At my last triathlon, The Sylvania Women's Tri, I knew that I would be seeing multiple "newbies" and that excited me. Why? Because it means I had a chance at meeting people who shared the same passion as me, and who wanted to learn, and love my sport!
Several women from my town were doing their very first tri. I was excited FOR them. I barely knew them, but I promised them I would be there to cheer for them no matter where I was in my race. I had a decent race, with an average for me swim, a good bike, and an average run. I finished with a typical time. It was a nice morning. I collected my "bling" and checked the results and stashed my bike in my van. I checked out the food and chatted with some women that were also done.
I had heard that there was still someone still out on the course when I was just about to leave. In fact, I was told that she had just began the run. I decided the this person, whoever she was, was going to finish and wasn't going to finish alone. I went out to find her. When I did, I was surprised to find that it was a particularly inspiring woman from my hometown. I walked and ran with her for the rest of her 5K and helped her until it was her moment to finish. She was so incredibly determined. I was so happy to see her finish what she started. She never gave up.
I also noticed that one team stayed until the very end to cheer her on. I was so happy to talk with the group that was there from Brighton, Michigan. The group was called the Killer Fitness Triathlon Club and is made up of people who want to enjoy the sport. What I thought was interesting about this club was that it wasn't made up of the uber-intimidating, elite, super fit athletes that made me feel like I didn't fit in. The club was made up of every day people who enjoyed the sport and wanted to share their journey with others. Their coach was super sweet and cried with me as I shared with her my story about supporting the underdogs and frustration of wanting everyone to feel welcome to our sport. She encouraged me to start a club here in our area.