The first time I ever heard the word triathlon was in the Spring of 1985. The Burke High girls swim team gathered at the home of our coach and 1984 Ironman Triathlon World Championship finisher, Jill Garlock. It was then that I got a first-hand glimpse of what an Ironman was about but would never know the depth of what completing an Ironman entailed.
Fast forward 20 years. I am a stay-at-home mom with two beautiful, young girls and a wonderful, supportive husband. I found myself lost in a world of needing to be somewhere but hadn’t figured it out yet. I felt I didn’t quite fit in with the moms who sit around at parks or the play-areas in the malls. I didn’t work full-time so I didn’t fit into the ‘professional’ world I was so accustomed to before kids. I needed to be out doing something. Moving around. My
part-time position at Life Time Fitness brought me to where I needed to be. One night at work I overheard a group of young people talking about running marathons and half- marathons. I was thoroughly impressed. How cool would it be to be able to talk like that someday? Oh, but I don’t run.
I eventually ran into an old friend from my Burke High swim team and she mentioned that we should do Life Time’s Indoor Tri. Why not? Little did I know at the time but I would be hooked after my first indoor tri.
In the winter of 2010 I set off on my first indoor tri. I got back in the pool. At first I swam 50 meters, then 200 meters. Could I swim 500 meters? The 500 was considered ‘my race’ in high school. Sure enough, it all came back. Biking and running, on the other hand, took a back seat as my love for swimming kept me in the pool.
Two Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon’s later and I felt I could accomplish anything. I signed up for the Inaugural Omaha Triathlon in July 2010. It was an Olympic Distance event which consisted of a 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run. At the time of signing up I had seven months to get ready. July 2010 rolled around and I felt I was physically ready but still considered a ‘newbie’ on many levels. A flat tire within the first mile of the bike-leg stopped me in my bike shoes but I was still able to finish.
That next year I created my ‘race’ list for the summer of 2011. Three Sprint Triathlons and one Olympic Distance Triathlon were on my list. Other goals included building strength on the bike and the run and finding steady training partners. The Life Time Fitness Run Club and Life Time Fitness Bike Club met and exceeded those two main goals. Intimidating at first but that immediately went away with the overwhelming amount of energy and encouragement in these groups. We were all there to accomplish our own personal goal as well as support one another.
Under the guidance and leadership of Sandy Ziya (aLife Time Fitness Endurance Coach at the time) my life has been transformed both mentally and physically. I now run distances I never thought imagined. I now bike distances and hills I never thought imagined.
What’s in store for me in 2012? Local triathlons, Half Ironman in Miami, and to turn my focus from triathlete to coach and train/watch my seven-year-old compete in the 2012 Life Time Fitness Kids Tri!