From Aerobics Classes to Ironman at Age 49
I can’t describe the emotions I felt when I heard those words as I crossed the finish line of Ironman Coeur d’ Alene at age 49.
Just a few years earlier, if someone would have told me I would be doing that, I would have laughed and rolled my eyes. At that time in my life I hadn’t exercised beyond a few aerobics classes in 20 years. So what got me from that point to completing an Ironman?: an amazing group of women!
Why I run isn’t because I woke up one day and said I want to run. It was a healing process for me. After a divorce, I had the support of a good friend and my sister who talked me into training for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I basically did the training for the camaraderie of the running group. It got me up and out. Those early runs allowed me to feel a sense of accomplishment when a lot in my life felt wrong, and they gave me a group of positive people to spend time with. They made me feel like I was moving forward in a positive way.
From those early runs, I learned to love to run because I recognized that I always felt better about life about 10 minutes in. There really is a connection between physical activity, being outside and feeling good.
I love running and triathlon because you can set a goal, make a plan, and if you follow it, accomplish more than you ever thought you could. It’s not about competition. It is about accomplishing a personal goal.
But even knowing all of this, I know I wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have without the support of a great group of women! What gets me out the door to a lot of my workouts is knowing I am going to be sharing my life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) with great friends who are always there for a laugh, some advice and a hug when I need it.
Running and triathlon, and the friends those things have brought me have definitely changed my life!