My First Triathlon

My First Triathlon

Amy ET Bataviaby Amy H.

June 9, 2013 has finally arrived.  I have been working toward this day for 1 year and 6 months.  I started this journey the last week of December 2011 with a new friend by my side. I wanted to do triathlons but I really couldn’t swim and I was still mainly walking 5Ks.  I joined Experience Triathlon and Coach Suzy for my first workout on December 28, 2011, a swim workout.  I look back at that first workout and wonder what I was thinking. I couldn’t swim, I could only try to keep myself from drowning in the pool.  Coach Suzy spent the next 9 months breaking down the steps of swimming and teaching me how to swim.  Being something of a perfectionist, I never wanted to move on to the next step until I felt I had mastered the one I was on. Coach Suzy picked up on that trait of mine from the very beginning and we moved at my pace. 

Looking back over the past year and a half, there have been many accomplishments that I never would have thought possible when I started this journey.  My first love has always been riding, but I never would have thought that I could ride over 50 miles in one day, let alone 98 over two days – but that happened in June of 2012.  In September 2012, I completed my first ever multi-sport event, a sprint duathlon, with a wonderful ET teammate who I now consider a great friend (she knows who she is).  In January 2013, I ran my first half marathon, in Miami no less, and a second in May 2013.  I may run slowly but I run more than I walk, something that to this day still amazes me.  I spent a great 5 days in California Wine Country at ET Spring Camp … I still can’t believe that I did a triathlon training camp, yet I still didn’t consider myself an athlete. The part that that shocks me the most: I can swim and I love to swim. I may not be fast but the love of the water is a feeling I never expected.

I am significantly overweight and very slow at all three phases of triathlon. Somehow though, triathlon isn’t about being fast or a great athlete for me, it is about pushing myself to my limits and no one else’s. I love the feeling of consistently amazing myself at what I can do.  I try very hard to set no limits and no expectations.  I just want to enjoy every workout and be amazed at what this body I have can do, not what it can’t.

Today I completed my first triathlon.  Was it perfect?  Some would say no because everything did not go perfectly, but I would say yes.  I did what I wanted.  Following some great advice from Coach Suzy, I stayed present in every leg of the event.

Once I finished the swim, it was on to transition and what happened on the swim was now behind me.  Once on the bike I enjoyed every pedal stroke, even if I did start out in the wrong gear.  Then once back in transition with the bike behind me, it was time to run.  Seeing fellow ET teammates as volunteers on the run course gave me that extra “something” to keep putting one foot in front of the other and finally cross that finish line for the first time.  My ET Batavia Triathlon medal around my neck, I finally feel like an athlete.  It’s a feeling I can’t describe but for any athlete out there I don’t have to.

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  • Drew Repoza

    Congratulations on the first of many triathlons!

  • Amanda

    Congrats Amy! You are awesome!

  • Bill

    What a great message for everyone. Set your goals and figure a way to accomplish them. Great job Amy. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next.

  • Jeff P

    Way to go, Amy! It’s all about the journey, isn’t it? Here to the first of many stories I’m sure we’ll hear about your journey. Congrats!

  • Cathy Obordo

    Wow Amy! You’ve achieved so many milestones and you’ve only been in the sport for a short while….you lead by example and you give so many others inspiration to do the same. Congratulations on your accomplishments and I’m so happy to support you on your next set of goals! 🙂

  • Touch, Move and Inspire!! You are AMAZING Amy! Congrats on your first Tri! Thanks for being part of the ET Family and sharing your journey. LOVE it!!! 🙂 Great job Coach Suzy for helping Amy achieve her goals!

  • Jim R

    Congrats Amy on your first of many more to come Triathlons. Your always present smile whenever I see you is not only infectious it is inspiring to see your dedication to whatever you set your mind to. To see you in transition that day at the ET Batavia Tri was absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to support you on the next big challenge.

  • Susan Gotham

    Amy you always inspire me and push me to do more! I am so proud of you! It was such a pleasure seeing you finish the last little bit of the run of your first triathlon. I truly enjoy being on this journey with you and look forward to sharing more successes together!

  • Sarah F.

    Oh Amy….what a wonderful story you have. You really do inspire so many of us out there with your fierce determination, and your great ability to focus on the gifts you’ve been given. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and a heartfelt congratulations to you on a successful first triathlon—-you and Coach Suzy both deserve the kudos!!

  • Anne

    I’ve been thinking of setting a goal to do a tri and you are definitely an inspiration. Way to go!

  • Amy! Congratulations on how far you’ve come in such a short period of time!!! You are TRULY an inspiration to so many, including me as your Coach!! I look forward to many future successes together…skies the limit!! 🙂

  • TanyaL11

    Amy, you ROCK!! It was great seeing you on the course, you looked fantastic!! Thanks for sharing your story and for being an inspiration in the ET family!!

  • Kathy Fleckenstein

    Congrats Amy! Way to ROCK IT! What an inspiring story! I can relate to alot of what you have done because we are so similar! Good luck this summer in all your future races! Had a great time in Miami with you! Congrats again!

  • Natalie H

    Amy! So happy to read your story. I knew you were going into your first Tri and I was so hoping you would write a blog. What a story. You are an inspiration with your fierce determination. I cannot imagine setting my sights on doing a triathlon without knowing how to swim!

  • Kelli Z

    You are amazing, Amy!! Way to go! There is no doubt you are a triathlete. You have such an awesome attitude… I always want to be around you!