"Seeing the progression of some of our repeat participants is in itself my own reward"
Shortly after my third and youngest daughter was born, I saw a picture of myself and was not happy with the way that I looked. When stepping on the scales it was then that I realised that I had ballooned up to 16 stone. My only form of exercise was a football match once a week, this told me I had to change as I exhausted after every match.
I decided to change my ways, but there was a tiny little voice in my head that would continue to tell me not to try because I would give up before long and I wouldn’t keep it up. To silence the voice in my head, I decided to take up running. I started running 3 days a week, I would only run around 2k a day - but it was a start.
Within a month and a half, I had completed my 5k. I had to stop throughout but I was proud that I managed to achieve it.
Shortly after, my best friend and I were discussing fitness challenges and the topic of a triathlon came up.. I had never ridden a bike recreationally, so when myself and my best friend saw that the East Essex Triathlon Club were holding a GO TRI taster triathlon, we enthusiastically signed up.
As a reward to myself for keeping up with my training, I joined the club on New Year’s Day. Club Chair, Richard Fuller asked whether there would be anyone interested in helping to cover some dates for forthcoming GO TRI’s that he was now no longer able to manage.
Remembering how much the GO TRI had done for me in the previous year and the idea that I could help to encourage others to dip into the wonderful world of multisport, I immediately jumped at the chance to help cover those dates.
I shadowed Richard on the first GO TRI Event and successfully ran the following five. We had fantastic support from all the volunteers in our club throughout all the events, which was great.
I have since taken over as our club’s organiser of GO TRI Events and have also been given the confidence to run our local Parkrun. Seeing the progression of some of our repeat participants is in itself my own reward, as well as seeing people go on to complete sprint distance races like myself. Sometimes we forget that we started somewhere and GO TRI is that fantastic first step.
Since I completed my first GO TRI event, I have gone on to complete 2 aquathlons, 2 duathlons and 11 triathlons which have all been sprint distance. My times have dropped dramatically which is really encouraging.
Next year, I plan to move on to standard distance triathlons and even tackle longer distances too. With the help and support of my club, East Essex Tri Club, I know this will be possible. If I looked back 18 months ago, I would have never believed that this was something that I would have achieved. I would have immediately dismissed it as a pipe dream or an impossibility and I feel and look great since taking it all up.
Without that first GO TRI event, I wonder if I would have ever had the courage to take on that first sprint triathlon which has sent me down the triathlon path, so I am very grateful to GO TRI.
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