Top 10 Vote: Triathlete Fit - Women's Contest
We’re recognizing the hard work and dedication that goes into becoming your fittest, healthiest self with a contest that will inspire other triathletes looking to achieve their own fitness goals in 2016.
Two age-group triathlete winners (one male, one female) as voted in our online poll, will be flown to Triathlete HQ in San Diego for a photo shoot and will be featured in a future issue of Triathlete magazine.
It’s time for the final vote! We narrowed it down from all of the entries, then our audience voted for the top 10, and now it's your turn to vote for your favorite female entry below. Be sure to also check out the men's contest. After this final voting stage, the editors will crown the Triathlete Fit winners in the male and female categories. Remember to look at the photos and the inspiring stories submitted by the entrants.
This phase of voting will end Monday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. PST. The winners will be announced Wednesday, Feb. 10. Results will be not be shown for this round of voting.
2016 Triathlete Fit Contest Presented by DeSoto
I’ve always had “one foot” in the world of fitness; however, everyday trials and tribulations as an adult kept me from dedicating myself to sports with the gusto I would have liked. I ran a little, lifted weights a little . . . I would try whatever new class my gym offered. However, I was somewhat of a passive participant in my own health and fitness. That changed several years ago when I participated in my first triathlon: a super-sprint distance through the muddy waters of Alum Creek Reservoir and the hills of Westerville, Ohio. It was hard, and confusing, and wonderful.
I now compete with my friends and teammates in several races each year, including all distances. I cherish every chafe, every ache, and every victory. I have dedicated myself anew to my own health and fitness and setting an example for my two daughters that we needn’t be passive and that “girls” can do it, too. Training and competing have made me more disciplined, stronger (in several senses of the word), and has filled me with pride and wonder at what my body is capable of. I’m facing my 40s head-on in the best shape of my life.
Triathlon has helped me reach my goal of looking fit and feeling good at 40 years old. This photo is part of a gift from my closest friends. On my birthday they honored my dedication to the triathlon lifestyle by booking a "Turning 40 and Looking Fit Photo Shoot." My friends recognized my commitment to the lifestyle and honored me an opportunity to flaunt my physique and some cool gear. This picture symbolizes hard work, dedication and love of sport.
Living a balanced lifestyle of triathlon training, work, family and fun has been the key to my long-term success with looking fit at 40. Goal setting helps keep focus when life gets busy. Belonging to a triathlon team and staying involved with local clubs helps to keep the motivation going. The memories created on the journey to race day are worth the early morning wake up calls.
My triathlon journey has helped me become a stronger and healthier person, mentally and physically. Through my training, I realized that diet is about fueling for power rather than staying lean and light. I used to have a fear of eating too much and gaining weight, but when I was getting tired too early on in my training, I realized I wasn't giving myself an athlete diet. Now, with an approach to use food as power, I have a very healthy and balanced diet. Being a triathlete means being responsible in other areas of my life. I know I need to get proper sleep, eat the right foods, and do activities that keep me rested and injury free. It's also important to value my other time aside from triathlon training. I've learned that if I don't stress about training or missing one workout because I couldn't get to it, I don't lose much and allow my body to get a good rest. Triathlon training makes my physique strong and healthy. The cross training helps me work different muscle groups which reduce my chances of getting injured. When I used to do one sport, I realized I wouldn't feel as fit, but as a triathlete, I feel very strong. I feel very disciplined, motivated, and balanced doing the sport. It's my passion, and most importantly it makes me feel happy.
Triathlon has helped me achieve my fitness goals by challenging me to go beyond my comfort zone. I think every triathlete has two disciplines he or she is confident in, but there is always one that is more difficult. Growing up, water sports were always a big part of my life. In college, I biked around campus at maniac speeds (even in the snow). For years, I had wanted to give triathlon a go, but I was really going to have to psych myself up for the run.
My first triathlon was in 2012, and running 3.1 miles was tough! With each season I learned to tolerate, and eventually love running. The consistent practice of triathlon has carried over to the other aspects of my life. I am more mindful, disciplined and grateful for the life I have. Swim, bike, run has conditioned my mind, body and spirit. At age 41, I am stronger than ever before, and look forward to completing my first 70.3 race this year with my family cheering me on.
In August 2011, I had weight-loss surgery. Like many, I had tried to lose weight on my own with diet and exercise, but I wasn’t successful. After the surgery, was it easy to lose weight? Yes. Was it easy to keep it off? Hell no!
The main problem was I wasn’t being active. I met a lady who told me she was scheduled to have a second surgery to lose the weight she had regained. Fearing I would end up like her, I decided I needed to get moving, so I started swimming. Then a friend asked if I wanted to do a triathlon, so I started biking and running too. Finally, on Mother’s Day of 2012, I officially became a triathlete. From then on I was hooked.
