Growing up in the mid-west gives you time to run and play outside for most of the year. As a child, I lived to be outside and active. That love of the outdoors and activity has brought me to the sport of triathlon in the wonderful state of Texas. I still have most of the year to be out in the fresh air, but have to stay in now for the heat, and not the cold as I did in Iowa. Exercise helps me maintain the energy level I need to be an enthusiastic teacher. Teaching also gives me the opportunity to have a little extra training time between extra workshops in the summer. Training does get difficult as the school year winds down and when the year starts up again in August. A fatigued triathlete/teacher and young children do not go hand in hand. I love my role as a teacher shaping the curious mind of tomorrow and triathlete, encouraging them to reach for their goals whatever they might be.
That is the question often asked by most when first hearing about triathlons. In 2000, I was one of “those” people who knew very little about this wild and crazy addiction. While life guarding as a summer job, I was interested in the activities of an 18 year old co-worker’s. Each day she would bike into work - after running several miles. I asked about her “obsession,” knowing that she was also a wonderful swimmer. Thus began my first lesson in triathlon.
Growing up, I was the girl who “played well” with the boys. I never could quite get the hang of the hand-eye coordination thing when I was younger. I took up running after being a complete failure at playing basketball (and way too short). My running career took me to district competitions and state track meets from my freshman year to my senior years in high school. In college, I overcame my hand eye coordination difficulties to play rugby. I really could catch a ball if I kept my eyes open while the ball was coming at my face! I never really stopped running, but thought my competitive days were over.
My swimming-biking-running coworker invited me to watch her race in Boerne, Texas at the Y100 Boerne Triathlon. I was told this race was different than traditional triathlons since the run was second instead of last. The order didn’t matter much then. Heck, I was still trying to figure out how to do all three sports one after the other. When the race was done I thought, “I can do that. I know I can do that.”
And, as the old cliché goes, “the rest is history.”