Six Aurora BayCare Medical Center employees have embarked on a wellness challenge that will change their lives forever! Over the last six months, these people were coached, trained and transformed into triathlon-level athletes through the Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine Live Fit program.
Well, the race is over. How do I feel about this entire experience? Awesome.
There is no way I could have completed this triathlon without the help and guidance along the way. Would I recommend this experience to anyone? Yes, absolutely, however the strength ultimately comes from within. The drive to get up and run or bike or swim or cross train must be found deep within oneself, especially on those days where you are just really not feeling like doing anything. It became a matter of when I was going to train, not if. If was out of the question once I was chose to become one of the lucky six, I was chosen for a reason and I was not going to let anyone, including myself, down.
How was the race itself? A distorted version of fun. The swim was tough, the cold water just took my breath away, now add 50 or so people around you kicking, splashing, and I even got pulled back by someone. Somehow I also found myself on the inside, closest to the dock, not where I had planned to be. There was some kind of weird current that wanted to pull me right under the dock, but I fought it and managed to stay ‘legal’. Good thing Junius had us swim around in the water before the race to get use to it, and we practiced swimming all at once at the Y to prepare us for the amount of people we would be around.
The bike was good, minimal wind, great for a race day. I did however look down at the bracelet Junius gave us, every now and then when I thought about ‘well maybe I can just take a break here’ and it kept me pushing right along. My bracelet said role model, the whole reason I started this, to be a better role model to my family. It was frustrating to get passed, I believe the Olympic triathletes met up with us again, and they sounded like cars moving through, they can really book it on those bikes!!
Then the run. When I started this journey, the running was what I was most afraid of. I kept thinking back to the high school running around the track for that mile, it hurt, and was exhausting, ick, why would anybody do that for fun? The first mile or so took a bit to find my pace, and my legs after biking. Again, Junius shows up with words of encouragement to keep us going. All was well for the next 1.5 miles, and then I saw the sign that told me the end was near….it said 2.5 miles. So I smiled thinking the end is near, and picked up the pace a bit (not much for I averaged a little over 9min/mile) and started down the home stretch. Turns out, that was the longest .6 miles ever. I was struggling watching people come and go, and around every bend the finish line didn’t seem any closer.
Then Junius appears on the final climb to the finish line, and my most frustrating part. Junius wanted me to pick up the pace, finish strong, and of course, take a good picture. This is when those words “I can’t” came out of my mouth. As soon as they came out I felt like I let myself and Junius down. I have not uttered those words up to that point, I have always tried. I truly felt as though I had nothing left to give, but saying “I can’t” was the most frustrating part of the whole race. Then I finished, on my feet, the end of 6 months worth of training done. I can honestly say I did my best, and that was my goal for this race.
What next? I have signed up for more races, and hopefully this will keep me motivated. I realize I have to train for them, and I will. Out of this experience I have realized that working out doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym everyday alone. It can be a group effort, and new ‘workout buddies’ along the way definitely help encourage each other. This is not the end of the training, it’s the “what next” part.
I think we should have a yearly 6 pack reunion at the Green Bay Tri….thoughts?
Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine’s expertswill put you on top of your game. To start your customized training program, contact us at 920-288-5400.