My motto Why Not Try originated in 1997. I graduated college, moved back home to the suburbs of Northern Virginia and started my second “real” job. I felt completely out of sorts, my identity as I knew it was no longer. I always identified myself as an athlete, more specifically as a soccer player. I played soccer from the time I was four years old all the way through college. Although I played NCAA Division I soccer for Campbell University and was very good, I was not good enough to play on the National team; no women’s professional teams existed at the time. My career was just beginning, so I really could not identify with the “working” person yet and there was nothing extracurricular to sink my teeth into and most of all no athletic goal or team to associate with. That is when I decided that I would do triathlons.
Triathlon, why not right? I figured I could run that was a no brainer. All my soccer training over the course of my life prepared me for the running portion. Swimming, I was a competitive summer swimmer on a local swim team and even though I had not been in the pool in quite some time, I knew I had the tools of how to swim and get my form and stroke back. Cycling, never did unless you consider riding a ten speed (you remember those) around my neighborhood as a kid as cycling; so I was not quite sure where to start.
Luckily, a woman from work began competing in triathlons a year before me and her husband was a competitive triathlete, so they became my key resource. I bought a used road bike for $800 because I could not afford a $2,000 road bike on my $30K salary a year. Now looking back I could not afford the $800 road bike, but let’s not dwell on that. Also, I was uncertain if I would like the sport, so I figure best not to invest too much money into a bike if I was not sure I would like it. To make a very long story short, after my first “race” I was hooked. I competed three more times that season and won my 3rd race in my age category. Yeah, me! At this point, I registered my car back in Virginia and got a vanity plate standing for Why Not Tri. Someone at the time had “tri”, so I had to use “try”.
Unfortunately, about a month later my triathlon career took a hiatus for nearly twelve years. Life got in the way. I began a Masters program and was working full time, which left no time to train consistently for three sports. With my new vanity plate on, I figure I would embrace the motto of “Why Not Try” not only standing for triathlon (because I was not an active triathlete), but embrace it as my overall outlook on life. I felt it was important to embrace the concept of trying because as a young woman new to the work force and developing a new identity I needed something to grab a hold of.
Over the years, it has become a part of me. Countless triathlons, Seven marathons, six job changes, lots of dates, two masters degree, two house purchases, one marriage, one husband, and now two children later, I am looking forward to completing in my first Ironman in November 2013. Since 2009, I have been back racing. I raced while pregnant with both my children through my six month of pregnancy. It not only kept me sane, but it also kept my hormones and weight gain in check too.
Staying active and healthy has always been important to me, but it is even more so now that I have a family.
I believe you can do anything if you try. Why Not Try!