My Aunt is my hero for many reasons, one of which is her love of being active. She is 20 years older than I am and committed to keeping on the move. One way she does it is to enter a local triathlon in Denver, the Tri for the Cure. She's done it a couple times, and asked if my daughter and I would like to sign up with her this year. My daughter of course jumped at the chance, and I guess I did too, but for different reasons.
I've been thinking about this a lot, and really the reason my non-running, never-been-on-a-swim-team self said yes is: I am not ready to give up taking on a challenge as a chance to grow. There is a big part of me that really just wants to lay down and sleep, a lot. Surely I have learned all I need to know to get by in life by now. But there is also a big part of me saying, "Get off your ass, girl, and show 'em what you got."
I know I will never be someone who lives on 100% clean food and kelp smoothies, or someone who works out for hours every day. Triathletes of the world need not worry that I will threaten their PB times. Despite my best efforts, you will never look at me and think, "athlete." But I knew what I lacked in speed I could make up in endurance and the capability to buy cool new gear :-)
My prep was no where near as aggressive as it probably needed to be, but the looming date did motivate me to do "something" whenever I could. It motivated me to take an open water swim clinic with people who looked like former Olympians and other things well outside my comfort zone.
The coolest part of the Tri for the Cure is that it is a 100% women event. Every participant along the race course yelled "Get it Girl" or something similar as I huffed and puffed my way past. It was incredibly well organized and as soon as the race started I was comfortable that I was swimming/riding/running where I was supposed to.
Am I going to do it again? I think so. I met my primary goal - I finished before the race organizers packed up and went home - but there is plenty of room for improvement.
(Smiling because we had all finished, but also because we were going home to take showers, naps, and treat ourselves to Dairy Queen after dinner :-))