Having started recently in 2015, I’m new to the sport of triathlon but I’m not new to chasing big goals and pushing my limits. From the time I can remember, I’ve always loved working hard and I’ve never been one to give up easily. My road to triathlon wasn’t planned, but came as the result of this love for hard work, a passion for staying active, and a few well-timed injuries. Triathlon has now become a way of life and I hope to use it to inspire others to believe in themselves, dream big, and trust there is a life not just worth living, but loving.
During my childhood days in a small town in Iowa, I grew up participating in a variety of local youth sports leagues, junior high, and high school teams. While I was not a standout athlete, I loved trying my best, spending time with my friends, and contributing to something bigger than myself. My favorite sports were softball, basketball, and running track. I also swam for two years on a newly-formed, community swim team during high school. Even though I had to miss all formal swim practices due to my softball schedule, I still showed up to swim at the meets. It was all about staying active and having fun!
After high school, I started running to stay active in college. It was nothing special, but I was committed to a routine of the same distance, same pace, same treadmill, five days a week at my college rec center. It was one of my favorite times of day where I could lose myself in my thoughts and listen only to the rhythm of my feet. Through this and after entering a few 5k’s with friends, I absolutely fell in love with running, training, and racing. I began running more to improve rather than to stay in shape, and after grad school I set a goal to complete a marathon. I started to become more competitive, but I also started to encounter injuries. Having always enjoyed the sports, I began to incorporate biking and swimming more frequently to try to find a temporary replacement for my beloved running when I wasn’t able to do so. I hoped the cross-training would help my running, but I eventually fell in love with biking and swimming too. I didn’t consider competing in triathlon until after I reached out to a local running and triathlon coach. In addition to cross-training, I knew a coach could also help me improve as a runner and, more importantly, thwart the injured list. Being a triathlon specialist, my coach gave me some swim and bike workouts and sooner or later, I figured I might as well put them to good use. I signed up for a local sprint triathlon and haven’t looked back.
I’ve continued to encounter injuries, although fewer and farther between, and have become an expert in coping with the losses they create. Seeing the big picture, practicing gratitude and staying positive, and holding training lightly are skills I'm continuing to develop and ones that carry into daily life on a regular basis. Without any setbacks, I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to practice these skills, so in a way I’m thankful for them. Difficult situations always present a chance to grow and they have become an integral part of my story and I believe are what I owe much of my success.
I'm amazed where the sport of triathlon has taken me. I've made the most incredible and inspiring friends, learned more about myself than I knew possible, and have created a life I love. Thank you joining me on my journey.