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Unexpected Blessings

This week’s theme is … Yeah, no one ever told me this about running….  Now that you are a runner, what is something you have learned about running that no one ever told you before.   You didn’t read it in a book, a blog or hear it from a friend or another runner.  Or…maybe you did, but you didn’t understand it or remember it until you learned it yourself.

I hadn’t planned on participating in this weeks TiaRT because I couldn’t seem to find an inspiration; really, how many times can I write about my love for body glide before I start losing readers!  But then it hit me- I was on my Tri Team message board and BAM—-inspiration hit me right in the face…the one thing no one told me and that I didn’t read in books or on blogs is what a difference it makes to be part of a Tri/Running community.  It has been an unexpected blessing.

When I signed up for my first tri I didn’t know a single person who had ever done one.  One day, after months of research about triathlon, I happend upon a website for a multisport club that was based out of the area in New Jersey where I live.  It also just so happend their next meeting was only a few days away from when I found the site.  I was totally intimidated but figured it was that or go it alone.  So I went.  And it changed my life.

The meeting was perfect- a round table discussion on all things Triathlon.  I had a billion questions and was so overwhelmed but I walked away from that meeting feeling a part of the Tri community, even if at that time I was still a good 5 months away from my first race.  Over the next months I got to know, and build friendships with so many of the club memebers.  I volunteered many races, asked questions and learned so much.  When it came time for my first tri memeber of my group were there.  They were taking pictures, cheering me on and at one point my one friend Katie even ran with me when I was struggling.   It was awesome. 

I am so lucky to have the support of my mom and dad, extended family and friends and I love that they come out to races and cheer me on…but without my teammates I don’t know if I would have ever gone further than one race.  I may never have found a love for running. I don’t know if I would have done a 1/2 marathon or be signed up for a full.  I don’t know if I would be signed up for three more tri races this summer.  My teammates get it.  They get the whole thing.  They get the early mornings, the skipped nights out, the blisters, the chafing, the road rash, the money (o.m.g is it expensive), the GU’s/tablets/blocks/beans, the importance of wicking, the injuries, the ups and downs and they know the feeling of crossing the finish line. 

These same sentiments branch out now to far more people: the triathletes and runners who don’t belong to my club but whose faces have become familiar from meeting at different races, the race directors I have come to know through volunteering and all of you.  In addition to my Tri Club, I have all the wonderful bloggers.  I find reading your blogs to be an etremely valuable resource and I feel lucky to have “met” so many wonderful people dedicated to the same heathy and active lifestyle as I am.  Whether you run or bike or swim, do all three or just enjoy an active lifestyle that doesn’t include racing, you all have something to offer.  You are all awesome!

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In addition to TiaRT, I have two birthday wishes to send out:

-My mom…HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best mom ever.  For those of you who are new to my blog, you can go here and read a story about my awesome mom.  I am truly blessed with a mom who is also my friend. 

-My close friend James would have celebrated his 28th birthday tomorrow.  Sadly, he passed away when we were nineteen and I never got the chance to know him as an adult.  I miss him everyday and want to take a moment here to celebrate a life that was and a memory that will always be. ❤

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2 thoughts on “Unexpected Blessings

  1. I love your blog! I’m so glad you commented on mine, which lead me to yours.

    I’ve been toying around with the idea of going for a sprint tri in the future. I’ve only been running regularly for a few months now (ran two 5ks and one 10k), and I love to ride my bike, but haven’t participated in any races with one. I also don’t know how to swim “the right way,” which will be my biggest challenge. I’ve only swam for fun, never did laps.

    In three weeks I’m running in my first half marathon, and I’m so excited. Like you wrote about in this post, I was so pleasantly surprised by the running/training community. I don’t want to lose that after the race is over, and I loved trying something new. The people I’ve met and have been training with are wonderful, I’d love to be able to keep the relationships going. It’s a great bonus to doing something healthy for yourself!

  2. As a longtime and now reformed individual athlete I have really, really grown to appreciate the community aspect of sports and fitness. For years I was a solo trainer – aside from – playing team sports like B-Ball, but now I love working out and running in groups. I firmly believe it helps push your further and assists in making greater gains. Keep up the great work Jillian!

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