Tag: Triathlon

Help Me… Help Me…

May 03, 2016

“Help Me… Help Me…”

Words I can’t get out of my head.

On the weekend I was at a triathlon, a wonderfully organized event targeted at beginners just starting into the crazy world of tri’s.

“Help Me… Help Me..”

The pool was full of people challenging themselves for the first time or even elites doing it just for the joy of a new triathlon season starting.

“Help Me.. Help Me..”

My friend and I heard it at the same time and turned to see where the distressed call was coming from. We spotted a woman in the pool. She stood out as she was sidestroking.. not a stroke often used in a triathlon unless you were in distress.

“Help Me.. Help Me..”

Our eyes locked for a split second as we determined what needed to be done. The women kept swimming. We spotted a lifeguard that appeared to have already assessed the situation and was quickly moving to help, yet at the end of the lane after a brief rest the woman pushed off and continued.

As the swim continued that woman was assessed and lifeguards spoke with her time and time again, she was determined to continue and would push off into the lane and continued even with the show of concern.

That determination is often praised in sport. “You can do anything you put your mind to” we tell people. You’ve got this.. go for it! It doesn’t matter how fast just get it done! We support you!

I agree with all of that. To a point.

Have we lost the important concept that you need to EARN your way into these events. Triathlons, marathons, any sporting event really needs a level of training.  You need to know that you have the basic skills required to cross the finish line. People are there to help you do it, people are ready to come to your aid if something goes wrong BUT you need to go in with the training that supports you safely making the attempt.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I will hear that forever, on repeat in my mind. That woman who laughed and smiled with family and new friends she had made waiting to start her race didn’t finish her race. Even with down right heroic efforts of first responders she died at the pool that day.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I watched as a lifeguard asked if she needed to stop one final time and I watched as she pushed off the side of the pool with a cough and ignored that lifeguard and kept swimming. I watched as the distress got to be too much and amongst her fellow triathletes lifeguards let the training take over and they got her out of the water, out of the water SO SO fast and start chest compressions. I watched as spectators eyes grew wide at what they were witnessing and children were quickly escorted out of the pool. I watched as triathletes tried to regroup and figure out what to do next.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I am a woman of action. I HELP. I FIX. I GET IT DONE. I was alone at the edge of the pool knowing I could do nothing directly and the best possible people were doing all they could. So I did the only thing I knew how to, I quickly determined how to help the remaining athletes.

I stood at the end of the lane. It would be the last 50 meters for those still in the pool. The hardest 50 to stay focused as they swam directly beside the life saving efforts happening on the deck and I made sure they had something to focus on. I put that radio voice to good use and I cheered, I called out the names I knew and I bellowed those athletes through their final 50, got them out of the pool, did what I could to distract them and get them out the door and ready to grab their waiting bike for the next leg of the triathlon.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I felt so disrespectful to that woman, to her family to the people trapped on the bleachers unable to get away from what was playing out in front of them. Somewhere in my mind I determined I was honouring the athlete that choose to swim on that day.

When the last swimmer was out. I have no idea what happened, I was just suddenly outside cheering for a friend who was cycling past.

“Help Me.. Help Me..”

I truly wish I could have. I am SO angry that my friends had to deal with this both organizers, athletes and first responders. I have been seething with a rage that is very close to boiling over. I am working through why I am so angry and the answer to that is complex and simple all at the same time.

I reached out for help. I have a circle of friends in the first responder community or with trauma experience that understand better than I do what I am feeling.

Thankfully I am choosing to listen to them as I say “help me.. help me..”

If you are dealing with some after effects of what happened this past weekend, or really from anything please know that resources are available. CLICK HERE for a list of numbers to call.

** Please note I am aware that there is much much more to the story of what happened on Sunday. I am only writing about what I saw and felt and am feeling still, and only a portion of what I experienced.  I do want people to understand that even if you were not a first responder you may be feeling some tough emotions after witnessing that and help is available. No shame. Feelings are feelings and there are tools available to help you deal with them. *** 

Amaze Balls with a side of Awesome Sauce

September 01, 2015

*It has taken me almost a MONTH to hit post on this blog ~ While it might not seem like much to you referring to myself as an athlete is major to me*

Something totally amazing has happened.

Somewhere along the line of this crazy journey I became.. wait for it… AN ATHLETE!

Nobody is more shocked than I but when the realization hit I had to take some time and contemplate what it was I discovered about myself.

Really what is an athlete?

The trusty dictionary says: a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength. 

That makes sense.

But, my definition is a touch broader. In my minds eye an athlete is a person who can do stuff. Not always well, but when the crowd says “Let’s go play a game of (insert random sporty thing here)” an athlete can at the very least participate. Someone might be better at it, but an athlete can hold there own and find a way to do what needs to be done and enjoy doing it. Yes, I am an accomplished powerlifter but I still couldn’t wear the athlete title because it was all I could do. I still want excel in powerlifting but I have learned that I want to be able to do more, and for it not to be as difficult as it has been most of my life.

Here is some of the evidence that has lead me to believe that I am an athlete!

Over the last couple of weeks I have;

Worked on this yoga pose thanks to Shauna, it’s amazing where a good attitude and some encouragement can take you!  :

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From the Highland Games. This is Lightweight for distance:

With a fairly quick turn around participated on the Q103.1 Triathlon Relay Team doing the swim leg. (Thanks to Caycee I actually managed to get in the water and train for it!)

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And along with coaching for the Q103.1 Ladies Wakesurf Nights I will be wake surfing 135K from Vernon to Penticton to raise money for Kids Care, it should take just over 10 hours.

surfpic

 

How is this finally happening? Lots of determination and choosing a great attitude on my part and also finding a place and a person that would push me beyond anything I thought I could do and yet at the same time making me feel safe doing it.  Andrew LoCurto at Aspire Health and Performance is leading the charge on not only how I appear physically but how I see myself and what I am capable of.

Turns out it’s a lot of fun. Not easy but immensely satisfying and without a doubt fun.

If you are ready to start the journey to being an athlete I applaud you.  First step make sure your attitude matches your goals, second find someone you trust to help you on your journey!

Good luck!

 

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