It’s a common question I get asked by other Spoonies that I talk to, “Why triathlons?”. While it seems like a simple question to answer, it’s actually very complex on many different layers of life. One thing is for sure, combining three sports into one has changed my life. From the start of a training period to crossing a finish line, my body and mind never feel better.
While I always thought triathlons were something I wanted to do, while I was sick I never thought it would be possible. It was a far off dream when I couldn’t even get out of bed on my own and had a visiting nurse service packing wounds for me. But after everything I’ve been through during my journey with chronic illnesses, I did think how cool it would be to cross a finish line after swimming, cycling, and running.
I also had a few close friends who were fairly serious triathletes that got me into the sport. The first friend was Dana Humbert who was extremely competitive in her age group and sponsored. The second was Sally Freedman who completed a full Ironman shorty after a brain aneurysm almost took her life. And then Louis Bonasso who has completed multiple full Ironman races and became my pseudo coach. Together they motivated me to trihard as soon as I was healthy enough.
What I learned very quickly about triathlons is the community is INCREDIBLY SUPPORTIVE. From the start of my training was able to lean on the three above and others who helped me become stronger at all three disciplines. At ever race there are people who understand I’m doing this with a chronic illness, and want to help to see me reach my goals. Every single person whether is be a volunteer, spectator, or even other athletes are supportive of one another crossing that finish line by the end of the day. It’s something that you experience and get addicted to quickly.
Another reason who triathlons have been so good, is because it keeps my body and mind focused on so many things (and this distracts me sometimes from my illnesses). Every day I have something I need to be doing in order to be in the right physical condition and mindset to take on the challenge ahead. This has also allowed me to implement a structure in my life that my mind and body are used to. The routines I put in place have now become natural habits (most of the time at least haha) that I follow and they all improve my life in some way.
I can go on and on about how this sport and fitness plan has changed my life. I went from bedridden to an Ironman in 5 years. Something I never thought could be done.
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