Team Film “It Girl”//Christy Stiehl
Christy’s journey to a half-ironman and overcoming her fear of water started with a one mile run.
I live my film by challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone. I try to do things I never thought I could by setting goals and then working to achieve them. I’ve found the best payday is when I finally reach my goals. No money, just a payoff that can only be earned by hard work and determination. I set the goal of a half-ironman about 5 years ago. When I turned 38 and my children were more independent, I began doing things for me. I started running. I thought I had moved a mountain when I ran a full mile in 12 minutes. I then set a goal of running a 5K. That goal snowballed to doing another 5k but faster, then a 10K, then a half marathon and finally a full marathon (all done).
Somewhere in the all the running I began biking. My first goal was to participate in Ragbai for 3 days. Being from Iowa, I always had knowledge of the event, and I wanted to participate. Again, I started small in March of 2009, riding a few miles a day. Four months later I completed my goal, 3 days of ragbrai, riding a total of 193 miles. I became obsessed with biking. It is for sure my favorite exercise, and I really enjoy biking alone! I put in my ear buds, listen to some good music, sing and talk to myself (which is really embarrassing when someone passes me because I have to wonder how long they were listening before they went around me).
You Can’t Always Fake It
I naturally set some goals with biking. They included riding a century and completing a full week of Ragbrai (both done). I also decided to do a sprint triathlon, the Kansas Tinman (done). I must mention here that I back stroked the entire 800 meters, which is a horrible strategy. You can’t see out of the back of your head, run people over, and get kicked in the head. But why did I set the goal of a half ironman? I’m not sure why because I am not a swimmer! Somewhere within the first year of running and biking I put it on my list of things to do. Since the swim is my biggest challenge in training, I have hired a coach for some private lessons. The night of my first lesson I sat outside the pool area in tears and considered bailing (truth). I put on my big girl panties, faced my fear and walked through the doors. I always have to laugh when I hear a triathlete say, “Oh I love the swimming and the running, I’m just not a biker.” My response is this:”You can fake the biking and/or running. I can’t fake the swimming. I will be at the bottom of the lake!”
I set a deadline last year for the half ironman goal I made 5 years ago “Before June 1, 2016.” I procrastinated and put it off because of my fear of the water. I am finally making it happen. I am going to live my film by overcoming my fears of the water and accomplish my goal.
Christy is a Team Film member and has been living her film since 2014. We can’t wait to see her complete her goals and live her iron-woman film!