I might be a repeat Weight Watcher, the kind of person that tries new diets and is always looking to help reach new nutrition goals, but for me, fitness has always been a thing. Since I was a kid taking aerobics classes with my mom, I’ve enjoyed working out, sweating and dancing. Later, I came to love weight-lifting, running, biking, and sometimes, yoga.
((It’s hard for me to chill with yoga, but I know I need it!))
So a couple of years ago, when we moved to an area without a gym nearby, it was sort of depressing. I’d always belonged to a gym of some sort. I discovered a local women’s triathlon group and last year, I decided to check them out. I wasn’t planning on actually doing a triathlon, but I wanted to meet women I could run with, ride my bike with – not swim with.
After the club’s annual kick-off meeting, though, I came out thinking… yes, I can do a triathlon! I got this! They had organized swim practices so I didn’t need to worry about joining an expensive gym, planned workouts throughout the week and supportive women along the way.
I trained for all three activities – swimming, biking and running – and I did it. I finished a sprint tri in 1:21. Not super fast, but it was challenging and it felt great.
I actually won the Athena division! I’ve never placed in anything!
But the friendships I forged were the best part of it. I connected with women who meet a couple of days a week at 5 am to run. We share a lot of conversation, laughs and challenges. I am so grateful to these women for helping me get out of the door when it’s cold and I would rather be in bed. It’s much more fun working out with other people!
So here I am, preparing for my second sprint triathlon. I have no real desire right now to do more than a sprint distance – the combination of activities is still a challenge for me – but I look forward to improving my time and my strength along the way.
And as for the gym part? I discovered that I really missed the weight training, so I have been working on setting up a home gym in my basement. We have this great, unfinished space that is a perfect size for my elliptical, bike trainer, bench, mats and weights. Getting back to a focus on strength and performance has been so great.
So I am working on things. I’m focusing on better nutrition with portion control and a healthy balance of protein/carbs/fats. I am not weighing myself. I am watching myself. I am working out every day. I am lifting weights and feeling stronger.