Thanks again! :)
I am a relatively ordinary, Midwestern girl, who leads a wonderful yet not atypical life. I am blessed with an amazingly supportive and loving family, loyal and genuine friends, a career that challenges and inspires me, and a five-month old son that I love more than I can explain.
And somehow along the way, I became an endurance athlete.
It was a dare to myself, actually. I questioned the direction I was headed in several aspects of my life. So I did something a teensy bit scary…I signed up for something called a “sprint triathlon.” I was a novice in every sense of the word, and that’s what made it exciting. And that nervous curiosity made me push myself harder and harder.
(I really, really like to push myself.)
Before I knew it, I crossed the finish line.
I didn’t realize that all I’d see would be an endless sea of starting lines before me.
That triathlon showed me there was something inside of me that I don’t think I fully understood or appreciated until that moment on that humid summer day. It gave me a new and quiet confidence.
If I can do this, what else can I do?
That finish line led me to go after a prestigious scholarship for graduate school, where I earned not only full tuition and immeasurable experience, but high honors. It led me to sign up for my first marathon, and cross that finish line only to dare myself to start another one. It led me to Ironman Wisconsin in 2006, where I had the privilege of meeting so many amazing people I am honored to call my friends.
That finish line inspired me to help others find their starting lines. I became active in my area’s triathlon club and made wonderful friendships. I led several open water swims for new triathletes and eventually got the privilege of serving on the Board of our club, where I currently hold the position of Secretary. It showed me, as it has showed so many, that the best part of training and racing are those friendships you make along the way. The miles, hardware, and the PRs may come and go, but a three-hour ride on hills in the pouring rain with a good friend is something that you just can’t quantify.
That finish line illustrated to me the power of using a starting line for change. I dedicated my Ironman race to raise money to fight Lymphoma, a disease which took my Great Aunt. I continue to be inspired—truly, deeply inspired—by my friends who race for a purpose greater than themselves. Not solely for a goal or a time, but for improving and changing lives.
This sport has power. It welcomes all; it embraces all. It asks you to look within yourself and make what you see even stronger. It asks you to make a difference to yourself, and often to the world around you.
And this…this is why I’m an endurance athlete.
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