Finding my place in the world of Triathlon - By Sally Wilcox

I joined Trichicks, as I wanted to challenge myself to improve my fitness and tackle the sport of triathlon, after all there were so many gadgets and accessories to purchase, and to be honest what female doesn’t like a costume change mid-race! 

I also prefer a female only training group, I feel less self-conscious, safer, and I’ve always been a girl’s girl and never really felt competitive or threatened in a group of women, I have always felt we support each other.

I checked in with Amy, that my maturity (I’m 53) wouldn’t be a problem, she assured me her group was open to ALL women. Along I went to the beginner course, it was challenging, it was time consuming, but it was inclusive and supportive. Sure I was always last, the slowest…. But I didn’t really care, did I?

I remember chatting to coach Liv, about how some days I wonder why I even bother with continuing to train. Words of wisdom came to me from a young woman. She said it is easy to be good at something that comes naturally,  it’s not so easy to push yourself out of your comfort zone and persevere to get results, these were true words that resonated with me. If it was easy everyone would be doing it! However, this underlying rumble of something I couldn’t quite place. I felt I didn’t belong, despite the other women in the squad being nothing BUT encouraging, kind, friendly and supportive, to the “old duck” is what I called myself.  They didn’t have to be, they could ignore me and I wouldn’t have cared, I was there for myself and myself only, to try something new, to challenge this worn out body, to see if there was a bit more it could do. 

The feeling rumbled along and some days, I just didn’t turn up to training, what was the point? It hurt, I would be last, and bed was warm and comfy.

When I did train, the feeling of elation afterwards, the satisfaction of telling work colleagues or family or anyone who would listen, of what the sunrise look liked that morning, or how I ran in the rain, or laps of Albert park in the dark, or swimming at 8 degrees in an outside pool, kept me coming back for more. 

Again, chatting to Coach Liv…. I said some days I don’t feel like I deserve to be here, with the squad, I don’t deserve their support or encouragement…. I felt like an imposter in an athlete’s world. I not an athlete. Never was as a kid. Why would I be one as an adult. 

Then I saw an instagram post from Turia Pitt, who is the strongest most determined woman in the world, in my view. After her horrific burns, she then trained and competed in an Ironman, at KONA, the pinnacle of triathlon. Amazing. She wrote on her post how she could easily tell herself she’s not a triathlete because of how she looks, she says there is always something I’m not. But there are lots of things we are because we do it anyway. If you run around the block you ARE a runner. If you sit down and write you ARE a writer, and it’s all in the doing. I love this so much. I now tell myself, I am a triathlete, I train, for me and me only, however I am fortunate to do that with the most special group of women and coaches. I am a work in progress in terms of improving my self-talk and belief, but the first step is identifying it, recognising it and then addressing it positively. 

 

Always wanted to do a triathlon but don’t know where to start? Do you feel intimidated about joining a triathlon squad without any knowledge of the sport? Or maybe you are unable to find a squad in your local area? Then our Online Beginner Course is just for you!  Be guided by our experienced coaches in all things swim, bike and run! Not only will you join a group of like-minded women, you will also walk away with the skills, fitness and confidence to complete a triathlon. You can find all the information on what's included in the course HERE.

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