Why I Tri? by Kelly Steffen
My triathlon journey started about eight years ago. While I had been active in high school and college, my 20’s were spent overweight and dealing with some health issues. But after my first daughter was born I knew I needed to change things. I also was looking for a new challenge. I had left my job when she was around 5 months to stay home full time and while I loved being with her, it was hard not having that sense of immediate accomplishment, of checking things off the list. I had known some friends in grad school that had done a triathlon so it seemed like just the right thing. I knew how to swim, I had a bike, and could run a bit, but putting them together was just scary enough to challenge me.
We were living in Maryland at the time and after looking around I decided on the Washington DC sprint triathlon. I found some training plans and inspiration online, bought a trainer and jogging stroller, and got to work. Swimming in the Potomac River and biking/running around the national monuments to finish my first tri was an amazing experience.
Fast forward through a move back to the Seattle area and my second child and I was ready to start again. My first RTB experience was an open water swim clinic at Lake Sawyer before my second sprint triathlon. It was so helpful that I ended up signing up for the whole summer open water training at Lake Meridian. Over the past few years, I’ve continued to challenge myself by stepping up to Olympic and then my first 70.3 in 2016. I’ve learned so much over the years. It’s been a great progression from finishing that first tri with my swimsuit/bike shorts to hiring an awesome coach to help me succeed in at CDA 70.3 last week. Several things run on repeat through my head now including “hand below the wrist, wrist below the elbow” and “set up the run, set up the run, set up the run”. I also find it amusing when my husband stares at me while I inhale my second dinner.
I tri because I love how this sport challenges me, physically and emotionally. I can always find things to work towards and goals that scare me a little. I’ve spent the last few years reaching towards faster times or longer distances. I can see the confidence building in other areas of my life as well. I know that I’ve done some hard things with training/races and it helps to tackle whatever ‘life’ decides to throw my way. I also have met some amazing people. I tend to be the quiet one, sitting in the back and observing. But triathlon has helped to bring me out of the background a bit more. And I love being a great role model for my daughters, teaching them to be strong and showing them hard work and persistence. I’m not sure where my journey will go next but I’m so thankful for everything I’ve been able to accomplish so far.
7/5/2018 12:25:24 pm
Thank you for that wonderful post!
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