Do you know what my favorite time of year is? I'll tell you.... it's Tri Season hands down. Over the years I've helped over a 150 women cross the finish line of their first triathlon and I have to tell you that I get weepy just thinking about them and their accomplishment. You see I'm not just excited about getting to do open water swims (which are my FAVORITE) or going for bike rides with a group of amazing women or even going for jogs in the park. It's the absolute privilege of watching the most courageous women on the planet face their fears head on and triumph. THAT is why I love tri season so much.
These women are the epitome of bravery. They are scared and I mean SCARED because they know they can't really do a triathlon and that they will die during some portion - usually the swim, but they show up week after week for training. Then they show up at the start line on race day even though they know they're going to fail. Funny thing is though that they don't fail, not one of them ever has. You see I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they won't fail. I don't just know I KNOW that they won't fail. I picture what they'll look like when they cross the finish line. I can see their joy, their pride, their sense of accomplishment and I hold that image of them through all the training. From the very beginning to the very end. I KNOW because I've already held them in a bear hug at the finish line and cried tears of joy with them.
You may be reading this and saying to yourself "Yea that's great but I'm _______ " fill in the blank with whatever your reason is that's stopping you. The women that I've seen cross the finish line of triathlons range from very, very young (I swam with a 15 year old cancer survivor one year) to not as young (80+) from very fit athletes to women who were over 100 lbs over weight. These women have included cancer survivors as well as those who are fighting cancer and women who are healthy. So whatever your excuse there has been a woman who has crossed the finish line who was just like you.
It really doesn't matter what swim stroke you use, what type of bike you have or if you walk the 'run' portion and it doesn't even matter how long it takes you. All that does matter is crossing that finish line. Sally Edwards says that the woman who starts the race isn't the woman who finishes the race and boy is she right! Another saying of hers which is my favorite is "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
Some people argue for their limitations and some people argue for their abilities - what type of person are you? Don't you deserve to feel the strength and power that comes from meeting a physical challenge head on? Women are a whole lot stronger than they give themselves credit for and we as women owe it to each other to lift each other up and see each other as God sees us. We are miracles, each and every one of us.
It's important that we all have someone in our lives that believes in us as fiercely as I believe in my triathletes. One of the gifts that God blessed me with is the ability to believe in you and your abilities so completely that all I can see is your success. I wish that I could somehow bottle the magic of tri season because it truly is magical. To watch a person move from a place of fear and doubt to a place of excitement and accomplishment is pretty heady stuff. The most glorious part for me is that I get to do this every year! I get to watch this incredible transformation each year over a brief 8 week period. It is incredible. It is a privilege and an honor to be a small part of these women's lives and watch them fly when all they thought they could do is plod along.
When was the last time that you truly stepped out of your comfort zone and stretched yourself farther than you ever thought you could? What's stopping you? I think that everyone should do a triathlon at least once in their lives just to be able to say you did. The changes that I've seen in the women who've crossed the finish line of a triathlon have been profound. The term quiet strength comes to mind. Knowing in your heart of hearts that you are a triathlete goes a long, long way and probably even further than you think.
I am including links to 2 different all womens triathlons in Seattle:
Trek is September 19th 2010 registration is open now.
The Danskin is August 15th 2010 registration opens 9 AM on March 9th 2010
Check the Wuhoo Fitness website for information about the 2010 triathlon training season.
Here's to your Health, Wellness and Fitness!
Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness