Several months ago the Chapel Hill Magazine invited me to share my personal story and Race Smart for the November issue spotlighting Extraordinary Women. Wow, what an honor to be invited alongside truly remarkable women! My guidelines were simple; share why I train/race. The November magazine just hit the stands and my page was titled, The Fitness Fanatic. I guess that pretty much sums it up! Read below for more detail.
“Since the day I learned to walk, I’ve been on the move. I was born with a body that needs and wants to be in motion. Although I was an avid tennis player growing up, my adult relationship with endurance sports began when a friend asked me to join her in the Disney marathon in 1998. Eight years and 25 marathons later, I decided to try my hand at triathlon. This October, in Kona, marks my fifth full Ironman. Training makes me feel alive, healthy, and joyful. Through training, I’ve made lifelong friends. The experiences we share can’t be replicated over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
You learn a lot about yourself during century rides and long runs week in and week out. You learn that can you do what you think you can’t and how to overcome weaknesses. I’ve learned to be patient with my body and not to rush the miles but let them come to me. I’ve learned not to worry about things that are out of my control (like the weather!) and that, by shifting my perspective, any situation can be a positive one. For example, this weekend, I had a 6-hour ride and 30 min run (a “brick” in triathlete speak). It was rainy, the roads were a mess, I was tired—there were a hundred reasons to complain. But complaining about something that you have the privilege to do won’t get you very far in life. I chose to see the bright side—at least I wouldn’t get sunburned! There’s so much to learn along the journey to the finish line, and even when times get tough, I’ve learned to remember it will pass, and to be grateful for the people and experiences that bring me through every time. It’s taken me years to get to this point, but I wouldn’t trade those years for the world”.
What Years of Endurance Training Have Taught Me
- You are almost always doing better than you think you are.
- You have the power to choose how you view a situation—glass half-full or half-empty.
- You have to slow down to speed up.
- Let the miles come to you. Don’t rush life.
- Don’t fight the wind or inclines, learn to work with them.
- Make friends even with your competition. They really help make you better in the end.
- Smile even when you don’t feel like it. It almost always improves the situation.
- If you have the physical ability to exercise, never, ever complain about doing it.
- Don’t spend energy worrying about what you cannot control.
- Always say thank you, and don’t take those who help you out for granted.
- Never let fear hold you back from something you really want to do.
- Count your blessings. Things could always be worse
- Don’t envy someone else’s achievements. There is plenty of success to go around.
- Never compare yourself to another. You have no idea what their story is. Focus on yourself.
- Find joy in the journey, not the finish line. There is more to learn from the journey, thus more to gain.
- Treat your body with the respect it deserves.
- When times get tough, know it will pass and learn to problem solve how to make things better in the moment.
- Your mind is a powerful thing. Learn to control your thoughts.
- You learn more from losing than winning.
- Be happy in the moment, for this moment is your life.