adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘siblings’

guest post: Mary Jo’s Tri Story

Hello confessional fans!  Here’s my very first guest post by my little sister, Mary Jo.  She told me the story of her first “tri” in a while, and I made her share it with you all.  While her experience was funny, I just want to say that I am VERY PROUD of her for “tri-ing” her best and doing a great job! 

After the first of the year I decided to set some goals for myself throughout the year,  including 3 triathlons this season and running the Sawtooth Relay.  That being said, I have developed a steady, but not rigorous weekly fitness regimen. I run 2 days a week, spin 2 days a week and go to boot camp 2 days a week; however I have not trained swimming-wise for these events.

This first sprint tri of the season is not exactly a “real” triathlon, since the swim is the night before in the pool at the YMCA.  Nonetheless, I wanted to jump in and see what I could do.  I have not swam laps since last June, but I managed to do pretty well based on years of excessive swimming as child.

I felt good about the swim and went home to get ready for the next morning.  I thought that I had it all down–shoes, bikes shoes, bike tuned, water bottle, wicking layer., etc.  The next morning it was raining/snowing, so I left at the latest I possibly could so as not to stand outside for a long time before the race.  As I walked to the registration table and start line, I realize the “etc.” I spoke of earlier was my helmet. I didn’t have it.  There was no one that could bring me one in time before the race started since I had waited so long.  I approached the YMCA head lady at the registration table, who seemed pretty stressed out. (Sidenote: same head lady from a St Patty’s 10K Race 2 weeks prior, still stressed- thinking it may not be the right profession for her…)

I walked up and said, “I sure you get this all the time, but I forgot my helmet.”  She looked up at me, and responded in deadpan, “No, we don’t actually.”  Me: “Well I forgot my helmet, so you can help me find one or I am going to ride without a helmet?”

Out of nowhere this extremely energetic man jumped over to the registration table and yells, “YOU HAVE TO WEAR A HELMET, YOU CAN’T NOT WEAR A HELMET, WAIT HERE! I WILL GET YOU A HELMET!”

He hopped like a monkey onto, yes I am not kidding, a short yellow school bus…he hopped off the bus, put a kayaking helmet on the table and yelled, “JUST WEAR THIS!” and bounded away.

It was not lost on me that I was about to wear a kayaking helmet that came from a short bus.  For a triathlon.  But then I went to put it on, and it was too small.  And it had a canvas bill.  Awesome.

Trying to rise above the situation, I tried to focus on the race but it was cold.  The only other warm layer I had is a puffy vest. I didn’t care, so I put on and walked up to the start line.

As I mentioned, we were all pretty great swimmers growing up so I had a good time for my swim split and had to move myself toward the front of the start line.  I found myself among all these “real” athletes, because obviously having the best gear and looking good constitutes being a “real athlete”.  I started to trot up to the front line with my small kayaking helmet and puffy vest, finding it hard to get through the crowd to where I needed to be.  I kept trying to get through, saying “excuse me, excuse me” and being met with friction. It dawned on me that I might be being stereotyped for my outfit?? All these people with their matching triathlon unisuits and $5000 aerodynamic helmets could not imagine that this short bus helmet-wearing, bike cop-looking Oompa Loompa was going to start before them.

I finally forged my way to the front, ignoring the “What is she doing?” snickers from the crowd.  My name was called and I began my race ahead of the “real” athletes.  They can all suck it as far as I am concerned.  Although they pretty much all smoked me within in the first mile of the bike, I will always be faster than them in the swim.

Race Summary:
It is the little victories that count sometimes.  Being able to embrace who you are with laughter and adapt to the challenges that come your way is the best strategy.

I do have photographic evidence of this event; however, I do love my sister and would like to continue having a relationship with her, so I will leave it out.  All I have to say is: Bib 281.  Check it out. 😉

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