Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Can Do Hard Things!

A couple of years ago, I was still pregnant with Zoey. It was January and I was serving in the Young Womens. They were making a time capsule and writing down their goals for that year. I had put down that I wanted to do a triathlon. It was something that I was interested in, yet had no idea how I was ever going to accomplish it.

First, I did not know how to swim. Let me clarify. I never had lessons as a kid, yet somehow I learned how to tread water and recreational swim (float, do flips etc.). But to be able to swim consistently for a distance, I would not be able to do. Plus, I have trouble breathing on land because of my asthma, how in the heck would I be able to breathe in the water?

Second, I had no bike. While living in Alameda, my bike along with Ben and CJ's were stolen. I had not yet replaced them and kinda didn't want to while I was living in Alameda. I had no place to store it and was afraid, it would be stolen again.

So you can see how easy it was to forget about ever trying to achieve this goal. It was always in the back of my mind, but I never had enough motivation to make it happen.

When we moved to Concord, we moved into a house with a garage! Oh what happiness it did bring! Slowly, I began replacing our bikes. I got CJ one first and in the meantime was looking around for bikes for me. I had a Diamondback bike before and have always loved mountain bikes. They are my type of bike.

I have a few friends who were very active and were doing triathlons. It got me very excited and I started to think, "What would it take for me to do that?"

Thank goodness for the money I was making in my Photography because there is no way I would have spent what I did otherwise on myself. I have trouble buying myself socks!

Slowly I began to get what I needed. Aquiring new hobbies is expensive. Once you get one thing, it always leads to another thing that you need to buy. For instance, I bought myself a bike for my birthday and of course, what I needed/wanted next were bike shorts and then a shirt and then some gloves and so on. . .

The next big thing I needed to do was to learn how to swim! My friend Jane took me the community pool one morning so I could see what I could do. I was pathetic! I couldn't even swim 25 meters (that's the short lanes in the pool). It was so hard!

A recent highschool graduate from my ward was doing swim lessons during the summer. I think she had only taught children before, but I asked her if she would teach me.

So I took swim lessons-which were fantastic! She taught me swimming techniques how to breathe, the breaststroke, and form. After the lessons, I went to the pool 3'xs a week. I always felt a little embarrassed because out here everyone and their grandmother are awesome swimmers. I thought that if I didn't look or talk to anyone they would do the same. They wouldn't look at me!!

By the end of the summer, I graduated myself from the 25 m to the 50m and I even talked and smiled to a few of the people there.

Race day arrived and I went with a couple of my friends which is always nice.


We met up with some other friends and racked our things up by them.


I was nervous about the swimming up to the time I had to actually do it. I didn't know if I could swim continously. Jane told me to stay towards the back and off to the side so I wouldn't get clobbered by the rush of bodies. I started off that way chatting to the other ladies who were in my shoes before the race started.

When they sounded the horn, the competitive side of me, rushed off with the other ladies.

"What was I doing?" I was supposed to hang back, right?

I kept to the side and swam with everything that was in me. I wasn't the last one out of the water, but I was definitely towards the end, I think.

Transitioning from one event to the next wasn't hard at all, especially in a tri outfit. Biking was next and was surprisingly my favorite event that day.

I don't know if the women weren't trying hard or if I am really pretty good on the bike. I booked it like it was nobody's business because I knew I was behind on the swim.

I passed so many people, maybe about 30? I only had 2 women pass me and I could tell they were serious bikers.

It was exhilarating! I almost fell off when I dismounted because my legs were like jelly.

Running was hard. Running never feels easy for me. By the 1 mile marker I was thinking, "I only ran a mile so far?" It felt like I had ran more than just a mile.

I started to pick up the pace in the last mile and crossed the finish line feeling like a champ!

I looked down after a man just snapped a photo of me,to see that my shirt had risen and I was showing a good deal of my tummy-what a great picture I'm going to have!


I came home to find the kids had made this sign on the garage for me!


I'm so lucky to have such a great family and a cute bunch of kids!


Ben was also so supportive. I was working out almost every day and he encouraged me and would always ask me how my workout was.


This was a very hard thing for me to do, but I loved the challenge. I love pushing myself because it always makes me a better person. I'm already looking forward to next year and seeing if I can improve on my swimming.



**A side note. Sharpie marker makes you feel tough when you write on your body with it.


Michael Family said...

You CAN do hard things! You rock Valerie! Congratulations, I had no idea you had to overcome so many obstacles to do what you did yesterday. You are amazing! It was so fun to do it with you. I think we should make it an annual event.

Hannah said...

Awesome!!! Good job!

Also, got your birthday cards for Luke and Dodge. Thanks!

Abby Watson said...

Congrats Val! Nice work! You are freaking tan! :)

Andy Porter said...

I am so impressed!! You are always doing hard things and you do them all so well!! You inspire me!!

Kori said...

You are my hero, seriously because I really can't swim very well, and I can't bike very well, but I have a year to improve! I am so doing it! Um, and When did CJ get so tall? Way to go Champ, you rock!

Betsy said...

Woohoo! It makes me want to do one!

Sarah said...

Valerie! I just found your blog from a comment you made on Marisa's blog. I'm so glad I found you! Way to go on the triathlon! To start out not even knowing how to swim?! AMAZING! I love that you did this so much and am totally inspired. Congratulations, girl!