Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Just a Decision You Make

I feel like a lot of people think that I am about to do something incredible, something amazing, something they could never do.  True, a very small percentage of people actually do triathlons, and even fewer attempt to do an Ironman, but I really think most people could do it.  It just takes one decision.  If you decide you are going to do something, you can do it. 

I'll tell you a little bit about how I got here, so you can see that you can do this too!

One and a half years ago my cousin Sarah called me up and told me she had joined Team in Training and was planning on doing a triathlon in California and I should come watch her. I had never really thought about triathlons before in my life.  I mean I think I knew you swam, biked, and ran, but seeing as I am very accident prone (hit by a bike twice, by a car once, and crashed my car once) I thought riding a bike would be very dangerous, plus running 3 miles was a huge chore...who could imagine doing more?

So I went down to Wildflower, held at Lake San Antonio, to watch her do a Half Ironman (70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running in one day).  I was absolutely amazed by her.  For those of you who don't know, Wildflower is an extremely hard course, with incredibly difficult hills on the bike and the run.  But she did it.  I remember not being able to understand how she could have done it...it just seemed so impossible.  But she told me she did what Team in Training told her to do, and she did a great job.

My Inspiration: Sarah

I thought, well I could never do a Half Ironman, but maybe I could do an Olympic distance triathlon, and after having so much fun down at Wildflower camping all weekend with my cousin and seeing the sea of purple participants compete each day, I resolved to join the next year.

So I started training for my first triathlon with Team in Training, using a borrowed hybrid bike that I was terrified of.  But each day I did what the schedule said to do and I never felt like I was ever given anything that was too difficult for me.  At first it seemed quite easy, and by the time we were doing longer runs and bike rides, they didn't seem long at all.

By the end of the Spring Season I had completed an Olympic triathlon (.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.1 mile run),  and I wanted to do more.  I was still really intimidated by a Half Ironman.  I mean there is a huge difference in the bike and run.  A Half is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run.  I had just done my first triathlon, but that distance still seemed impossible.

But when the season began I met a bunch of wonderful women who had all signed up to do the Half Ironman, Nic, Stephanie, and Margo had never even done a triathlon before and they weren't scared of doing a Half.  So I made the decision that I was going to do it too.  It might be hard, and I was scared it might be painful as well, but once that decision was made there was no turning back.

I have never regretted making the decision to join Team in Training, in fact I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Good things just continue to happen, I keep meeting wonderful people. I keep experiencing the incredible generosity of all of my friends and family, and I have learned that if I really want to do something, I need to make the decision to do it, and everything else follows from there.

I can't wait for Ironman training to start!!!!!

Nic, Margo, and Me

Steph and Me


  1. Emily - You are SIMPLY AMAZING! I'm super excited to see you go to the next level. Go IronLady Emily!!!

  2. Awe!!! Ur sweet!! Can't wait to start training again. :-) xoxox

  3. You made the right decision Emily! It's ON!!

  4. Emily - You are truly the amazing and inspirational one. When you put your mind to something we all know you are going to perform with flying colors. I love you, and although I won't be able to be there on the day, I will be cheering you on from NY! GO EM!

    Love, Sarah