Triathlon became a part of my life shortly after I took up running. After my second child was born in 2014, I struggled with Post-Partum Depression. I had 2 kids back to back, and my entire world was rocked. I had always looked at "running for fun" as ridiculous, a waste of time, and boring. I was a new Mom, unhappy with myself, I felt isolated, and tired. My husband bought me a jogging stroller and I began to walk (and jog 1/4 mile increments) at a time during Non-nap hours. 1/4 mile walk-jog turned into 1/2 mile, and so on. Pretty soon, I wasn't stuck inside, I was outdoors, on a dirt road, pushing 2 little guys, and losing baby weight, but mostly, I was smiling again. In 2015, After a year or so of running and entering a couple 10k's, a Half Marathon, and a planned Marathon, my husband suggested a Triathlon. I had no idea what was involved, but I figured "why not try it". I borrowed a bike from a friend, and winged my first Sprint Tri in August 2015, I LOVED IT.
What has been one of your greatest accomplishment as an athlete?
My greatest accomplishment(s) as an athlete is qualifying for Kona World Champs on my First Ironman (Coeur D"Alene) 2017, as well as qualifying for the Boston Marathon (2017) on my first Marathon.
Swimming is definitely my most challenging aspect of Triathlon. I love learning from some of the incredible RTB swimmers, they inspire me, and I am floored by their fish qualities in the water :)
What was the scariest thing you have had to do? Are you glad you did it?
The scariest thing I have ever done is become a Mom. There is so much unknown territory, responsibility, expectations, and fear-- But these are just the scary things. The love, joy, innocence, peace, and hope, take over all of the scary. I wouldn't be who I am without my kids.
What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this
My biggest challenge is trying to balance it all. There's never enough time in the day to "nail it" I have learned to choose my family over what I think are super important workouts, to not take everything so seriously, to remember that we are paying for this extremely expensive sport(s), so have fun, meet people, laugh, and most of all, be grateful for every breath.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
The best advice was from my Mom on my wedding day, "Don't stop, yield".
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
My high school Basketball coach once told me "Remember, there will always be someone that's faster or stronger, so stay humble, but keep pushing".
Alright, this is the long part :)
My inspiration comes from my Mom, Husband, Kids, and my Brothers.
My Mom raised my 5 brothers and I as a single Mother, we didn't have much money, but we weren't aware of that because we had each other. She is a rock, my teacher, my mentor.
My husband saved me from myself. He is my best friend, he supports me and is always there for me, he pushes me when I don't want to be pushed, he loves me when I don't think I need love, he believes in me when I don't believe in myself.
My kiddos make me want to be a better person every day, they also keep me on my toes, and have taught me patience that I never knew existed.
My brothers have taught me resilience and grit, how to keep going when the going is tough. Think about an Ironman, how much of it is mental toughness? There's something to be said about finishing an Ironman, when the physical wears out, the mental pushes on, and this is what I've learned from my brothers. In 2008 my brother Jacob committed suicide. I still hate putting those words out there, but if you knew him, you loved him. If you knew him, you knew that every day was perhaps your last day. If you knew him, you knew that he would give you the shirt off his back. If you knew him, you knew he would give you the last dollar that he had. He was far from perfect, but I often envision him during a race with his big beaming smile, bright blue eyes saying to me "Haha YEAH Gin!". It inspires me, it helps me go, to push forward when he couldn't push anymore.
I know I will never be the greatest, I won’t be winning Gold at the Olympics, or setting insane records, but I love my Life…and I truly enjoy Triathlons :)