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24 yrs old from San Luis Obispo, CA
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Half-Iron, International, Iron Distance, Sprints
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I was 20 years old as I lie on the doctor's table and he told me for the third time in my life that I have a torn ACL and a severed meniscus. He said...
I was 20 years old as I lie on the doctor's table and he told me for the third time in my life that I have a torn ACL and a severed meniscus. He said my only option if I wanted to be a competitive athlete again was to have a third knee reconstruction. I left the office in tears, and I refused to believe that I'd have to go under the knife for the third time in four years.
The weeks went by, and as the swelling went down from my rock climbing injury, I slowly began to walk without crutches. After another few weeks, the pain went away. Within the next month I came to the realization the doctor was right, I would never play basketball, soccer, softball, or any sport requiring lateral movement again. My knee would just buckle with any side to side motion. It was that day that I decided I'd jump in the pool and see how much I remembered form my childhood swimming lessons. Not much! Determined to get some sort of exercise for the first time in months, I kept flailing back and forth across the pool. The flailing turned into stroking over the next few weeks and I joined a local masters class so that I could really learn how to properly swim across the pool.
When school came back into session, I started riding my bike to campus, a short, two-mile commute. I noticed that riding helped me build up the muscles around my knee and it wasn’t falling out of place as frequently. Slowly, my hamstring, quad, and calves continued to grow and compensate for the weakness in my knee, so I started to bike more as a self-rehab. I found a few friends who wanted to bike with me on the weekends and before I knew it, I was entering myself in the town’s annual crit race. It was a blast, and I was hooked!
When my schooling took me abroad, I couldn’t take my bike with me and there wasn’t a swimming pool around in the small town in Thailand in which I was living. So, I decided I’d pick up jogging. I’d have to start my jogs at 5am each morning in order to beat the blistering summer heat and the smoldering daily humidity. (upwards of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit with 95% humidity) I spent three months in Thailand and only missed 3 mornings of runs in that time.
When I came back to the states, I decided it was time to compete in my first-ever triathlon, Wildflower. I trained for months and finished fourth for all collegiate females, and as I was standing on the podium, I smiled to myself and realized I defied everything the doctor had told me, and I’d found the one sport I could compete in without an ACL and a meniscus! I was going to be a competitive athlete again and nothing was going to hold me back!
Two years later, I have completed in 25 different triathlons, placed second overall in the Vineman 70.3, won the Morro Bay Sprint Triathlon, and I am on my way to completing my first ever Ironman.
I will be in Cozumel this December prepping for the biggest race of my life, and hoping to qualify for the Kona Ironman championships. When people ask me why or how I got into triathlon, I tell them it was fate…that I was somehow meant to do this sport, because my body won’t enable to do compete in any other realm. And when I hear people say, “oh I could never do a triathlon,” I confidently tell them that “Anyone can do a triathlon.” If you have a mind strong enough to get you across the finish line, it doesn’t matter if you’re missing an arm, a leg, or vital parts inside of your knee, you can complete a triathlon. It’s a sport for everyone who has strong enough will power to push through the barriers that stand in their way.
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