Pushing Boundaries

It is no secret that I have always been a bit of an endurance junkie.  This started with a daily aerobics class during my university years, but it wasn’t long before one class wasn’t enough so I would do two back-to-back.  After graduating, I kept taking aerobics classes and started teaching them, got into weight training and essentially became a gym rat.  Eventually, I found my way into the running community, thanks to a fellow gym rat.

As running became more and more a part of my life, I started stationary cycling so that I could still do cardio on non-running days.  Through running, I met a group of triathletes and ironmen, and I would swim with them at the North York pool – just for fun.  This is when the seeds for my entry to triathlon were first planted – 25 years ago.

However, after getting married and starting my family, I reverted back to only running out of need.  I simply didn’t have the time for anything else; my family and job had to come first.  Those triathlon seeds, then, lay dormant, waiting for the right year to grow.

Perhaps it was my hamstring tear in 2017 that steered my direction back towards triathlon.  Trying to maintain my fitness, I spent hours on my windtrainer (yes, a dumbtrainer) each week.  My doctors, physiotherapist, chiropractor and massage therapist all suggested that I also start swimming to take some of the pressure off my joints.  After hearing that same recommendation for three years, I finally listened and  retaught myself how to swim.  Last June, I completed my first triathlon; two months later, I registered for the 2023 Mont Tremblant Half Ironman.

I don’t know what possessed me to participate in my first half-Ironman in my 60th year, but it seemed like a good idea when I registered.  As it turned out, it was a great idea!  I loved every aspect of training for the event, even the cold open water swims in Lake Ontario.  And on Sunday, I had an absolute blast as I swam, biked and ran the half-Ironman courses in Mont Tremblant.

Week after week over the past year, I realized how lucky I am to have the support of my friends and family.  As a working mom, I had many days when training seemed to somehow take over and my home or work life seemed to fall apart, but there was always someone at my side ready to help or simply encourage me with the right words. I am especially grateful for the patience of my family which picked up the slack around the house and coped with late night dinners or scrambled mornings so that I could get in a late night swim, wake up at 4:30 a.m. to ride, or rush out the door after getting home from work so that I had time to run before dark.  Day after day, my husband and sons always had my back.

From the start of my journey, I knew that I was pushing my limits.  Now that I have tested them and set the bar, I will continue to push my boundaries and chase new dreams.


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