Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tri for Triumph: Reasons to Race #10

Reason to Race #10: I’m not getting any younger, and it’s better than plastic surgery!

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The expression grow old gracefully…not for me. Life is fascinating, fun, and surprising in so many ways. I’d like it to last for as long as possible, and I’d like to live it as young as possible. Aside from working with amazing teens and preteens each day, nothing makes me feel more vibrant than fitness. Despite my getting older each day, I feel much younger than I did in my 20s; I attribute this all to fitness. They say the oldest person alive is alive today…and I bet that person is exercising!

Five years ago when I last ran the South Beach Triathlon that I’m heading back to in April, I remember being humbled at the very start of the race. I was in the early thirties bracket, a group which headed into the water a few minutes or more ahead of the last group of women. The last group was the over 50 leg, all adorned with bright fuchsia caps. Midway through my swim--during which I felt strong and like I might be swimming as fast as I had through training--I looked up to spot the shore. To my humbling astonishment, I found myself surrounded by pink caps, and there were several out in front of me. I remember sort of chuckling (internally lest I inhale salt water) and thinking, Man, I hope I’m that fast and furious at fifty!

When I plunged myself back into the pool this January for the first time since that race, I again found myself surrounded by older women who not only whip by me and leave me in their graceful flutter-kick waves, but who also consistently beat me to the gym and fill up the lanes before 6 AM when I arrive.  Having met a few, they’ve accomplished so much more than my international distance goal. They arrive at 5:30 to train and in between sets, swap stories of Half-Irons and Ironmans. They also share stories of survival, a couple having battled cancer to get back in the race. Truly, it’s incredible, and I’m amazed by not just their strength and commitment, but also by their beauty.

I’ll take muscles and power over Botox any day! That’s my reason to race #10 and a huge #thumbsup to all the fierce lady trailblazers out there. If you'd like to support my race cause, Scholarship America, please donate here and thank you for your support and encouragement!

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