I signed up for my first triathlon about ten years ago. I bought triathlon books, took a beginner swim lesson, and tried to train. However, my body was pretty banged up back then and was getting worse. I went through a rough time where I had more injuries and surgeries than I care to remember. My shoulders didn’t work very well and just walking was painful. I could barely use my right hand for a couple years because of nerve damage.
I don’t regret this period of my life one bit because this is how I learned that I was unequivocally the creator of my own reality.
One day, after a knee and wrist surgery, I decided that I was never going to complain about anything ever again. I was going to look for the positive aspects of whatever I gave my attention to. If I didn’t have anything nice to say, I was going to keep my mouth shut. I was very quiet for some time. After a few months, things started turning around. My wrist finally healed and my shoulders began working. By 2013, I was healing my old injuries left and right, top to bottom. I was working out again and moving about the planet in a lot less pain. There was lots of ice involved.
One day, the owner of the gym I trained at saw how hard I was going on the Jacob’s Ladder and said, “Dude!! With your tolerance for pain, you would make an awesome stair racer!”
I replied, “Huh? What are talking about?”
Next thing I know, I’m a competitive stair climber! It was the first time I’d ever been fast at any sort of racing. In 2015 and 2016, I placed in the top 25 overall at the Towerrunning USA National Championships, scaling the stairs of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas in just over ten minutes.
In the wake of my new stair racing success, I started thinking that just maybe I could try again to do a triathlon. So, I bought a super sexy bike named Demon and took it to Northwest Tri and Bike, where I met Brad and Julie and Gary. They were so nice and helpful and just totally awesome! I appreciate everyone there so much. Brad fitted my bike to me and installed a sweet set of aerobars.
I began swimming with a Masters swim team, and read all of the running books I could find. Born to Run is still my favorite. I also discovered Earthrunners, the running sandals I wear all the time. I’m still faster either barefoot or in sandals.
Prior to my first triathlon, I had never run any kind of K, a 5k, 10k, etc. Running has always been a challenge for me. In school, I always finished last whenever we had to run the mile. I don’t think I ever ran one in under nine minutes.
I swam with Blue Wave Aquatic in the mornings. I flipped out the first time I made it all the way across that pool, baby! Then one day I swam 300 yards without running out of breath! 300 yards!! Swimming was going great! Then I was introduced to open water. I have never been so freaked out in my entire life. This is still a challenge for me sometimes.
My First race was the 2016 June Lake Meridian Olympic distance triathlon. I finished, baby! Holy cow I still can’t believe I really did a triathlon!!!
After the race, I joined the best triathlon team in the galaxy, Raise The Bar. I had heard of RTB before, but was too shy to join a triathlon team. I was really self conscious about how slow of a runner and swimmer I was. I finally got over that nonsense. Everyone on the team was so cool and fun and are just the best!
Right away, I started rocking the Wednesday night open water swims and running at the Tuesday night track workouts. These quickly became my new favorite nights of summer. I still think it’s the coolest thing in the entire world that I’m on a triathlon team!
I raced the Lake Meridian course again in August and beat my time by three minutes!
I finished up my first season with the Black Diamond long course race. I finished that one, too! Woooooooo!!! That was hands down the happiest day of my life up to that point.
My body got a bit banged up that summer. I had to take 18 months off of racing. I finally bit the bullet and had one shoulder surgically repaired. However, I was on a mission. I got as strong as possible beforehand and I let every doctor, nurse, and physical therapist know that I have the fire of 20,000 dragons coursing through my veins and that I was going to come out of this stronger and faster than anyone they’d ever even heard of. I tied my physical therapy bands to the handlebar of my bike and rode on my trainer. I swam all summer with one arm. The time off of work and everything else allowed the rest of my body to heal at the same time. I also volunteered at every RTB race in 2017 and discovered a new passion: Volunteering! It is so fun and satisfying to me. I don’t plan on getting hurt, but if I do, it’s all good baby, cause I’ll be out there rocking that bike course so hard!
I’ll share a secret I’ve learned: Happiness heals.
When my doctor cleared me to race last November, triathlon season was over, but I traveled around the USA and Mexico and rocked five obstacle course races and conquered a 14,636’ volcano in my running sandals within the first three weeks. I wasn’t kidding one bit about the dragon fire. Now I’m part volcano, too!
This year has been incredible. I can now run a mile in UNDER SEVEN MINUTES !!!! Ah!!! Who would’ve ever thought!?! I have raced four triathlons already, including Ironman CDA 70.3! Woohoo!! I’m not even finishing last in my age group at races anymore, baby! I know I can finish in the top half at a race by the end of this season!
Then, I’m coming for those podiums, baby! This journey is awesome and I’m loving every minute of it!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you. See you at the next race!!
Raise the Bar
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