On September 30th, I sat in the hotel restaurant with my grandpa, mom, aunt and cousin recapping the events of the day. They asked me how I felt and if I needed anything to drink (I had just completed my first half Ironman). I wondered how they had entertained themselves for the nearly three hours I was cycling. Apparently, they hit the ground shopping. Now, in my 25 years, I have never seen my mom swim, bike or run any distance, let alone an Ironman. But as my mom proudly showed off her soft yellow T-shirt with “Ironmom” emblazoned in pink across the chest, it dawned on me. I may be the Ironman finisher today, but the women sitting in front of me are true Ironmoms. Though “Ironmom” is usually defined as a mother who races in half and full Ironman triathlons, it means so much more than that.
To me, an Ironmom is a woman that sacrifices her hard-earned time and money and drives eight hours to watch her daughter exercise for five and a half. An Ironmom is a woman who helps run the family business while raising a teenager, planning family vacations, snapping pictures and smiling the whole way through. An Ironmom is a woman who lets her children live and learn from their own decisions, knowing it will help them grow. An Ironmom is a woman who can think on her feet and quickly improvise when she forgets it’s her turn to bring snacks to softball.
One day, I want to be that woman. I want to learn how to balance my personal goals with my career goals and my responsibilities as a wife, mother and friend. The last four months I immersed myself in my training. And in the journey to complete my first 70.3, I made a lot of mistakes. I sacrificed all the wrong things, because I frankly didn’t know how to juggle the feast on my plate. As a result, many of my relationships were compromised and many lessons were learned. Luckily, I’m not a mother yet. But when I’m ready, I know plenty of Ironmom coaches to help me train for the real race of a lifetime.
Marketing Communications Specialist Liz has just reached the quarter-life mark, when the challenge of motherhood starts to really sink in. Until she tackles that mountain, Liz will be challenging herself with more triathlons, which are always fueled by Clif Builder’s Protein Bars and First Endurance Energizing Sports Drink in Fruit Punch.