I’ve always been a bit fearless. Even as a child, I was willing to explore the unknown, even if it frightened me. I love a thrill, and more importantly, I love the feeling of confidence that comes from trying something new. I try to push myself to give my best in all of my endeavors. It’s never been enough to do something halfway, and I’ve always believed that anything is possible.
The summer between my sophomore and junior year in college I saw a commercial on The Wide World of Sports for the Ironman Championship. This was in 1998. I made a commitment to the sport at that moment. I didn’t think it was humanly possible that a human being could do 140.6 miles. Yet, there they were, hundreds of people finishing this race. I knew if they could do it, I could too, and I wanted to feel superhuman. After several setbacks in my personal life and career, it wasn’t until 2005 that I actually competed in my first Sprint (the shortest distance race) triathlon. I was immediately hooked. The adrenaline rush is definitely addictive, but my favorite part of racing is the feeling of empowerment it gives me. It’s also the easiest way for me to silence my inner thoughts, and be completely in the zone. This is very peaceful and brings me a lot of joy.
My self-esteem has benefited the most from my involvement in this sport. From clocking in excess of 40mph on the bike, to swimming in lakes with unknown creatures, to training in extremely hot conditions, the dangers of the sport never stop me from wanting to do it. It requires a certain amount of toughness, commitment and focus that is not always associated with femininity. Yet, one of the most liberating aspects of triathlon is that there is more equality between men and women than in a lot of other sports. Although I haven’t completed an Ironman yet, I have finished and placed in a Half-Ironman-distance race. I’ve done exceptionally well in the sport, despite having minimal experience in any of the three disciplines. I usually place in the top three of my age-group, and I am currently training to earn my license as a professional triathlete.
From having twins at a very young age, to struggling with career choices, financial setbacks and divorce, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. My love for my sport has kept my head on straight, and given me strength when I thought I had none left. Extreme Sports is not for everyone, but in my life, it has been an infinite source of positivity and fortitude.