How Do You Measure Success?
by Amy H.
When I made the decision to lose weight I naturally thought I would measure my success on what the scale told me. For a while I was very happy using that tool as a measurement of success. I was doing pretty well and I had lost 75 pounds. I focused on eating right and getting more active. I completed my first 5K in 58 minutes, mainly by walking. The activity thing was becoming fun. I did a few more 5Ks. I completed the Naperville 2011 Turkey Trot in just under 45 minutes; how cool was that?
By this time I had re-found my love for riding and was in the pool twice a week with my sister as she rehabbed her back from surgery. A friend of mine asked if I were training for a triathlon. I naturally laughed and said, “NO WAY!!! Who are you kidding? I could NEVER in a million years do a triathlon.” Funny how one question could set you down a path you never really thought possible. I signed up for an Indoor Sprint Triathlon at the local Park District. I had a total blast and was hooked. Only problem was that I knew I wanted to get better but had no idea how to really swim. Those 10 minutes in the pool were the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The rehab work in the pool with my sister consisted more of social time using the kick board than ever actually swimming a stroke, my treadmill was more walking than jogging, but still I had the time of my life. I found Experience Triathlon and sent an email to the inbox explaining my recent attempt at the indoor tri and knowing that this was something I wanted to do but had no idea how to get there. I met Coach Suzy in December and knew instantly I was going to love this next adventure.
A new year and a new way to measure success. I am still working at losing weight but as anyone who has battled weight loss knows, at times the scale is not kind. The scale is moving oh so slowly these days but why do I still feel like a success?
The other day I completed a recovery run with instructions to keep it light and easy, no more than zone 2. I actually find it funny that I even know what zone 2 means. I started out and was just enjoying the nice evening air. I did my run like Coach Suzy had planned for me – it was nothing extraordinary. That is, until I completed it. 45 minutes with no real hard effort, and then I looked down at the GPS tracker on my phone and saw 3.24 miles. “No way!” was the first thought in my mind. Then, it hit me that this was better than my best 5K time. I also remembered back to that first 5K that took me a little over 58 minutes, where I was working really hard, was sore and very tired for a couple of days after. Now, here I am after six short months of working with Coach Suzy and the ET Team doing a little more than 5K as a recovery run. A recovery run, really? And in less than 45 minutes. How surreal. I know that this measure of success is not only mine because I would not have gotten here without help! Thanks, Coach Suzy and ET Team. This is just another small step in my journey to become a triathlete. Now if I could just get that pesky swimming thing down.