In 2016, I decided that I was done. I was tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. It was time for a change. So I started working out, running on the treadmill, paying attention to nutrition and joined a local challenge. I lost 30 lbs. My weight loss made it possible to detect a tumor in my breast. It was cancer. I was told that I was not allowed to work out while I was healing from surgery, and shockingly realized that I missed the gym! I liked to workout (whaaaat?!).
The same year as my cancer diagnosis, my mother was diagnosed with ALS. This horrific disease leaves its victims paralyzed and eventually unable to eat or breathe because of the muscle loss. As my mom got worse, I felt an immense urge to do something to help her but I lived far from her and the disease has no cure. What could I do? My mom enjoyed being active, but she could no longer do the things she enjoyed. She motivated me to start training for this new crazy goal in 2019. . . complete a triathlon.
What does this really do for mom? Well, not a lot, but it pushes me. When the going gets tough in the water (because I could barely stay afloat when I started), when the hill is really steep (because I’m training on my daughter’s mountain bike) or when I just don’t feel like it (because life), I remember my mom and pray for her. This kept Mom in my mind and my faith at the forefront of my thoughts.
Mom died on March 25th, 2019, my 39th birthday. My very first triathlon, which was dedicated to my mom, took place June 22nd. She was not able to watch my first race. However, my entire team was there, along with my family and friends. The amount of support I had on that day was incredible! I have never felt so loved. My next race is the Tri for the Cure. I will run this race for myself. It represents all of the reasons I continue this journey called triathlon.
I continue because it proves to myself that my body quits when I tell it to quit, which is awesome. I continue because I want my daughter to see her mom set goals and crush them. I do it because I sleep better when I move my body. I do it because cancer sucks; fighting it will always be in the back of my mind. I keep doing it because my team, Colorado Wild Women, is made of incredible women who won’t let me stop. I do it to inspire people, to show them that no matter how old you are or how fit you are, new goals can start today and you CAN do it! I tri because I am grateful for this body I have been given. I want to see what else it can do. I do it because the mind game is real and requires conquering. I do it because I have overcome fear. I now have the confidence to overcome the fears and trials I will cross paths with in the future. And of course…that finish line. . . I’m addicted to the finish line!