When I first signed up for the Ontario Women’s Triathlon Series in May it was an homage to my own personal promise to learn/try something new every year, and to my personal quest to continuously challenge myself either physically or mentally (and in this case – both). The experience exceeded my expectations, not because I met my time goal, nor because I had crazy fun, but because I witnessed a camaraderie and drive in a group of women that I have rarely seen.
Over 300 women registered for today’s Milton duathlon/triathlon events organized by a volunteer organization of female athletes who wanted to create an “environment where women and girls would feel excited, and welcome, to participate in the sport of triathlon”, and wow do they ever accomplish that. Today I swam/rode/ran alongside seasoned athletes, seniors (60+), overweight women, pregnant women (6 months), 14 year-old beginners, women recovering from illness/injury, and one woman who had just learned how to swim. I was overwhelmed by the excitement all these women had, not only to try (and complete) these events, but the excitement with which they supported everyone around them. It didn’t feel like an individual endeavour, it felt like a group accomplishment.
My experience today was a testament to the fact that anyone can do anything they put their mind to, and that excuses (too busy, not ready, etc.,) are just another way of saying “I don’t really want to try”. This was my very first triathlon, but it definitely won’t be my last. I feel so extremely lucky and privileged to enjoy the physical and mental health that I have, and as long as I continue to be so blessed I will continue to honour my body by feeding it what it really needs and enjoys.