravitated towards athletes like me – the later in life, back of the pack, “regular” people who were there for the challenge of each new adventure. But I still went by myself and came home by myself.

Create Your Community, I Did

On a long training swim one day, I came up with a crazy idea. What if I created my own team? A team where everyone is accepted regardless of age, size, identity or ability. A team where “regular” people can celebrate being extraordinary athletes, whatever that means to them. A community of support as well as confidence building.

That little idea turned into a vision but then developed into Team B*REAL – a family of endurance athletes where every body is accepted.

This Is Who We Are

We are a group of ordinary people who are having fun testing our own limits. We are swimmers, cyclists, runners, triathletes. Some have children or grandchildren. Others have been athletes since high school. There are some that are starting in their 40s and beyond! Our team has athletes that want to compete but others are happy to cross some finish lines.

We are extraordinary athletes, not because we are setting records or reaching podiums, although sometimes that happens. Our team is extraordinary because we show up everyday to do our personal best as well as cheer each other on. We inspire each other while building confidence in ourselves.

Their Impact On Me

I love watching these REAL women come out of their shell to follow their heart and celebrate the extraordinary achievements they never even dreamed possible.

I couldn’t find the community I needed, so I created it.


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