Photo Credit: Troy Garth
Written by Alyce Garth, ‘member of Mackay Triathlon Club, North Queensland’
Since I can remember I have always wanted to undertake a triathlon. However life got busy and I had a bad back injury that put me out of competitive sports for years.
In 2016 I found myself moving to North Queensland and it was finally time to give the sport of triathlons a go.
The past 2 years of my triathlon journey have been the most rewarding and exciting times. I have loved every second of; training, racing, being surrounded by an amazing triathlon community and to top it off representing Australia in my age group at the ITU World Championships in September 2018.
I have uncovered many hidden wonders about the sport of triathlons and as a result of becoming a triathlete have become a better person and it has enhanced my life. My top 10 learnings include:
- The importance of your community. The triathlon community is the most motivating, supporting, inspirational and dedicated group of people that I have ever met!! You can’t help but push yourself further and get caught up in the excitement and challenges of the sport while making amazing friends along the way.
- The power of believing in others. My triathlon community has pushed me outside my comfort zone and believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. So if there is someone in your life that could do with a bit of encouragement don’t hold back.
- Prioritising and the art of organisation. I thought I was pretty good at this but triathlons have led me to step this up to a whole new level. Increasing my productivity at work and in my personal life.
- You always have time for the important things. When you are training 11 times a week and working full time it doesn’t leave a lot of spare time. However triathlons have taught me to say no more often to the things I don’t want to do and yes to the things I do want to do.
- Sleep, sleep and more sleep – I have always lived a very healthy life but never really prioritised sleep. Triathlons have made sleep nonnegotiable. I recorded a sleep journal for a couple of weeks looking at the amount of sleep I was getting and how I felt. I identified what I needed to feel great and put a plan in place to make this happen. I have definitely noticed a difference in my triathlon training and general mood.
- Mindset is everything – you can put so much time and energy into training, being healthy and having the right gear, but if your mind set isn’t working with you, then when it comes to race day you won’t achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Always believe in yourself.
- Mantras – developing your own personal mantras that really light you up when you are on struggle street or doubting your abilities. Many races I was repeating my mantras over and over in my head.
- Put yourself first and listen to your body. As they say before you can help others you must be able to help yourself. This means having regular check ins with myself and making sure I am not taking on more than I could handle. I also scheduled regular remedial massages and make sure I was diligently daily undertake my physio exercises.
- Love your body and embrace it. If we are being honest triathlon suits have to be one of the least flattering items of clothing that you can possibly wear. I have never loved my body so much and even now go out in public with no make up. My first triathlon I was wearing make up, now I have to laugh at myself 🙂
- It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks – something I never managed to master as a kid in the pool was the good old tumble turn. But with a patient coach I have now ticked this off the list. On top of this I have also learnt to ride no hands on the rollers!!
I am so happy to have found “my sport” and am sure your triathlon journey will be as rewarding as mine.
Mackay Triathlon Club, North Queensland.