#WHYITRI – My Triathlon Journey

After being a spectator at Ironman and Ironman 70.3 for many years I always had a desire to participate, after a lot of deliberation I plucked up the courage to join one of the local PE triathlon clubs in August 2015. After a couple of months in the club I found myself floundering and unable to keep up with the programme and the pace of the club, which targets more ‘elite’ triathletes. I was about to quit and give up on my dream to participate when one of the squad members suggested to me that I call Sally who coached another triathlon club. I had no idea who Sally was nor had I ever heard of Blu Smooth the tri club. I made the call to Sally and the rest as they say is history.

I arranged to meet Sally that Saturday at Grass roof for a group ride. Sally spent the entire morning riding behind me and mentoring me on how to sit, pedal, maintain cadence etc. I naturally quizzed Sally on her background and soon realized she was in fact the most qualified coach in the city (PhD in Human Movement Science, MPhil in Sports Science and BSc(Hons) Sports Therapy) After that ride I joined the Blu Smooth squad, and so began the most amazing journey where I accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could, and met the most genuine, caring friends. I never returned to the original elite squad. I immediately regained some confidence in myself and my ability to finish the Half Ironman in EL. Sally was extremely patient with me and instilled a sense of the ‘can do’ attitude back into me through her quiet but extremely firm style and manner of coaching.

I followed Sally’s programme and before I knew it I had made it to the start line of the EL 70.3, Sally was honest before the event and told me it was going to be tough but that I had a good chance of finishing. It was a tough day for me and I was one of the last competitors to finish, and I was completely broken when I stepped onto the red carpet in 2016 but it was one of the most memorable days of my life.

I was still carrying a lot of extra weight at this time and Sally offered to assist me with a nutrition programme, and so the next chapter of my journey began. I followed the eating plan and and I became much leaner without too much effort. I then went onto compete in the Durban 70.3 half in 2016. I returned to EL in 2017 with a goal of finishing stronger. I took an hour and 5 minutes off my time on the EL course.

I’m not sure what the next chapter holds perhaps it’s the full Ironman, what I do know is that with a courage, and determination and the support of a great coach anything is