Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Team RaceAthlete

Thank goodness it is the off season. I actually had time to complete my Team RaceAthlete application. What a great opportunity they are providing. I can't wait to see how it goes. What a great idea!

OK here it is....let me know what you think.

It all started about 4 years ago. My daughter was 2, and I was having trouble adjusting to motherhood and the sacrifices it takes – I was making too many and not doing anything for myself. A friend was starting all-women, all-mom triathlon team. Hmmmm…. sounded interesting. But, technically I was "severely obese." This would not be easy. I had been walking 3 miles daily, even running some of it, in an effort to get the weight off, but it wasn't working. It wasn’t just baby fat. I’d been obese since I was 5, and over the prior 25 years I’d tried everything to gain control over my weight, with mixed results. After 3 weeks of pondering whether I could really complete a sprint triathlon, I was in. It was difficult being the fattest person at each workout, but at least I was surrounded by moms and they were supportive.

After I finished my first race, I knew I was hooked. I took a year off to have another child and here I am, 2 years later with another 2 year old, about to take on the biggest challenge of my life -- training for Eagleman Ironman 70.3.

As we all know, life is about balance and priorities. And sometimes you just have to find a way to make something happen if it is your dream. I guess that is why they always say, signing up is the hardest part. Now, I've made the commitment.

And when you have a dream, excuses seem to melt away -- none being able to stand hard and fast as a dream-stopper. Not money. Not time. And definitely not the remaining 65 pounds of extra weight I still carry around.

Can you justify spending $3,500 a year on triathlons? It would be easy to spend that much. But when $3,500 is your year's salary of working -- Saturdays and Sundays before or after workouts and you've got a family to help support, it just isn't possible.

So, what do you do? You share a bike with your husband (and socks, and shorts, and arm warmers...need I go on?) You barter your services as a team leader on a women's triathlon team, so you can afford to have a pool to swim in and a team to train with. And, you pick and choose your races. Sometimes, just volunteering and watching your teammates and the triathlon virgins cross the finish line is enough to fuel your race need.

And when the kids scream, "Mama, don't go! Don't leave!" when you accidentally wake them up on your way out the door to a 6 a.m. workout, you walk out that door anyway, because you remember this isn't just for you. This is for them too. You are setting an example.

You know, teachers always talk about how important it is to inspire a love of reading and a love of books in your children, but they never talk about the importance of inspiring a love of exercise or participating in a sport you love, which can be equally important. You know it is worth all the sacrifice when they want to go running with you. Or they want to participate in a kid’s marathon. Or, it might just be the way your 2 year-old stomps around the house, getting louder and louder screaming “swim, bike, run… swim, bike run! SWIM, BIKE RUN!" that makes it all worth while.

Or, you might realize it when you have just finished one of your best races and your 5-year-old asks, "Mama, did you win?" And you kinda' sorta' have to answer, "Yes!"


carmen said...


i love your honesty here

been there done that feel you

you have made some amazing accomplishments this year

have i mentioned how i teared up a little when i found out you registered for the whole eagleman race (f the aquabike--you can do it)

amen to the $$$ part

isnt hearing your kids think youre winning what its all about

god bless you for those early mornings

and this will be a long one
when i started running in january 2004 i couldnt run one mile but i finished the marathon that november in what is still my personal best time even though ive run a couple more
and i trained almost every step of the way by myself bc i didnt want to "slow anyone else down" or whatever and in the process i lost weight but then i gained it back and had to work through both things--weight loss and running time--all over again
the main impetus behind my decision to start was reading dick traums autobiography and thinking omg if a guy with no legs can run whats my excuse
and i still watch this old man in my neighborhood walk every day with something obviously wrong with his skinny underdeveloped legs
and i thank god every day that i am blessed with working body parts
and i may not do much but damn it im going to do something
i was second to last in my age group in the race i did on sunday
and most trigirls who participated were also last or close to it in their age groups but omg we were a few pwople out of about fewer than a hundered who even attempted the race and sometimes thats what its about
other times its about how much we improve ourselves
all i can say for myself is that three years ago i couldnt run one mile and since then i have finished three soon to be four marathons
seven sprint triathlons
an olympic distance tri
five half marathons
eight ten ks
six five ks
and a whole hell of a lot of other training
i look better i feel better and i act better
and if thats not a fabulous three years i don know what is
point being too
what are we comparing ourselves with
i would rather be the fattest or the slowest or the dumbest in a group of awesome people
then the thinnest fastest smartest in a group of people who arent challenging
bc with the exception of thinniest
ive gone that route too
take for example sandman
i finished in a lower percentage than in the shady grove tris but omg look at the competition
i am so proud to be a member of a supportive group of accompished women where we all learn from each other as well as teach each other

thank god for the trigirls
you rock

be proud of your accomplishments and stay driven in your goals

carmen leah hamlin

triDanny said...

Good for you!

You took the step, you are trying to get a break. Keep doing that and it will come to you.