I became a mom long before I became a triathlete. I swam in high school, and ran for fun, not for time. I couldn't do a Tri, I couldn't put THREE sports together in one day!
"Triathletes", to me, were elite cyborg people. Not moms and dads, these people don't have time to take care of KIDS!
Until I actually attended my first Triathlon in Jupiter, FL. My husband decided to join some of his crazy SWAT buddies at the time, and "wing it" at a sprint Tri. We woke up well before the sun, packed up his gear, and our three babies, and drove to the beach. It was a beautiful ocean swim, a flat out and back bike, and a hot 5k to finish it off.
The girls and I were so excited to cheer for Daddy, and spectate our first race!
Spectate and cheer, that's all I was there to do. I think that's what so many of us thought before we ever became addicted to this amazing sport. "Oh yeah I'll come cheer for you, you're crazy though!" Then we saw people of all ages, shapes and sizes, crushing the course, and it was contagious. I realized maybe this was something I could do! After all, if my husband finished, I could too. 😆
Shortly after, I was running with a double jogger, or taking my girls to the gym so I could swim, ride a stationary bike, or run on the treadmill. I wanted to see what the finish line felt like, and I wanted my girls to be there cheering for me. So I made that beautiful sprint my first, and every time I raced I wanted to challenge myself more. As I upped my distances, and training my girls would ride their bikes while I ran, or come out with my husband to fill my bottles on long rides. They would cheer out the car window for me as Steve drove by honking.
Since then I've completed several sprints, half marathons, full marathons, a few half iron, and two full Ironman races. My three girls have been at almost every finish line, reminding me that I can be a Triathlete. Even if I don't PR or have a great race I have three amazing cheerleaders who are just as excited when I finish, no matter how long it takes me.
As moms we spend so much time supporting our spouses and children, sometimes it's really hard to make time for ourselves. You might feel guilty taking time away from your family to workout, but the healthy example you're actually setting for your kids is anything but selfish. And that comes full circle when your kids ask "When can I do a race with you?".
Written by Jenn Kim
Follow Jenn on Instagram! @jenn.trisirena