Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How I ended up doing a triathalon

Before I can write about how I got involved with doing the triathalon with Team in Training, I have to mention how I got involved with Team in Training in the first place. I joined my very first event with TNT in 2010. Jen, my childhood girlfriend (since the 5th grade) had never been to DC and we were planning a roadtrip in mid-April 2010. In late March, I got a mysterious message from her that she couldn't make it because she was "sick". I thought that was unusual to back out because of illness; I mean would you let a cold lead you to cancel your flight? Two days later, she wrote to me (she was too scared to call me because she said she would burst into tears) and said that she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She was somewhat positive because there was a 95% chance of survival. I, of course, freaked out and said "What about the other 5%?!?!"

Feeling helpless, I checked the mail and received a flyer to join a team for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. I hemmed and hawed at it until I had dinner the next night. I met with friends for dinner and one of them, Julie, and I, got along extremely well. She ended up driving me home that night and she started talking to me about her daughter, Ryan Marie. Ryan Marie had passed away from Leukemia when she was 3 years old. This year, she would've been 8 years old.

So I went to the info session, had my fears qualmed by a woman named Dania, and thought it was extremely coincidental that I would know one person who was diagnosed with Lymphoma and another who passed away from Leukemia. So I signed up.

Subsequently, I did two more events with the marathon team and would always look at the triathalon team and think, "there is NO way I'm doing a triathalon"...until last year.

My cousin sends me a message last April, telling me that she had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. What are the chances that I would know 3 people with a blood cancer? Anyway, she was terrified of going to chemo and I don't know what happened, but I started saying that I would do something, in honor of her, that terrified me. So of course, silly me, I said I would do a triathalon. I would do an event for each of my honored teammates and indirectly go through a scary journey (not comparable to cancer but its something, right?) "with them".

Let me tell you, I wanted to give up the first week we started. The first time I swam at the rec center, I couldn't make it to the other end of the pool. (Apparently, dog paddling doesn't count). My first bike ride, I was out of breath after 15 minutes. I have the sad commuter bike that I bike with my running shoes...I'm too intimidated to get those crazy clip in shoes. It took me 45 minutes to figure out how to use my bike rack. I have a sensitivity to chlorine. I was tired all time and regretting not having a social life anymore.

But the reason I didn't give up was always different. One week, when I'm feeling down, Julie would facebook me. Another week, Jender (5th grade friend) would call me to visit. My cousin's sister (also my cousin) would send me a donation. I would swim 500 meters. I would do my first brick. My mentor Ali would talk me out of it. I would read a touching story from our Mission Mentor (those emails really work for somebody like me, who always wants to give up) and each thing would come at a time where I was ready to send TNT an email that I wanted to quit. I mean, isn't raising money enough?

Well, now its too late. I gave up Diet Coke. I gave up alcohol. I gave up fried food. (until the triathalon anyway). I've lost almost 30 pounds since January, I can bike 100 minutes and then run for 20 minutes afterward. I swam a mile for the first time ever today. I ran a half marathon 2 weeks ago and improved my time by 15 minutes. I can kick my boyfriend's ass on the bike and on a run, even though his legs are twice as long as mine. (He can't even keep up anymore!)

So anyway, I am hardly an athlete and I'm still overweight but I feel if I could finish this damned race, I can do almost anything.

I feel I should write a better ending to this post, but I can't think of anything cool. Blargh.

How about: well, if you want to support me, please donate to my cause. I am almost 80% there!

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