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Friday, Dec. 20, 2013
Conquering our own barriersPosted Friday, February 17, 2012, at 2:15 PM
While the Extreme Winter Festival last weekend was all about embracing snow and frigid temperatures, one of my favorite events was an indoor one.
BVU's first triathlon was a fantastic, well-coordinated event, thanks to Matt Hanson and numerous student volunteers.
Students who volunteered as timekeepers were encouraging. Constant time updates pushed participants to squeeze out one more lap while swimming or running, and bike a little bit faster.
Compared to other triathlons I've done, the number of participants was modest, but having an event in your town can generate some friendly competition between neighbors, co-workers and friends.
You might just be lucky enough to have a friend join you towards the end of your run to help you squeeze out an extra three fourths of a lap.
But for some, even a friendly event can be daunting.
My mother-in-law, Debbie, can outrun and outbike me any day. Never mind the fact she has rheumatoid arthritis and an artificial hip.
Unfortunately, she's not so fond of swimming.
While watching earlier swimming waves of participants, my mother-in-law almost backed out. They were effortlessly swimming the forward crawl as they glided back and forth in their lanes.
"I can't do that," she said to me. "I don't think I'm going to do this."
Doing my best to encourage her to go for it, I told her to do what she could do and not compare herself to others. I knew she'd be disappointed if she dropped out, because she'd been training by swimming in non-stop, half-hour sessions.
Having to swim a portion of laps over the deep end and uncertainty about her swimming skills got to her. After only five of her fifteen minutes of swimming, she exited the pool, her face heavy with disappointment.
However, the bike was her redeemer, as she cranked out 12 miles in 30 minutes, which propelled her to finish first in her age group, and first overall for female sprint participants with 14.2661 miles total distance.
I finished in second place in my age group, just three-tenths of a mile short of first place. Overall, my total distance of 13.4149 miles put me in the middle of the heap, but it was probably one of my best triathlons so far.
While I'm proud of my own finish, Debbie's takes the cake, or in this case, the first place award, because she had the confidence to go for it, and stand up to what held her back.