I competed in a triathlon yesterday. Now, I’m no athlete. If you know me, you know that’s true. In fact, for some of my readers, who do know me but have not seen me in a while, this might come as a shock.
So let me explain. I competed as part of a relay team. I swam half a mile in just under 20 minutes, and ran on hard pavement to pass off our team’s ankle bracelet to my best friend, who was biking 14 miles. I did it all for her. Earlier this year she became diabetic, and the year has been such a struggle for her to come to terms with her new identity. Biking is something that she loves. It reminds her of how strong and healthy she is. So when she asked me to swim on her triathlon team, I immediately agreed. Half a mile in the pool was no big deal for me, athlete or not.
The thing is, the triathlon really impressed me. All the athletes were women. They came in all ages, shapes, and abilities. There was a small group of elites who completed the whole race in under an hour. There were cross-generational relay teams with moms and daughters. There was a large group of cancer survivors. There were moms, there were teenagers. There were die-hards and there were slowpokes. What I noticed the most was that everyone was there to support each other. There was an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) message that “we can do this!” It was so inspiring,
My daughter was very concerned about who won. At her age, winning matters. But the thing is, yesterday wasn’t about winning. It was about personal strength, determination, and health. There was energy up for grabs everywhere, and even more than that — sisterhood. It was awesome.