Why I Want to Become a Triathlete

Hearing each person’s name get called out and seeing them cross the finish line at Victoria’s Half Ironman struck an emotional chord. I didn’t even know these people, but knowing what it took for them to be there and what they have faced in life made me proud to see them succeed and achieve their goal.

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Growing up, I was part of every sports team in school. I enjoyed playing in the water and would stay out for hours, I biked almost every day in the summer and I remember always attempting to run as fast as I could back home from my best friend’s house. I looked forward to gym class every day because it was a time to challenge myself, improve my strength and socialize with my classmates. There was also the competitive side of sports that drew me to participate. Not only did I want to win and represent my school, I also wanted to show people that it was possible to be better than your yesterday self with a bit of practice and confidence. I never doubted myself when competing against an opponent and when I lost, I would analyze my play, give myself a pep talk and try again.

Once high school was over, so was my active lifestyle. University rolled around and my focus turned to my studies and relationships. And once I was out in the real world, exercise was portrayed as something you needed to fit into your schedule to be healthy.

Exercise for me was never about losing weight or being fit, it was about having fun and challenging myself mentally and physically. When I began to be surrounded by people complaining about the need to exercise, feeling guilty for skipping a workout and wishing they didn’t have to exercise, the kid inside me that loved it all was silenced and I began to mimic their actions and language. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t living up to my full potential.

Since moving to Vancouver, I’ve been exposed to a new way of living. A little bit of rain never stops anyone from going out for a run, finishing work at 4:30pm means clocking out at 4:30pm, hiking mountains is something you do before or after work, Friday nights are low key so you can wake up bright and earlier for an outdoor adventure, and exercise is not a need but a want. Being a city girl, I had some adjusting to do. Practicing mindfulness allowed me to recognize that my thoughts and actions were not aligned with my true self and I needed to adapt. 

This past summer, I've watched several triathlons and every time I witnessed people crossing the finish line, I had this strong desire to be part of it. Regardless of the fact that I can't swim one pool lap without getting tired and often getting a cramp within 15 minutes of running, I've set a goal to complete my first triathlon this upcoming summer.

The simple desire of wanting something is enough to begin.

If you ever have the desire, even the smallest inclination, of doing something, I say "GO FOR IT". Don't know how or have the stacks laid against you? Try anyway. You would be surprised what you are capable of. Think of your young self, or a child in your life, would you tell them to quit before they even got started?

I have this clear memory of my young self trying out for all the sports team and never really doubting my ability to make the team. Cocky? No. Confident? Yes. If you don't believe in yourself, you're limiting your ability to succeed. 

As I begin my journey to becoming a triathlete, I will hold on to that memory and give it my all.

 

7 Reasons Why I Want to Become a Triathlete

  1. Get outside my comfort zone - simply writing "why I want to become a triathlete" makes me uncomfortable. The term triathlete in my mind holds high value and with my lack of fitness experience, I start to doubt my ability. It's time for me and the term to get better acquainted. 
  2. Challenge myself mentally and physically 
  3. Learn about myself - I will learn how to swim and rediscover my love for running. I will learn what works for my body, the best nutrition and what fuels me. The journey will be a blissful one, I can feel it.  
  4. Be part of a community - meeting new people is something I always strive for escpeially now being in a new city. Exchanging stories and sharing an interest with others strengthens our mental health and relationships.  
  5. Fuel my happiness and passion for fitness - When I play sports or ride my bike, I am in my element. It allows me to clear my head and stay creative. 
  6. Build my nutrition brand - I'm currently studying to become a nutritionist and my interest lies in fitness nutrition. During my journey, I will learn and experience effective ways to boost my energy and fuel my body appropriately. 
  7. See what the fuss is all about - there are so many people who've told me "once you do your first triathlon, you won't want to stop." There must be something exhilarating about it, and I want to experience it.  

Have you participated in a triathlon or marathon or any competitive sport? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions when it comes to nutrition, personal development and training.