Sometimes I get asked why I love the sport of triathlon so much. Well, it’s kind of complicated. It’s actually a love-hate relationship, but I’d say mostly love (until I’m running 17+ miles in the Texas heat.) Anyways, there are actually a few reasons why I like to tri:
1. I used to be overweight.
Many of you won’t know this, but I used to be overweight for my 5’5″ frame. I know some of you may sit there and think, “Lawd, if you thought you were overweight, then what am I?” I know overweight is relative to some extent. But for me, I was miserable, unhappy, self-conscious, lethargic, anxious, miserable…you get the gist. And I was overweight. I peaked at 172lbs, and it was not muscle.
And THEN… I got pregnant. I set a new record for myself, and I peaked at 190lbs (which is kind of understandable, but still…) I didn’t really lose the weight long after I had my baby.
Anyways, participating in the sport of triathlon was a way for me to consistently keep the weight off. I actually didn’t start training for a tri until the year 2013 (when I was 27)- so what was I doing before? Oh, you know…playing basketball, swimming, playing softball, playing basketball…ALL while eating too much. I was actually pretty athletic, but my frame didn’t always show that because I loved to eat. And you know what they say- you can’t out-train a bad diet. So, needless to say, I always worked really hard but was always ready to eat my hard work away. As a result, my weight has fluctuated much throughout the years, but I knew I needed something for consistency’s sake. So, because I am an ALL OR NOTHING type of person, I decided to sign up for my first triathlon, THE IRONMAN (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). I thought to myself, “this will finally take care of my weight problems.” Ha. Now, I must say… despite training four hours a day for this kind of race, my body still didn’t look the way I thought it would. That’s because I still loved to eat the wrong foods. This is probably a blog post for another day, but once I corrected my diet, I did see the transformation. And I was happy and healthy.
2. I needed an outlet for swimming.
I actually used to be a competitive swimmer. I don’t really have the frame for it since most swimmers are like 6’+ tall with broad shoulders. But I wasn’t too shabby at it. Anyways, I first began swimming at the age of 2 or something like that. And it just stuck. I remember going to the lake with my mom and asking her to help me float on my back all the time. I just LOVED the water. It quickly became “my thing”, and I went with it. Anyways, after the years of 5am swim practices before school, club swimming year round, going to state in high school with the team…I just needed an outlet for the sport. I mean, I guess there’s masters swimming class, but I wanted to take something I loved and add an additional challenge. Hence, I began to train for triathlon.
3. I LOVE a good challenge.
For those who know me, I’m an ALL OR NOTHING type of gal. This can be a really good thing, and it can be a horrible thing. But I’ll explain all that later. Let’s just focus on the good stuff. Competing in the Ironman has always been a bucket list item for me. Now most sane people would actually work their way up to this kind of beast race, but as I said before…I’m all or nothing. I didn’t want to do anything shorter. Not because they aren’t worthy races, but because it wasn’t my end goal. So, I set out to train for the Ironman. And I did it. So, for any of you out there who are wondering… “can I start with an Ironman?” Yes, you can. You just have to want it.
4. Last but not least… I tri because I want to set an example for my kids. And I want to be around for them for a long time.
My husband and my kids mean EVERYTHING to me. All three of them come first in my life right behind the Lord God. I want to be around for them for as long as I possibly can, so I actively seek health and fitness. And triathlon training is a great way to do just that. Also, I want to be an example for my kids. You know, not just “be fit and healthy” but “look what you can achieve when you don’t give up.” Tri training can be exhausting, daunting, HARD…but once you accomplish what you set out to accomplish, it’s 110% worth it. I hope my kids realize this one day with whatever endeavors they pursue.
So, in a nutshell, these are the reasons I tri. I hope to gain a few friends along the way who’d want to tri with me 🙂 Let’s do it!