One unusually sunny January morning, while outside working in my garden, my neighbor , “Robin, do you have an interest in doing a triathlon with me this spring?”
Sure, the thought of completing a triathlon sounded downright epic, however, the thought of training for a triathlon, well now, that just sounded downright insane.
Still, Sonia’s seemingly innocent inquiry swirled in my head for days, countless legitimate questions percolating along with every thought…
“Sure, I’d love to, but I .”
“Sounds great Sonia, but I don’t have a bike, and well, I kinda have a .”
“Hmmm, how long is the run? Because, ya know, .”
“When the heck am I, as a single, working mother of two young children going to find the time to properly train for a triathlon?”
A week went by, and still, there was Sonia’s invitation, like a little angel (or devil?) on my shoulder, a voice constantly nudging me, challenging me to up my game physically and mentally.
I took a monumental leap of faith, signed up for the event and committed by telling her I would do the Iron Girl triathlon with her.
And, I wasn’t the only one.
Sonia managed to gently persuade multiple women in the Peachtree Corners area to sign up for their first triathlon. Women a lot like me, with young children, first time triathletes, many not knowing how to swim or cycle, most with full-time jobs and various commitments.
All, with one common goal - to become Iron Girls.
And then, there was an unexpected ripple effect; before we knew it, there were nine Peachtree Corners women, all signed up for the event, training and bonding together, sharing stories, information and offering support.
One thing we all learned very quickly is that you don’t just “wing it” by showing up on race day undertrained and jump into the water, with crossed fingers and hope the mad rush of adrenaline is enough to coerce your body across the lake.
Training for one of these beasts is an activity to be taken very seriously.
So, we all somehow managed to carve time out of our lives, time away from our children and our work and our significant others. We carved out time for ourselves (which, as many mothers know, is a very difficult task), to do something major for ourselves, not necessarily even knowing at the time that, in return, we were giving so much back to our respective families.
We were becoming healthier. We were taking risks (because, as you know, being a triathlete is very risky business and definitely not a sport for sissies! In fact, one of our fellow competitors was very seriously injured on the course during the race and is still, weeks later, in the hospital with a formidable brain injury).
Our children were witnessing their mommies digging deep, setting and reaching goals that many would not dream of. And somehow, along the journey, family and friends were inspired to do the same.
I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly proud I am of each of these women for not only making the commitment by signing up for the race and following through with the proper training, but also for finishing the event.
Every single Peachtree Corners participant crossed the finish line. Congratulations Iron Girls!
- Sonia Lee, the Iron Girl Queen Bee (has a nice ring, doesn’t it?
- Deirdre Donahue
- Molly Elmore
- Laurie Gilmore
- Jodi McMahon
- Tracey Shell
- Rachael Wahl
- Adrienne Anderson (who, btw, finished 4th overall and 2nd in her age group!)
So, thank you Sonia. Thank you for your effortless, friendly neighborly ways and for thinking of me in asking to do this race with you. You’ve quite literally changed my life.
And yes, I’m addicted. I’m already signed up for my next triathlon, another all-female event, in early August.
Who’s with me?