Wednesday, March 5, 2008


As I was sitting on the edge of the tub shaving my legs - double workouts tomorrow, can't be looking hairy - and a bazillion thoughts running through my head (this is a usual process for me) I stop at one thought: Why am I doing all this?

It all boils down to this: It's never to late to be what you might have been.

I developed a sense of athleticism my freshman year in high school. I ended up with a collegiate scholarship to a private college to play basketball. Always wanting to be better and better, I never worked beyond "my" best. I know that might not make sense to you, but I knew in my heart what I needed to do, but my brain didn't quite implement the fact that it had to follow. So, I was never more than "my" best - the result of the efforts of what I was doling out at the time.

I ended up quitting the team after two years and have regretted it ever since. I didn't take the opportunity I had to prove to myself that I could do what it is I had in my heart to do.

I laid low for many years with that "athlete" still lurking in my midst. I played volleyball, pick-up basketball, did some biking - actually quite a bit of biking and a few other things, like running, but never quite got the nerve to attempt to excel again for fear that I would let myself down.

This fear led to waiting. So, I waited. Waited for what I'm not sure. I think I thought just one day out of the blue, I would all of a sudden be this great athlete that I had always wanted to be. I then went stagnant. For 5 years I did nothing but walk. Then frustration set in. I had two kiddos in tow in addition to a few pounds. All I could do was work, parent and walk. I walked because I was frustrated that I couldn't do anything else. I was frustrated it was difficult for me to spend the time necessary to be an endurance athlete.

Then one day I took a spin class. I walked out of the spin room, sweaty from head to toe wondering what it was that just happened. Unbelievable. I really wasn't sure what I just did or if I really wanted to go back. But, I went back. I went back because it was the drive and the intensity of this phenomenal force that was waiting to be revived in my soul. All it took was one crank of the fly wheel.

Soon, all I was doing was spinning. I loved the intensity of each workout. So much so that now all I wanted to do was be an instructor. So, I became a spinning certified instructor. I spun and spun and spun for 3 years, then one day I decided to run again. No more walking. I was going to run and spin.

Fabufantistico! The urge was back to be that athlete.

Early last summer, on a whim - where the whim came from I don't have a clue - but I competed in a mountain-bike event. I had just come off of running the 1/2 marathon and of course I was still spinning and I had a new road bike that I started to rack up the miles with, so I thought what the heck. I had nothing to lose, but a little pride, but at 39 I was mature enough to handle it.

All geared up we pre-rode the course. Nothing but a riot. Race time came and my game plan was to just finish. I hung back, not knowing what to expect, nor wanting to hold anybody back in the event I was super slow. So here I am, oblivious to what happened next. The gun blew and we were off. Being the competitor that I am, I cranked my pedals as hard as I could go, but I had placed myself so far back, I had a lot of people to pass before entering the single-track area. To make a long story short, I took 2nd. IF, I had started the race with no fears, I have no doubt I would've took 1st. Needless to say I made that my challenge.

I did several MTB races last summer and respectively took 1st and 2nd. I loved the thrill of the ride, the challenge of the track and found in me, a piece of an athlete I always wanted to become.

The frustration, the walks, the spinning and the race all have led me to where I am right now in my journey of being "that athlete". Like I stated above, it's never to late to be what you might have been. I'm here and it's not too late and I strive to be.

I am now in the leg of my journey to "tri to be".

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