For anyone who has watched me over the years… my struggles with my weight have been well documented and up and down. Let’s face it, I am right there on TV for everyone to see and yes, the camera does add ten pounds! I have really appreciated the viewers who have e-mailed or called recently saying you look great! Some have even asked "you’re not sick are you?" Right now I am in a healthy place, right around 215 lbs. At 41 I can say I am in the best shape of my life and I know I have more I can achieve. I have been at this weight for about a year and half after pushing 250 in December of 2009. There is one simple truth I have discovered when it comes to getting and staying in shape. You have to kick your own behind a few times a week and watch what you eat. It’s as simple as that. You also have to find a way to do that butt kicking that you find challenging and fun. Call me crazy but I have recently found myself hooked on the growing sport of triathlon.
Never in my life would I have imagined myself swimming, biking, and running in the same day, let alone in a race of any kind. It’s funny how I got to this place in my life. The short of it is I injured my foot running on the treadmill at the gym in my push to drop 35 pounds. With my foot hurting I pulled my old mountain bike out, dusted it off last summer and began riding to and from the gym for my cardio work outs. In the fall with the weather getting miserable to ride in, and my foot still not ready to run on I finally accepted the long standing challenge (they called it an invitation) from my friends at Swimmac and I got in the pool for my cardio work outs. I have found that trying new things has been a real key to me keeping the weight off while allowing myself to feel challenged. Before I knew it there were days that I was running and swimming, or swimming and biking along with some weight training and I began to think that perhaps this triathlon thing might be possible but I didn’t have the first clue where to start.
I turned to some trusted friends who had run triathlons in the past and decided I was going to do it. My first race was the Azalea sprint triathlon in Wilmington back in March. Everyone gave me great advice. My friend Dan loaned me a road bicycle for the race. My friend Justin was game to run the race with me. My friend and new triathlete herself, Beth and Justin did some training with me and shared what they learned in their triathlon experiences with me about how to transition from the swim to the bike and the bike to the run. I had a great experience. I had fun. I felt proud of myself. My finishing time was a minute and six seconds faster than my goal time. Perhaps a better indicator of success in my mind is only one guy older than me passed me, and only one girl passed me. Seriously though, I learned a lot of things by simply doing the race. I learned that winning in many ways is simply finishing the race and doing your best. I learned if I had thought my transitions through a little more I could have easily been a minute faster.
The day after the race I have to admit I was a little depressed. I had trained for a couple of months for this one day and now it was over. Once I turned my thoughts to another race I began to feel better and excitement returned to my work outs. I’ll take that as evidence that I’m hooked. Don’t get me wrong I’m still a terrible swimmer and I’m not a real fan of running but I have fallen in love with biking. The challenge of another race has me excited.
This time around I have decided I wanted to share the experience with our viewers as a series of stories and blogs. I have also decided to turn to some people who know a lot more about triathlons than I do. The folks at TrySports were the people who got me back running when my foot was injured and the foot doctor wanted to cut on me. I wasn’t really down with that idea. A good education on orthotics and the purchase of good running shoes did the trick and I’m convinced these people know their stuff. I’ll be sharing the things I learn and my training experiences here in my blogs and on Newschannel 36 with stories leading up to my next race the Jetton Park sprint triathlon in Cornelius on Saturday May 8th. I invite you to come out and join me! There are still over 100 spots left in the race. If you’re not sure you are up to it, then I invite you to follow along and experience the race through my experiences. I have come believe as my friends at TrySports say, if you believe you can achieve. Trust me if I can do it, anyone can.
Blog you soon!