by Holly F.

In my life I’ve never thought of myself as an “athlete.”  I was overweight for the first 20 years of my life and then up & down for the next 15.  I dropped out of every sport I ever started and quit anything that posed a challenge to me.  A few years ago I decided enough was enough; I hired a personal trainer and changed my life for good.  My trainer encouraged me to set annual goals for myself.  This year the goal was completing a triathlon.  The week after my 39th birthday I started Coach Joe’s master swim class.  I had a lot of work to do and hired Joe for one-on-one swim coaching.  In less than 6 weeks I was swimming.  I continued with Master Swim but was doing the rest of my triathlon training solo.  I decided it was time to hire a coach (and who better than the man responsible for teaching me to swim in 6 weeks)!

I started training with Coach Joe May 1st, a month and 13 days before my first event.  My goal was to finish in 1 hour 45 minutes.  About a week before the event I was a nervous wreck.  Poor Coach Joe; he had a basket case on his hands!  His advice: relax and enjoy my first triathlon.  He knew I had been following my training regimen to a T and assured me that I was more than prepared!  It took a few days to sink in, but I knew he was right and I was determined to CHILL OUT!

I was in such a good place on race day.  I was only slightly anxious, but more excited than anything.  As my wave approached the start line, Coach Joe came over and gave me a big hug.  He reminded me to stay in the moment, smile at the spectators, say thank you to the volunteers and remember that you only get one first race!  And that is exactly what I did!  I also totally blew my race goal out of the water (pun intended)!

I am hooked for sure! I may never do an ironman, but I am a TRI-ATHLETE and I will NEVER quit when faced with a challenge again.

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