I’ve been teaching Spinning and participating in triathlons since 2004–but I’m far from what you’d call a natural athlete. I didn’t discover the joys of exercise until my late 20’s. Until then, I’d never run more than a mile at a time, had never set foot in a health club, and thought riding a bike in the dark to loud music was utterly ridiculous. When people told me they’d run a marathon, I’d respond, “That’s one thing I can guarantee I’ll never do before I die.” I’ll admit it: in elementary school gym class, I was second to last picked for any team.
Changed happened in 1998. I’d returned from 3+ years in the Peace Corps in West Africa and found that my body wasn’t adapting well to its re-introduction to the American diet. As the numbers on the scale climbed higher, I needed to take action. A personal trainer friend walked me through a simple weight routine in my workplace’s tiny gym and I started hitting the treadmill–alternating half a mile of walking with half a mile of jogging, the most I could muster.
I gradually became addicted, finding room in my budget for a “real” gym membership, trying one of those foolish indoor cycling classes (and getting addicted), then entertaining the idea of attempting a triathlon, even though I had a water phobia and couldn’t swim 25 meters without stopping.
Since 2004 I’ve finished numerous triathlons, including multiple half Ironman races and Ironman Wisconsin, as well as a couple marathons and countless 10 milers, half marathons, and century rides on my bike. I’ve enjoyed the new sense of empowerment and accomplishment these events have given me. A fitness information junkie who’s constantly reading up on the latest intel in exercise science, I’m also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and ITCA Certified Triathlon Coach.
If you have far too much time on your hands you can read about my highs (and lows) as a middle-of-the-pack triathlete here.