Upon completing the Chicago Triathlon (Olympic Distance) for the second time, I was searching the internet for upcoming races that I could do that would keep me motivated to continue exercising so I could lose weight. I am 5 foot 2 and 193 pounds. My family has a history of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and now that I am in my mid-thirties, the reality that I am well on my way to keeping with this deadly family tradition, I am trying everything I can to stop this unhealthy cycle. So, while searching the internet, I discovered that the was on a Saturday which is pretty much the only day that I can participate in races since I work on Sundays. Occasionally I will take off a Sunday to do a race, but I can’t do it very often, so I knew I had to do this race. In the past two years since beginning to participate in triathlons, bike races and 5ks I discovered that participating in races held me accountable and motivated me to keep exercising. Crossing the finish line continually proved to be most exhilarating and motivating. It meant 1) that I had accomplished yet another goal 2) I finished something I started 3) that I could do just about anything. This is the motivation I needed because I also love to eat. Ooops, I forgot to mention that food addiction is also deep in my family history. So there it was the HITS Training Program contest through the Austin Chronicle. I submitted my name and a brief explanation about why I would like to participate in the race and about a month and a half later upon returning home from a short vacation, I received and email from Ms. Emily Glass, PR Specialist from HITS Endurance, announcing that I had been selected to race and train for the Spring HITS Duathlon in Austin, Texas. I could not believe it. In fact, I had completely forgotten that I had even entered the contest. This simply confirmed that my journey to becoming healthy and fit was on and I needed to stay the course!
Literally about fifteen minutes after learning about this gift, I get a phone call from my trainer, Mr. Mark H. Wilson. Keep in mind that it was only two years ago that I trained for and participated in my first triathlon without any personal training at all. I was doing it because my sister had asked and as author and speaker Luci Swindoll once said, “nobody told me I couldn’t.” I was completely out of my league, but I did finish! Now here I am talking to a famed endurance coach, highly-accomplished runner, triathlete and coach with more than 30 years of experience. I’m almost felt apologetic because I am not exactly sure if they expected someone like me to be a part of such a race: overweight, unconfident, limited experience, light years away from being a professional athlete (even in my dreams). I mean I don’t even own a pair of padded biker shorts, for goodness sake, and I am pretty sure if I had shoe clips for my bike (which I don’t right now), I would be completely unable to detach them at the end of my ride and I would have a theatrical “humpty dumpty had a great fall” moment. Mark quickly erases all my fears and is an amazing encourager. We go over my training schedule for the week, I hang up the phone, and I cannot wipe the smile off my face. I know that seems a little weird, but I am totally stoked about this opportunity. “Believe God Can Do Anything” was the name of event that I had just returned home from and that is exactly what I was going to do. I do believe that God can do anything and he will see me through this training and this race and will be right there to watch me cross the finish line. My hope will be that He sees me cross that line with a personal record!