Injury Led Me To Triathlon
I was a runner and a casual cyclist when I started down the path of endurance sports. I was training for both of those sports and that included strength training. The problem wasn’t the strength training but rather what the focus of the training was. I ignored those little running muscles and I developed a high hamstring strain. This injury led me to not being able to run and like many triathletes, an injury led me to the sport by way of cross-training.
Why Don’t You Try Swimming?
My friend suggested I try swimming with the Cape Cod Triathlon team and to do their winter workouts in the pool. I barely knew how to swim, but I decided to give it a go. I remember telling her, “Okay I will try this, but I am NEVER doing a triathlon because you guys are crazy.” I was the slowest swimmer there, but I loved the challenge of getting better and seeing progress every week. Beyond progress, I found that the team was full of friendly members of all ages and levels. They were welcoming and encouraging. Throughout the time I was rehabbing with the team I found that I was motivated and always learning from them.
Five months later, my hamstring was fully healed and I raced my first sprint triathlon. I loved the challenge of competing at all three sports at the same event. The race went by so fast and I remember thinking, “This is WAY more fun than just running!” It was during that race that I was hooked on triathlon.
And as the saying goes, “Well, that escalated quickly.” In 4 years, I have completed many sprints, a couple of Olympics, four 70.3s, and I have my first full Ironman (Ironman Arizona) this November. Since this is my first 140.6 starting line, I wanted to give myself the summer to train as well as racing at a venue that is well-established in the Ironman portfolio.
I Can Do Hard Things
Triathlon made me realize that I can do hard things. I still shake in my wetsuit before every triathlon, but when the gun goes off, I am “all in.” I was never athletic growing up and triathlon has helped me to find my inner athlete. Also, if I am being honest, before triathlon, I had a complicated relationship with exercise and food. Like many women, I looked at food and working out as a means to looking good. Once I began triathlon, I started to view food as fuel and training as a way to get strong and fast, not skinny. It’s not “calories in, calories out” anymore. It’s “Eat all the food and run, bike, and swim all the miles” so I can be healthy, strong, and injury free.
Triathlon has changed the way I look at myself and I have found my inner athlete. I have never been so grateful for an injury!