Why I TRI! By Megan Heyer
If you told me fifteen years ago that I would run Broad Street, a half marathon, or a triathlon, I would have laughed at you. I ran to two places…Macy’s and Happy hour. I played soccer and field hockey for the social aspect. My friend suggested or rather challenged me to train for the Broad Street Run in 2007. Ten miles seemed so daunting. It could not have come at a better time. I was struggling with the sudden death of my dad and my husband and I were discussing having a fourth child or not. When my husband told me he was happy having three (which we had in three years). I was hoping he would have felt differently but after much discussion we were done. After he “sealed the deal”, I knew this was a chapter of my life that was over. This was harder to handle than I thought. There was an emptiness that was not going to be filled. This made me sad if not depressed. I was focusing on what I didn’t have…another child.
Running gave me a place to be alone in my head. It was my therapy. I could be angry, cry, or say things that I felt better after they were said. It was cleansing, safe, and positive, just what I needed. My friend and I trained diligently. I could feel myself getting stronger physically and mentally.
Two months before the race she got injured. She was getting physical therapy in the hopes she would be able to run Broad Street. The night before the race she called me sadly to tell me that it wasn’t going to happen. I was looking forward to finishing with her. The morning of the race I had my husband write her initials on my right shoulder so that I had her with me. The weather was perfect. It was a great race. The feeling of crossing that finish line was very emotional. I was hooked. One day I over heard two women at the gym on the treadmill chatting about an upcoming triathlon. My interest was peaked: run a 5k, swim ¼ mile, and bike 10miles. Hmmmm! I was ready for another challenge. So I nonchalantly started to ride a stationary bike and swim some laps. It was OK. My decision was made. A sprint triathlon was the goal. After searching online, I found Parvin State Park which was a sprint triathlon. The morning of the race I thought to myself “What did I do?” The drive to the race alone felt like the first day of school. Would I know anyone? Would I look like a geek setting up my stuff? Oh well…there goes nothing. As I crossed the finish line, there was my husband and kids jumping up and down waving. The thought still puts a lump in my throat.
Running evolved into triathlons. This had helped me through a challenging time. Participating in these races has brought nothing but positive things: a piece of mind, better health, and showing my children the importance of setting goals and meeting them.
This is why I TRI!