Addicted to Tri-ing
If there was such a thing as Triathletes Anonymous, I would have to say the following: I am Ann Currie, I am 45 years old and I am addicted to triathlon and running. I started triathlon in my early 30’s as this photo of me shows. (As one of my friends commented when I posted it on Facebook, triathlon has come a long way since then!).
It felt like a great achievement because I had suffered from a back injury in my mid-twenties and had been gradually working my way back to fitness through walking, aerobics classes and then progressing to running (very slowly!).
I really enjoyed it even though I was competing on my mountain bike (with road tyres). I did a mini triathlon organised by Chester Tri club to start and progressed onto sprint distance pool triathlons, mainly in North Wales. Adventurous husband even bought me a Bianchi bike to try to further my triathlon dreams.
It was at this point my twins came along and pressed the pause button on my tri activities. I tried to keep going and was determined to do so, even buying a three wheeled off road double buggy – a fairly rare beast nearly 10 years ago. However, I underestimated just how much hard work it was looking after twins and how exhausted I would be. I did not bank on Adventurous daughter being a poor sleeper and the kind of baby who also was up at 5am every morning, awake and ready to go. Try combining that with working 4 days a week – not much time left over for any kind of training.
I then found Tae Kwon Do. I had wanted to try a martial art for ages. Having my twins also seemed to awaken a “tiger mum” instinct, not only protect them, but to protect me so that I will be around to see them grow up. I spent an enjoyable 6 years training and getting to black belt, an achievement I am still justly proud of and which ranks as probably my finest sporting moment in life.
The drive to get back to running and triathlon was getting stronger as my twins were getting older so when I was asked to do the Wirral Sprint Triathlon in August 2014, I didn’t take too much persuasion. I did have a rare hangover when I had that discussion but it is not a decision I have regretted. I also did it in memory of a friend who died from a brain tumour. He was the same age as me so it was a real wake up call to grab life by the horns and live it to the full. So here’s a photo of me finishing the Wirral Tri.
My hair is a mess and it doesn’t look like I am actually running but it is one of my favourite photos of me, ever. It encapsulates some of the things I love about triathlon: joy, happiness, relief at finishing and knowing that the training paid off. It helped to be cheered on by family and friends and new friends gained from joining Mersey Tri, another aspect of the Tri world that is so great – that everyone is so helpful and wants to see you do your best.
So if you are secretly mulling over whether you want to make 2016 the year of your first triathlon, then my advice is to grab the opportunity and go for it! You will find a very welcoming community keen to help out. I’ll post some of my tips in future blog posts. Or suggest some topics I should cover in future…
What are your plans for 2016? Any triathlons planned?