My Heart Challenge Contestant Signs up for First Triathlon

By Jason M Carlton

Maureen is one of the 25 contestants fighting to win the 2014 My Heart Challenge: Play at Home Edition, but also to win better health. During the past few months, Maureen has been working to improve her heart health and recently signed up for her first triathlon. Read why she signed up and the challenges she will face in swimming, biking and running her way to the finish line. 

I have officially signed up for my first triathlon.  My family is being totally supportive.  I was concerned they would think that I lost my mind.  Not because I signed up, they are getting used to my new found desire to challenge myself, but that they would worry because I don’t know how to swim.  Well, I should clarify that, I don’t know how to swim properly.

One daughter was concerned about where the swimming took place – open water or pool.  Well, I may have gone a little crazy but I didn’t completely jump off the deep end.  I signed up for the Triathamom this August.  This is a “sprint” style triathlon.  Swim 300 meters in a pool, a 12 mile bike ride and a 5K run.

Now, here I am, entered in my first triathlon!  I can run, slowly.  I can ride, efficiently enough.  I don’t want to dog paddle for 300 meters so, I signed up for swimming lessons!  If you think spandex is humbling, try finding a swimsuit that will work for lap swimming.  It needs to be form fitting and you must be able to move in it.  The suck-my-gut-in suit wasn’t going to do it.

Saturday, I received my first lesson and after an hour and a half, I begged for mercy.  My teacher is excellent, and very patient.  She taught me how to time my strokes with my breathing and took me back and forth with a kickboard until she felt I could swim on my own.  By the end of my lesson, I was able to almost make it the full length of the pool without stopping!

Best wishes to Maureen as she competes in her first-ever triathlon.