I ran track and cross country in high school and college in the late 90s, early 2000s. After high school I ran a few 5k races and stayed running just for fun. I coached track and cross country at the high school level. I remember watching Kona Ironman every year on tv and being in awe of what those people could accomplish and wondered what it must take to push your body to such limits for so long.
My First Sprint Triathlon
After the birth of my son I signed up for my first sprint triathlon in 2010. Being a runner I knew that part would be easy but I had never swam with my head in the water or been on a bike for anything over 5 miles. With only a couple months of swimming in the lake across the street from me and borrowing my dads bike for a few rides, I found myself at the start line of my first triathlon. I breaststroked that swim, could not bring myself to put my face in the water. The bike went well for not doing it much and the run was surprisingly hard after having to swim and bike first. After finishing, I thought that was the hardest thing I had ever done.
I Was Hooked
I raced 3 more sprint triathlons that summer and 5 the following summer, finishing Top 3 in my age group despite swimming breaststroke in all three. If I could only get this swim thing down I could do pretty well at this triathlon thing. After the birth of my daughter in 2012, I ran my first marathon. The crazy triathlete in me then thought, wow what if I combined that feeling of finishing a triathlon and or finishing a marathon and tried to do what I always watched those crazy people on tv do and do an actual Ironman. I then sought out a coach, learned how to swim and trained for my first Ironman. Having that conversation with your family is never an easy one. Explaining what all goes with it and how much time it takes to do an Ironman. My family was on board. At this point we had moved from Michigan to Iowa which allowed me to stay at home with my Autistic son and care for my younger daughter and him.
Triathlon Training Was The Savior
It kept me sane moving away from family and leaving my dream job of being a PE teacher and coach. Fast forward to present 2022. I have finished 3 full IRONMAN’s and 7 Half IRONMAN’s. 5th overall at Muncie 70.3, qualified for Worlds 70.3 two times, ran the Boston Marathon two times are part of my accomplishments. This year in Des Moines, I am looking to qualify for Kona. That crazy event that got me started in triathlon.
I Could Have Given Up
I could have easily given up when swimming was hard for me or when my son was diagnosed with Autism and takes a lot of my time and attention. Quitting could have happened when I went three years with not much improvement. Triathlon is about the constant improvement and never giving up, not only as an athlete but as a person. My children look up to me. I am there super hero and I want to always be that for them in life. Striving to be a better mom for my kids, starts with being the best me I can be. Triathlon helps me be that person for myself and for them. I could have given up but I didn’t and neither should you.