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Ten Years Of Tri

Today exactly ten years ago I did my first triathlon. It was the Naperville Women's triathlon, and I had gotten to it because the coach of the stroke clinic I was attending gave me that flier. I told him I couldn't run and he told me "then you walk". I thought - no....later maybe and eventually decided to do it. Martin insisted in me not using my Holland bike so we got a simple but fully functional road bike.

The race was a blast - swim whle they added Navy Seals as swimming buddies for the more anxious ladies, the bike course was over much too fast and on the run I ran but walked on the uphills. And I finished - a brand new person - a triathlete.

This is where I come from: always somewhat overweight as a kid, I still remember the scene with the school doc telling his secretary to jot down "rundlich" (somewhat round) in her notes - concerning my body shape. The whole class was watching. I usually got bad grades in PE, the only better one was because I could swim 25m in butterfly.

Later, around my high school diploma time I had this eating disorder-ish thing - eating very very little, controlling by scale, and then bingeing some other day. I joged vigorously every day, but by circulation was down - I got dizzy a lot.

Later exploding by shape again, in the try to get out of this - which on the long term worked - I was able to give up "control". More or less.

But at this time I would never ever have imagined that I would do endurance racing of any kind. What's the fun here. Sport is no fun. So I thought.

Then we moved to the US, and the local YMCA had kiddy care and a couple of cool courses to attend. I did regular swimming, including some classes (had to defend that my kids had to take classes - so I did some myself...) They had some survivor challenges, as in - who can wall-sit longest etc. The second one I participated, I won.

And then we went watching Martin's colleague at the Chicago Marathon course. Wow! The step up to start competitive sports is not very high in the US.  So eventually I started also to run 5k races (Martin had started a bit earlier) and I started to get frustrated that he always ran faster. Well, silly. Men usually do. Still...

And then the coach gave me that leaflet leading to my first tri. What I was most impressed was the atmosphere. Really supportive cheering. No unfair racing here. Pausing the award ceremony for the last finisher. Really, I got hooked and got slightly disappointed that due to our planned vacation, I couldn't do another one right away.

In the meantime I have increased frequency and length of the races, and now I am doing this for the tenth year. I wanted to celebrate more this year, but my backbone and sacroiliac joint weren't happy with this idea. Yet, I'm on my way to Iron number seven, and besides of sometimes I do enjoy training as much as racing. 

In the meantime, I also give something back to the sports, being coach, race official and bilingual blogger. 

In the meantime, Martin also found his way to Duathlon (no swimming for him) and it is such a beautiful hobby to do together.

Ten years and a long way. And as many more years planned as I am getting for it.