Why Tri? Ever since I saw my very first tri on TV many, many years ago where someone crawled across the finish line, I've been interested but never had the courage to enter one. And then came Team in Training. I had trained for my first 13.1 in 2012 (Arizona Distance Classic) and completed it when they said they were going to be doing a triathlon in San Diego. I had no idea the distance, but I was in since my first experience with TNT was so positive. I figured if nothing else, I would raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and finish a triathlon and if I embarrassed myself, I would be out of state and no one I knew would see. I was hooked. I finished my first Olympic distance tri in September 2012. That's why I started.
Why I keep doing them is they have pushed me outside my comfort zone. Everyone knows I play volleyball. On a volleyball court, I will not think twice about kicking you when you are down. My competitive nature on the court has actually gotten me uninvited to some teams because I'm "too competitive." Of course, being competitive and willing to push myself usually beyond my physical ability and wanting so desperately to get stronger, faster, leaner, etc., when most women my age (I will be 57 next week) are hanging up their shoes, did garner an invite for the USA 55s team that will be going to Brazil for the World Masters Volleyball Championships. It is not a sure thing but the invite was extended, and I said yes. Waiting to see if I make the final cut.
I continue to do triathlon because, I say, I'm fighting old age and gravity every step of the way. I have found something that forces me to step outside my comfort zone and push beyond my limits. And I think that is so very important as we age. It's too easy to say, "I'm too old; I can't do that," or any other such nonsense. Life is short...very short, and I realized that in 2013 when three very good friends of mine all died of different causes at different times throughout the year. It was then that I vowed to continue pushing myself as long as I enjoyed what I was doing because we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and my bucket list is very long so I need to get on it. Doing triathlons keeps me focused on keeping myself in somewhat halfway good physical condition. In addition training for triathlons is making my volleyball game so much better than what it was even five years ago.
What drives me? The fear of failure, old age, and never wanting to disappoint my friends and family members drive me. Trying to prove myself, to my parents (although my father is gone), when they told me I'd really never amount to much in sports so why keep trying. Throw down a dare or challenge, and I'm all in.
Why TTG? I was invited by Carolyn Audilet and Christina Wakley-Marble. I met them on the Trail of the Mountain Spirits, 3-day ride in New Mexico after Skip, Christina’s husband, had drafted off me for quite some time the first day. He apparently reported back to Christina and the invitation was extended to join TTG. I thought if I was going to continue doing this crazy sport that I better get myself with a group so I could learn from those with more experience. The support, positive nature of everyone, encouragement, and friendships were much more than I thought I would be getting when I first joined.
2016 has numerous lofty goals, races, tournaments, meets, and I plan to continue to get better every day. 2016 is a qualifying year for the National Senior Games in 2017 and while I may not be able to compete in everything at the national level that I qualify in, I'm going to try to qualify in as many events as possible so I have choices for 2017. Not only does 2017 bring the National Senior Games but there is also the World Master Games in Auckland, New Zealand, that I would like to be in top physical condition so I can compete there as well, having already been asked to go on two different volleyball teams. I would like to compete in the triathlon in NZ and some swimming events and bring home some hardware.