But the moment that idea becomes a wish, a belief that “maybe I can,” the door to possibility opens. I know this is true because it is how I became a runner and a triathlete.
My story begins in Japan in 2002 on a camping trip with some friends. Out hiking, I lost my footing and fell, landing in such a way that my left femur went through my knee and punctured a hole in my tibia. The prognosis was that I may never walk properly again. After four and a half months of physical therapy and rehabilitation in the hospital, however, not only did I regain my walking ability, I did a jig as I exited the hospital doors for the last time.
Fast forward six years to 2008 when, now married and with a six-month-old daughter, I moved back to my home state of California to start a new life. Shortly after relocating, I met up with a friend who was doing triathlons. My initial thought was that he was nuts; I really couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would want to swim, ride a bike, and run all in the same day. My bewilderment turned to curiosity, though, and somewhere in my mind I began to entertain the idea of doing a triathlon myself. But the reality was that while I knew I could swim and ride a bike, running was not something I counted among my fitness options, especially given the nature of my leg accident. I didn’t think my knee could handle the stress of running and then there was the mental challenge of feeling frustrated with my physical appearance. Pregnancy had not been very kind to my body and the added weight was hanging on for dear life. Crossing a finish line seemed very far out of my reach. Indeed, it felt impossible.
So when my husband came to me with a Couch to 5K program he had found online and said, “how about it?” I was reluctant. But really, the program didn’t look that hard. I had to admit I had nothing to lose, and a whole lot to gain. So I joined my husband on the challenge of becoming a runner. It was no easy feat; I remember how tough it was the first time the program had me running 5 minutes straight. That 5 minutes felt like 50. Still, I stuck with it and got up to 30 minutes, and then I ran my first 5K in October 2009. Two-and-a-half years later, I have crossed many finish lines, both as a runner and a triathlete. And I am just getting started.
In the summer of 2010, I found myself working part-time at a women’s athletic store in Culver City. I had met the ladies there through a weekly run they hosted and was very flattered when they offered me a job. Little did I know that taking it would have such a big impact on my life. Over the course of the next year and a half, I continued to challenge my perceived mental and physical limitations through the awesome sport of triathlon, and along the way I discovered a passion for helping others learn what I have–that our minds and bodies are KapaBle of much more than we think.
In the Fall of 2010, I started a Couch to 5K program at the store that, as I write this, has seen close to a hundred women cross the finish line at their first 5K. Many of them have gone on to achieve longer distances and even triathlons. Nothing brings me greater joy than to be a part of those accomplishments.
I have challenged my body and achieved things physically that I never imagined possible and I want to watch you do the same.