By Colleen Zagar
When the email from SWERVE came out announcing their first triathlon club in April 2016, I was a bit giddy. Completing a triathlon has always been a bucket list item of mine but it was honestly labeled under the items that I would probably never accomplish.
This club would be just the outlet I would need to learn about triathlons, help me train, and give me a support group.
As great as it sounded, the initial email sat in my inbox for weeks. My inner voice said that triathlons were for incredibly fit people, for those who score the top spots in SWERVE, for those who actually own a bike and ride it outside in their free time, for those who had swam laps in a pool before, for those who run marathons for fun, for truly STRONG people - not me.
After attending the info session with Skyler, I knew this was something I REALLY wanted to do (even if I couldn't fully admit it to myself at the time). I decided to shut off the inner voice and go for it.
Looking back I would have missed out on SO much if I didn't say yes to this incredible opportunity.
Don't get me wrong, the training was TOUGH. Read: early morning workouts, breathless laps in the pool, heavy legs during runs, panic swims in the Jersey bay, runs in the heat, sprints on the west side, soreness all over, and broken swim caps.
But it was also incredible. Read: dizzy bat transition workouts, post SWERVE parfaits and smoothies, playground workouts, summer street runs, pre/post race food and drinks, stronger body, stronger mind, a sense of fulfillment and making the most out of your day, tri team shout outs during SWERVE classes, and (this is the best one): so many amazing (incredible, inspiring, strong, funny, down to earth, energetic, kind) new friends.
I had the pleasure of training with, racing with, and celebrating with some of the most inspiring people. Everyone worked so hard in training and no matter their crazy schedules (between work, kids, commuting, and life in general) they made the time and commitment to themselves and to the triathlons.
They pushed me in training and even now make me want to stay committed to this fit life. This group also proved to be so supportive throughout the summer.
It was comforting to have people who were new to the sport who shared the same fears, anxieties, doubts, and feelings as myself.
From the little things like having someone to complain to about the brick workouts or to discuss post training food consumptions with, to the bigger things like WTF do I do with the three stickers they give out on race day and where the heck does Body Glide go?!?
Having the support group and, in the end, one awesome group to celebrate with, made this tri club so worth it for me.
Come race day, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when I crossed my first ever triathlon finish line (all of the hard work DID pay off!), but my biggest accomplishment was facing this goal head on and attacking the months of training.
I walked away from the summer with finisher medals, but the true prize was finding that I AM the type of person who could finish a triathlon - the only thing I really needed was the will and determination to really go all in.
Want to learn more about this year's SWERVE Tri Club? Check it out here.