I had someone tell me there’s no way I did a triathlon because I’m not “ripped”.

Even when I showed them my pictures, they said I probably walked the whole thing, or got help because I don’t look like the triathletes they’ve seen. I didn’t know there was a “mold” you had to fit in to swim, bike and run.

I finished my first sprint in 1:53- under 2 hours, after only training 1 summer. Why can’t people just be proud of the things you DO accomplish, instead of knocking you down because they don’t think you could have. This is a person outside of the tri community. If there’s one thing I do know, triathletes are a VERY accepting group. No one made me feel like I shouldn’t have been on the course with them back in Tarpon. And although I didn’t finish first (and second to last, honestly), the hard-core pros were there at the finish line, cheering me on, encouraging me, rooting for me, and treating me with respect- no matter what I looked like. Until humanity learns to accept others based on their character, not their body shape, skin color, sexual orientation or disability, we will continue to do each other a great disservice.

I’m thankful for my tri training group, who showed me that it CAN be done. I’m thankful for Lindsey who showed me that you can set your mind to accomplish anything-no matter what limitations people might put on you. I’m thankful for Meghan who I got to share my first tri race with and who stuck by my side through all the hard training. I’m thankful for my family and friends who came out and cheered me on without a drop of embarassment. I’m thankful to all of the triathletes I follow on Facebook and Twitter, for they are the ones that I look to for tips, encouragement and motivation. And I’m thankful for the people who took pictures of me during the race- so that I can show dumbasses like this guy what this body is capable of!

On another note, tri training for the 2011 season is up and running! The group hit Ft. Desoto a few weekends ago to swim, bike and run. Getting into that FREEZING cold Gulf water was a bitch not easy, but once we got moving, conditions improved. We swam for about 1000yds. I did SO well! No panic attacks, great breathing, form and stamina. Probably one of my better swims, considering I had not been in the water since October.

What I lacked on the bike ride, I made up for in the water. The 10 mile stretch made me nervous, so I opted to do 6 miles on the trail instead. I think I’ll need to build up my nerve again to be able to ride on the road- especially later in the day when traffic is at it’s peak. The wind on the way back was horrific! But I was able to finish the ride, and went onto a nice brisk jalk (jog/walk) to finish out training.

In addition to Ft. Desoto, I have also joined a gym to help with some strength training.

Stay tuned to race updates—– a June race looks like a possibility. Hmm, we’ll see!