Day 4: Giving Thanks for Fitness
I have always struggled with my weight and body image. I’ve spent fifty years longing to be a “thin person” and decades trying all the latest and greatest diets to force my body into submission. But, all that accomplished was making me miserable, and packing on more fat. The truth is that God gave me big bones, sturdy thighs, curvy hips, and plump Danish genes. So, after five decades of fighting my body I’ve finally decided to stop worrying about the scale, and just focus on loving my body and being as fit and healthy as I can. Basically, I try to eat more healthy foods. I drink more water than anything else. And, I move a lot more.
My fitness activity of choice is running. Because I love to run. I also enjoy riding my bicycle, and hiking all the mountain trails. I don’t consider myself an “athlete” at all. I am not built for speed or competition. But, I am built for endurance! I like to push myself to see if I can go just a little farther and be just a little better. I also really like signing up for fitness events, like road and trail races.
Three years ago Mr. Mo and I made a goal to complete one race event per month. It’s become our fun shared hobby. Having a race goal motivates us to get out of bed in the morning and do our training runs. As of today, I’ve already completed twelve events this year:
- One 5K race
- Six 10K races
- Three Half Marathons
- one Full Marathon (my first!), and drumroll… adding another first to my list…
- one Triathlon!
The 13th Annual Weber State University Turkey Tri
It’s true. Today I tried my very first ever “Tri” [as in Triathlon]. This event combines three sporting events into one. Running 🏃Biking 🚲 and Swimming🏊. I know, it sounds pretty crazy. I never thought I would ever attempt something like this. First of all, because I can’t swim very well (my ultimate fear is drowning). And second, because the whole idea of doing a triathlon sounds way too hard. But, I’ve always been curious what it would be like. So, when my brother texted me 5 days ago (yes, just 5 days ago) and sweet talked me into doing this with him, he didn’t have to twist my arm very hard. [I also had no idea what I was getting myself into!]
Here is a recap of the event. All of the photos of my epic adventure shared here were taken by my sweet husband Mr. Mo, who willingly stood outside in the cold rain, and followed my progress to capture these images for me. (That’s true love, folks).
My brother Matthew always convinces me to do crazy adventures with him! I love my brother. He’s a very fun guy (with a very fun mustache). Here we are posing with our race numbers written on our arms (this is a triathlon thing. They also write the numbers on the back of your leg)
Normally, a triathlon goes in the order of swim, bike, run. But this event was called a “reverse” Tri so we started with the run, then bike and swim. It was also called a “Sprint” Tri which means shorter distances than a full triathlon.
We started with a 5K run. The rain ALSO started with us (it was not supposed to rain until AFTER the event). And it was so cold! Brrrrr!
We transitioned from the run into a 10K Bike ride which consisted of 2 really steep uphill sections that we had to circle around and conquer TWICE, plus some really steep downhill sections which utterly terrified me… especially when it started to pour rain and my tires were flying and squealing and throwing cold water all over me.
We discovered this morning I had a broken brake pad on my mountain bike, so I was using a borrowed road bike (thanks to my niece June!) which was great to be able to have as a backup, but completely unfamiliar to me. The LED speed limit sign on campus clocked me going 36 mph as I flew down one wet hill during this race! All I could think of was “If I hit a pothole or the brakes go out I AM GOING TO DIE!!!!!
Luckily I didn’t die, but unluckily I had to finish the bike circuit going back uphill again! Plain Cruelty! And Guess Who got the honor of the final cyclist police escort? Yup, that would be me.
The final challenge was a 300 yrd swim in the pool. This means swimming 6 lanes two times each.
The advantage of being last place was getting to have the whole pool to myself..and LOTS of people cheering for me to keep going!
The swim portion of a triathlon has always been the part that’s scared me away from ever doing one. Because I’m a terrible swimmer. I seriously cannot execute any kind of swim technique correctly. Ironically, it turned out that the Biking portion of the tri was actually my hardest challenge. The swim was kind of fun and relaxing. When I felt tired in the pool, I just flipped over to a “backstroke” and kept moving.
Best part? I didn’t drown.
Bonus: I finished!!
Despite taking Very Last Place in the entire race, I still won Second Place in my age division!! Whoohoo! hahaha – I guess not very many “older” women wanted to attempt this. So, I actually got to stand on the winners podium! And they gave me a nice prize! The woman in my age division who took 1st place even gave me a big hug and congratulated me. How sweet was that!?
I also have this shiny new [first time ever] Triathlon Medal to hang on my wall!
A big shout out to my baby brother who took FIRST PLACE in his division!
All things considered, I’d say this was a pretty awesome way to start a day!
Today I tried something new that was really scary and challenging. All humans should do more of that. I’m continually discovering every time I leave my comfort zone that I can do more than I think I can. Living a life of “fitness” is going to be different for everybody. There are no “rules” of what or how you have to do it. But, I highly recommend getting out there, and DOING it! – MoSop