Active Spine and Sport Therapy Triathlon

How was yalls weekend? Mine was full of fun, falling down, and learning to get back up.  For the past month I've been training for the Active Spine and Sport Therapy Triathlon.  Triathlon is my new fitness obsession.  As you may know reader friend, my primary form of fitness is Crossfit. I love crossfit for strength and overall functional fitness.  But when it comes to wanting to "compete" or push myself, I needed something other than a metcon or weightlifting meet.  You can read a little about how I found triathlon here.  


So while I was out in California, for the Crossfit Games, I received this message on facebook 

Dr. Hapka - " Hey Robyn, I noticed you did a triathlon not to long ago, would you like to do another ?" 

Me - "Of course! Lets do it!" 

And then I I've only done one entry type race before.... OMG what are the distances? OMG when is the race?! As I ran to my computer to sign up and figure out all the details, I was overcome again with that weird little push and excitement that fires me up. And just like that, I was officially committed to my next step in my triathlon journey.  


So lets all be honest.  The last time I was on a bike was in college. And by bike, I mean I signed up for a cycling course with my roommate to fulfill my PE credits, and my Dad knowing me and my flighty passions, tuned up my huffy and I was on my way.  The last time I swam laps for any type of distance was in high school for my lifeguard certification.  The last time I ran on a track was in 7th grade...I was so talented they let me be the equipment manager for track season.

I was in need of some specialty help. Remember when I told you guys about playtri? I immediately headed right back over, and said HELLO remember me? I NEED HELP.  Aaron, graciously pointed me to their workout board, and told me I just needed to jump in.  I am usually not ever afraid to jump in new situations, however I was not prepared for him to say.... so we will see you tonight at 6:30.  Your race is in a month.   


For the duration of August, I worked out twice a week with the playtri crew. A typical week looked like this: playtri in store for endurance spin training, meet the playtri group at the track for running practice, then for the rest of the week I did my normal workouts at Crossfit BOLT, and added in swimming in the mornings.


Can I tell you how lovely, welcoming, and patient the members of the playtri group are? They have encouraged me every time I walk in the door, they cheer me on when I'm the last one finishing my run laps, and they tell me I can do it.  Love them.  What you need to know about this group is that there are all levels, and by all levels I mean from me (no experience at all) to IronMan/Women participants and finishers.  If you stripped the fitness levels away though,  you would find people who show up, work hard, and encourage you on your journey no matter where you are physically.    


On Friday, after my workout I went to pick up my bike for the race on Sunday.  After my fitting, I finally picked up a pair of legit running shoes and laces, as well as some other gear for the race. Aaron encouraged me to do some time/laps on the bike on Saturday as I have not spent a significant amount of time on the bike on the actual road.  If you know me, you know I have a tendency to take things to the extreme level sometimes.  So I decided to just jump right in to cycling on a major road that leads to BOLT.  All was going well, until it wasn't, and I found myself crashed in the middle of the road, bleeding, and yelling at myself  "GET UP and GET BACK ON THAT BIKE". I picked my dignity up off the road, and continued on until I made it to the gym. Matt was in the middle of coaching, so I borrowed his phone to make the "mom can you please come pick me up call".  While happy to have completed my first actual "road miles", I would be a liar if I didn't tell you a healthy dose of self doubt didn't sink in.  Satan is the devil that way, and its ugly and scary. Here are a few of the thoughts that, that liar said to me. 

"Who do you think you are?" 

"You will never be able to do this!" 

"Just look at yourself, You look like an idiot!" 

"You are an embarrassment, and you should just sit this one out" 


But you know what? You know what is so good, and true, and lovely, and a testament to the God that I know? My Mom picked me up from the gym in my embarrassment so Matt could finish coaching , my Sister lovingly (read forced me through tears and wails) cleaned out the rocks from my wounds, my Dad made me a meal, and then they told me to shake it off because I had a race the next day.  Matt then picked me up from my parents house, drove me to the grocery store, and devised a serious plan to waterproof my wounds so that I would be able to race.  I was then the happy recipient of a Coach McCraney pep talk, and a delicious home cooked dinner.  


Triathlons start early in the morning.  Like, my wake up time was 4:30am on Sunday morning early. Matt picked me up, and we headed out for me to participate in the first Active Spine and Sport Therapy Triathlon.  I was met at the check in by Dr. Bryan Hapka, and his colleague Dr. Mike McCalister.  Are you familiar with Active Spine and Sport Therapy? They are the best of the best. We chatted for a bit, and then it was time for me to get warmed up and ready to race.  Soon after I set up my transition area, and warmed up a little bit I spotted Aaron from playtri.  I was nervous to see him, and "out" myself on my accident.  He encouraged me, gave me a few last pointers and then it was time to race.  


The race itself was so much fun.  The swim was in the pool, 300 M worth.  I surprised myself by being able to ride 13 miles on the bike, and realized the absolute difference of riding along a pre selected road tested route.  The route was pretty, and included two very steep hills, horse pastures, and a lake. The 5k run felt good, and thanks to track practice I felt better about not gassing out on the 1st mile from my inability to pace. Nothing beats the feeling though, of conquering the fear that almost kept you out of the race.  


Here is a snipet of a text that my friend Tiffany sent me before my race:

" You don't appreciate what's before you until it's taken away.  We are all guilty of this but Robyn you know better.  God blesses us with the opportunity to do it OMT (one more time).  He is such a loving Savior that he increases and gives us new opportunities.  So keep telling yourself OMT. Its not over unless you decide its over. " 

Hows that for an inspiration text? Tiffany has been spending the summer fighting back from multiple strokes. She exemplifies OMT.   She also was not aware of my little mishap on the bike that I almost chose to let defeat me.  


So friend, on this Monday, what are you allowing to take you out of the race? Don't let it rob you of the joy that comes at the finish line! Pick yourself up, or reach out for help, and rest in the truth of OMT.  

Special thanks to Active Spine and Sport Therapy for having me at their inaugural race! What an honor and a privilege.  Be sure to follow Dr. Hapka on instagram and twitter, as well as Active Spine and Sport Therapy!