wait for it, wait for it... ok, here it is: a TRIATHLETE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and no Stephanie and Eileen that is not a typo. I signed up for the Ramblin Rose triathalon in September!!!!!!!!!!
I know, I know, like I need more on my plate, but JACK!ETM has been a sponsor the past two years for this amazing organization called Tri It For Life. Founded by my good friend Dr. Alyse Kelly-Jones, they inspire women to get off the couch and MOVE, and after attending all these ahtlete kick off events, dinners, meetings, etc. as a sponsor, this little voice inside me kept saying "What if?"
Then this even LOUDER (and somewhat stalker-ish) voice of a woman named Betty Brantley, who at age 66, is a triathlete amongst her many accomplishments in life, and very involved in Tri it for Life, quite frankly would NOT leave me alone! She kept saying "I know you are busy Jackie, but it will change your life! I promise!"
Then there's Nicole DeBoom, CEO and Founder of Skirt Sports, my luscious Kendall Kollection athletic apparel partner, "Jackie, have you ever thought about putting an exerecise regimen together? I mean I could help you..."
Hmmm. I didn't think my life needed changing or helping.
But then one day, a strange thing happened. I was getting ready for work, ya know slaying dinosaurs and all, and when I looked in the mirror to check my hair quickly, I didn't recognize the girl staring back at me.
More disturbing, I wasn't really sure that I KNEW her anymore. When did she get so tired looking? When did those bags under her eyes appear? When did her skin get so pale and lifeless? When did her patience start wearing so thin? When did she get so stressed out? When did her ass start to look like the size of Texas?
When was the last time she did something for herself???????????????????
1989 to be exact.
So, I took a deep breath and hit the "SIGN UP AS A NEW ATHLETE" button.
"It sended! Come back!" (anybody watch Modern Family?!)
Last Sunday was my first event as a new athlete - I had a swim assessment. As I stood stuffed into my bathing suit waiting for my turn to get into the pool, I watched this group of women in a lane called "bubble blowers". That's right. They don't know how to swim. Grown women who are lawyers, doctors, teachers, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, in their 40's, 50's and 60's and beyond with a look of self determination in their eyes that was INCREDIBLE. Here I was feeling self-conscious about my gut sticking out of my tankini, yet these strong women were digging down DEEP for all the courage they could muster just to get IN the water. The Tri It For Life mentors were unbelievable with their patience and encouragement and GIRL POWER OVERFLOWING!! (Jeanine and Kelly and Rachel- you rock!)
The best part though, was that I had to bring my two daughters because of family scheduling conflicts. I was so stressed because I wasn't sure kids were allowed - and were they gonna bug me for snacks, ask me to take them to the potty, fight with each other on the pool deck, etc! etc! but I had no choice or miss the assessment. Well, as I gently sauntered in the pool sucking in my aforementioned gut, nervous I had completely forgotten how to swim and not quite sure my 40 year old body could swim two lengths of the pool anymore, I took a quick glance over to the table where my girls were sitting. I thought they were playing with their Polly Pockets that they brought to keep themsleves busy, and not really understanding what I was doing or why we were there...
Then, I saw them.
They were at the end of my lane jumping up and down yelling "Go Mommy! Go Mommy!" Ponytails and hands flying in the air - a vision of love that I will never forget. Then I couldn't see them because my goggles were fogged up from my tears!!!! They were proud of me!
Then I was proud of me!
Then l I saw myself a few hours later in a tri suit.
WOW. Not a pretty sight. Seriously - when did my arms turn into Jimmy Dean sausages? I think I zipped my boobs up to my chin too. That is one piece of clothing that is humbling beyond words!!!!!!!!! It leaves nothing to the imagination that is for sure!!!!!!!!
I still feel overwhelmed, I still feel scared (good news is that I can't feel my arms anymore after yesterday's swimming...), but now I feel INSPIRED. I am going to do this. I am going to cross the finish line. It may not be pretty, but I am going to ACCOMPLISH this!
And who knows, maybe I'll find that girl I once knew along the way : )
With Love From Me to Hue,
Jackie the Triahtlete
Two accomplished triathletes (notice the Tri suit!)
Dr. Alyse Kelly-Jones sporting her Tri Jacket!