I move because… It’s my favourite part of the day.
When asked to share my #imovebecause story I thought, hmm what do I write about? I move because it’s my favourite part of the day. Exercise and triathlon training has become a habit and part of my lifestyle, no matter how long or hard the planned session is, it’s something I look forward to and get excited about as opposed to a chore.
But it wasn't always this way, once upon a time, not very long ago I wasn’t a triathlete. In fact, I spent about 26 years of my life avoiding running, I hadn't ridden a bike in about 10 years and although I could swim, I rarely did unless it was to a swim up pool bar on holidays. I knew I should exercise as I was gaining weight, but I was unfit, too busy, it was too hot, too hard and just wasn’t really a priority.
A little while after finishing uni I was feeling restless and not content, I was stuck in a cycle of eat, sleep, work, repeat and realised there really must be something more to life. Around the same time I saw an advertisement for the Bali International Triathlon. I couldn't run 1km and didn't own a bike, but the 750m swim, 20km ride and 5km run seemed achievable and sounded like fun, albeit would take some training. So with a fitness base of zero I started jogging, swimming laps of the local pool, bought a bike and began riding to work. My results of that first race weren't fabulous, but I had the best time and was hooked on tri.
Fast forward three years and I have now completed in a bunch of races including 4 Ironman triathlons (swim 3.8km, cycle 180km, run 42.2km) in 3 different countries and have a bucket list a mile long of more races and goals I plan to tick off. I am definitely not the fastest out there, but I am proof that anything is possible. Just because you’re “not a runner” right now, doesn't mean you will never be one.
To say that triathlon has changed my life would be an understatement, in so many ways it has enriched my life, it has given me purpose, increased my health and fitness, allowed me to travel and introduced me to a world of likeminded and wonderful people. I love every aspect of triathlon and just hope more people can experience all that it can offer.
I won't lie, it’s not always fun and games, there are a lot of long, hard training sessions involved and getting out of a warm bed on a cold morning can be a struggle. But when you know your friend will be waiting on her bike at the traffic lights to meet you at 5.30am, you get up. Then you’re riding along with your friends, the wind in your hair, the world at your feet, witnessing first light appear on the horizon and with a huge grin on your face you know you made the right decision waking up early… This is living the dream.
If you're considering trying a sport, whether it be triathlon or something else I urge you to give it a go. You will feel nervous, overwhelmed, excited and then thrilled. Crossing the finish line on your first triathlon is an experience you will never forget.
Depending on your fitness level, it might not be easy to start with, you will probably think of excuses why you can’t do it and there will be times when it seems all too hard and you want to quit. But my best advice would be to stick with it, trust the journey and enjoy the process.
If you’re interested in finding out more about different activities you could try or are looking for some inspiration to get active – “follow” us on Facebook or watch the Join the Movement Campaign Video here.