I’ve always wanted to “Blog”. That is, until someone gave me the opportunity to do just that.
What on earth do I say? As I was thinking about my written stream of consciousness, it made me think about how I came to call myself a “triathlete”. Yes, me. My name is Stacy and I’m a triathlete!
I’ve always been the type of person who gets bored easily. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. If you saw my closet full of gear you’d think I had my Captain’s License for sailing or that I had dived around the world. I can proudly say I’ve propelled others into what I hope will be life-long passions. I convinced my sister to take sailing lessons with me and now she owns her own sailboat. I convinced a friend of mine to take scuba lessons with me and now she’s a Dive Instructor and Dive Master. Me? Well, I’m on to the next thing, of course.
Then, after many years of piddling through interest after interest, I was asked to join some friends in doing a triathlon…..Of course I toasted to this brilliant idea over holiday drinks, secretly thinking, “Hell, No! Are they nuts?” As it turns out, they aren’t nuts, but they have a lot of guts. (Get it? Heh, heh)
Then, I got a mysterious email about a month later from someone named Colleen. Who’s this Colleen person? It had an attachment: The Couch Potato Workout. Uh oh. Didn’t they know I was just getting caught up in the holiday spirit? They don’t think I’m actually going to do a triathlon, do they? “The Couch Potato Workout”– How fitting!
I have always been an active person. I’ve always enjoyed the gym, going to classes, etc. However, it had been more than ten, yes TEN years since I had worked out. My cute little figure was no longer little or cute. I had become everything I swore I wouldn’t become! I needed to do something and here was this rare, beautiful, cockamamie, and unrealistic opportunity to get myself moving.
So, I got up one early February morning, went to the gym, and got my rear end on the treadmill. I did it the next day and the next day and the next day. I decided to commit myself. I left out some important details, however. I wasn’t a runner, I’m terrified of water, and I didn’t know how to swim. I could splash around a pool, but I couldn’t have done a stroke of freestyle if you said a shark was chasing me.
I still remember telling someone at work, “I’m doing a sprint triathlon next summer!” She took one look at me and said, “That’s a bit of a lofty goal, don’t you think?” To this day, I tease her about that comment. It was definitely the sanest perspective of the situation, I’ll give her that.
Well, February turned into March and the months kept rolling by. Then, something amazing happened. At the beginning of May, I ran a 5K race! WOW. This is where I needed to be in order to be ready for the triathlon in August. This might actually be possible! Then, I started swimming. Well, maybe not “swimming”, but paddling in the water and I was able to do it for longer and longer and longer periods of time.
I was starting to feel good. I got my heavy hybrid bike tuned up and joined these triathlon club rides on the weekends. Yes, by this time, The Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club had been formed and I was a proud member! I didn’t feel like I belonged, but everyone else made me feel like I did. And that meant A LOT to me. It was a safe environment to reach this “lofty” goal of mine!
Again, the months kept rolling by. I road my bike, ran, and practiced open water swims in some of the murkiest lakes I’ve ever seen. By now I’m thinking that I might actually be nuts. Who willingly gets into these bodies of water? I’ll tell you who: me and about 100 other women residing in and around Mullica Hill.
On August 1, 2010, I jumped in the Schuylkill River with a HUGE smile on my face. I smiled even more when I realized I didn’t DROWN as I climbed back out of that river. I smiled even more when I didn’t fall off my bike, and when I crossed that finish line after running the entire distance, I was overwhelmed with such elation and pride. I DID IT!!!!!!! That feeling gives me goose bumps even today.
A year later, I have done three additional triathlons and ran the ten-mile Broad Street Run. I now have a beautiful road bike that I absolutely love to ride; I enjoy my early morning runs and have aspirations of doing an Olympic Triathlon next summer. (Notice I didn’t mention my love of swimming-let’s not get ahead of ourselves here!)
I’m setting a good example for my children and my daughter asks if she can do a “triafalong” with me someday. I’ve met amazing people, made some dear, dear friends and guess what????? I’M NOT BORED! It’s a miracle!
It might have taken me “30” years to figure it out, but I think I’m on to something here. It’s not a fluke. My name is Stacy and I’m a triathlete! For life!