Iron Girl Syracuse is this weekend, and I have 15 of my athletes racing as well as many friends from the area and the Y. Some of these ladies are doing their first triathlon, some are seasoned racers, but all of them have something in common - they have learned, like I have, that triathlon is much more than just sport.
As I ride with these women that just a few months ago were terrified to clip both feet in on their bike, I see strong confident women that are laughing at hills, that end a hard ride with a smile of pride, that look forward to the time on two wheels with the wind blowing at their face and the sun shining down on their backs. I see courage in the women that have fallen and have gotten right back on their bikes despite bruises to both body and ego. I pull into the Y parking lot on a Tuesday or Thursday to 20 minivans and cars with bikes on the back, waiting for their owners to leave their most precious belongings, their kids, in a safe place before they come unwrap their bikes off the rack like a gift that has been given to them.
I see women who literally cried tears of fear at their first open water swim and are now looking forward to getting in the water, wetsuit or not.
These are the women that go run their bricks with a sense of purpose and drive, who ask questions because they want to know how to do everything the best they can. They might not win their age group, or have the most beautiful run stride, but they will race with the joy that comes from knowing that this accomplishment is more than physical.
This accomplishment is about the courage to try something unknown. It is about dedication to keep going even when you don't feel like it. It is about friendships that have been sealed with sweat and sometimes blood and tears too. It is about the inner parts of your heart that reveal who you are. It is about discovering you are more than you thought you were. It is about realizing you are capable of far more than you ever imagined.
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. You are all my inspiration.