I’ve been competing in triathlons for four years now, and I’m currently training for my first half Ironman in April and first full Ironman next year. I’m happy to say that, thanks to triathlon, I haven’t regained any weight and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. My new goal is to encourage others to be active and to try tris—whether they need to lose weight or just want to have fun.
2015 started rough, I was depressed and recovering from having my knee reconstructed (what joy it is to suffer from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). I felt useless. Being an Army veteran, being laid up does not sit well with me. Once I was able to bend my knee, I started running. Then I was talked into a triathlon by a close friend. I thought he was nuts. I showed up with my heavy mountain bike, running shoes, and trail running shoes; I looked like the poster child for what not to do in triathlons. I completed the race and I was hooked. I raced my second tri a month later, then another the following month (an XTERRA) and won! If I wasn't hooked before, I certainly was then. I noticed my body changing and my mood improving. I felt more confident in my own skin. I won another tri and placed first in my AG again! I felt happier than I had in such a long time. What's even better? I don't have any issues with my Ehlers-Danlos because I'm stronger. My lupus is under control and my body as a whole is stronger. Triathlons have changed my life in such a positive way that I can't imagine living my life without it.
Triathlon not only got me in the BEST shape of my life at age 36 and post-two babies, it has given me back a sense of ME. I did my first triathlon when I was 22 years old and then look over a 10-year break due to a very demanding job. After some soul searching I quit the demanding job and started training for my comeback into triathlon with a sprint. Halfway through the training I found out I was pregnant. Instead of stopping training I felt so good I signed up for an Olympic-distance race that weekend and continued training and racing all through the pregnancy totaling seven (tri and running) races while pregnant with my first and five with my second pregnancy. I loved the accountability signing up for events gave me to keep exercising. Since returning to the sport I have competed two full Ironmans, 3 half Ironmans, several shorter distances, and have even started placing in my AG. I've always enjoyed exercise, but even in my teens and 20s I could never quite get to "6-pack" status! I never dreamed I'd have a 6 pack at 36 years old and after two babies!
Triathlons have not only changed my physique, but they have saved my life. My story is called, "Alcoholic to Ironman." I crossed the finish of an Ironman race at only 10 months sober. During that time period of training, my body became much leaner and stronger. My body fat went about 22 percent down to 15 percent. I even started to change some of my eating habits as well. It inspired me to become even healthier and pick the right fuel for training. I learned that athletes eat to fuel and not for taste during my triathlon training. After the Ironman race I continued my passion for triathlons and a healthy lifestyle. My biggest secret is I'm a personal trainer and I already know a lot about to fuel your body properly. Also, with my story staying sober is also a big part of how I keep my physique! I never have to worry about alcohol bloat or extra calories!! I want to be a healthy role model for other triathletes out there. Ironman/triathlons saved my life!
If you want to have a good body, exercise. If you want to change your life, become a triathlete. And that is just what I did.
But has it changed for the better? I ask myself just that every morning when my alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and I fight the urge to hit snooze. I repeatedly ask myself ‘What did I get myself into?’ when I’m shivering on the pool deck eying the hot tub just feet away. Being a triathlete has been more than just swim, bike, run, repeat. I have developed the discipline to get to bed early, because sleep the most powerful tool for recovery. I have completely transformed my diet and have formulated a nutrition plan to maximize recovery and performance. I have made food preparation a habit. And it is to no surprise that with 2-3 workouts a day, I can’t remember the last time I woke up and my legs weren’t tired.
No one said it was going to be easy. So is all the sacrifice and hard work worth it? I think I will answer this question as I toe the start line of the Marathon Olympic Trials on Feb. 13.
I fell in love with triathlons and have been addicted ever since not only for how they have given me my best shape ever but the challenges they give me. I used to be nothing but a weight lifter trying to stay toned and never did cardio for I hated cardio.
I came across triathlons in 1997 with some friends, who thought we should do one as a goal for just completion. After I completed one, a sprint, I chose to do 1-3 each summer for fun for about 3 years. In 2010, I decided to go at it again and try another sprint and eventually joined a team and got a coach. I then began to see how training started to really get me in shape, keep the excess weight off and start to lean me up lessening the thickness I had built over the course of many years. I built more muscle and leaned up at the same time.
I was 40 years old when I went into triathlons full force. I am currently 46 years old, more lean than ever since I have been currently coached by Big Sexy Racing. I have completed four Ironmans, eight half Ironmans and am currently the leanest I have ever been in my life. This sport, with the perfect coaching and self-control, has leaned my thick legs and cut every muscle of my body. I will forever be a triathlete to stay in perfect shape. Dedication and work equals a 46 year old who looks like me.