Monday, May 17, 2010

A Bit Of History....

Upon reflection on my first blog entry, I thought it was pretty boring.

So, I'm going to try again. Like most triathletes, I have a background in sports - mine was figure skating (grades 1-11); I also worked as a Lifeguard; (Oh, and I was in swim club in grade 3). Sport has always been in my life, and I think that's what led me to Physiotherapy as a career. I'm a bit of a late starter, as I graduated from U of A in 1994 when I was 30 - a "mature student".

I've always been drawn to individual sports, so triathlon has been a good fit for me. I enjoy the camaraderie of training and mutual support, but ultimately, it's your race. The other thing that brought me to triathlon was the variety of training - always something else to work on if you're "wounded". It's the variety of the 3 disciplines that has kept my interest since I did my first sprint triathlon in 2005 - Stanley Park, here in Calgary.

The lead up to that race was rather traumatic for me. My mom was diagnosed with Lymphoma in April of 2003 and passed away in Sept. 2003. Our family is very close and I was especially close with my mom - I lost my best friend. The other thing that we shared was genetics - apparently there is only so much weight the females in the family (ie: my mom and I) can lose; she lost 60 lb while sick - I gained 60 lb! Hmmm, an emotional eater - do ya think? Then a family ski trip resulted in a torn ACL, MCL, meniscus and a chunk out of my femur - shouldn't have been skiing in the 1st place (refer to 60 lbs above). Now I'm definitely the "physio who needs physio". So the crash was Christmas 2003, surgery was June 2004, and rehab continued until about Dec, 2004. My knee made a great recovery, but I really needed to reevaluate my lifestyle. All that weight doesn't come without it's own issues - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, borderline diabetes, always tired and lethargic.....

Enter the Talisman Centre. My dad gave me a gift of a 1 year membership in Jan. 2005 and some personal training sessions. I signed up for a bunch of Endurance Training Systems (ETS) classes - I especially love the bike classes. They make so much sense to me - get objective data ("evil" time trials on the bike) and train yourself throughout the year to those zones and watch the numbers improve as you produce more watts and get stronger. I worked on my running, swimming and biking throughout the winter/spring leading up to Stanley Park in the various classes I signed up for. To be realistic - I started at the bottom, literally. I couldn't run 5km, but I could certainly walk/run 5 km. I knew I would do OK on the swim (750 m) and bike (20 km), so off I went. I finished the race and loved it. I was 2nd last (... not last). My nephews couldn't quite see the accomplishment in that, but they're young (and skinny) - what do they know about fat girls? I knew I wanted to continue this sport. I love the training. I love my bike and everything is moving forward.

I have continued to increase my knowledge in talking with other athletes, (hot tub after swimming is so worth it), coaches and just learning by doing. I find it's a great community and supportive of the newbies/amateurs. I will probably have to wait until I'm in my 60's or 70's before I ever see a "podium finish" as an age grouper, but I might just be stubborn enough to hang around that long. So the journey continues and I'll keep adding to my blog as I learn more about the sport of triathlon because fellow athletes/coaches continue to share their knowledge (plus, I ask alot of questions). I want to share a perspective from a dedicated athlete's point of view, even if I'm not an elite athlete!

Cheers, Cindy

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