It's USA Triathlon's "#triweek" and they challenged the triathlon community to share their stories. Earlier last semester I posted about my fitness journey which you can read about here if you haven't already, I talk about triathlons in that post as well. 

When I first think back on my triathlon experience I automatically go to the first triathlon I did in 2013 (Trizou in Columbia, Missouri). I was only 14 years old, a baby compared to all the 30-40 year old veterans. I knew I could do it, but all of these fears ran through my mind while I was setting up my transition. The moment I jumped into the Mizzou Aquatic Center pool, though, all of my fears went away. I engaged completely in the sport and was ready to race.
Crossing the finish line at my first race
After I crossed the finish line, everything was a blur. I'm going to assume I was exhausted, but also so incredibly proud of myself. 

See, I'm a very hesitant person. When my triathlon coach, Dan, originally talked to me about joining the Tri Club I did everything in my power to avoid him, therefore avoiding giving him an answer. Dan is extremely persistent and before I knew it I was at the O'Fallon YMCA for my first practice. I worked so hard from those early practices in February to get to the point where I could do my first sprint triathlon in May. 

Since my first triathlon I have personally exceeded where I thought I'd be 4 years ago. I've raced Trizou three times and plan to again this next year. I placed 3rd at the Lake St. Louis Triathlon my junior year of high school, 1st at the Alligator Creek Triathlon, and raced at numerous other courses around Missouri. Pictured below, I also did BikeMS with my Grandma Sue and dad my sophomore year of high school which I would have never done without triathlon training.

I talk about triathlons and the triathlon community a lot because it means so much to me. I really can't describe how much it has impacted me over the past 4+ years. When I show up to races I am no longer the youngest girl. Many people are surprised when I tell them I've been doing triathlons since I was 14 and they ask me about my experiences. That's the greatest part about our community, it is so incredibly supportive. You could be in the packet pickup line or setting up your transition and people will always stop, say hi, and listen to your story. 

This #triweek has given me the opportunity to hear even more people's stories. If you want to learn more about the triathlon community I would definitely recommend following USA Triathlon on Facebook, Twitter, or their website.

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