If we all had a little more love, a little more inspiration, and a little more truth…
Every once in a while, my world collides with someone who truly inspires me. I want you to meet Lea. Not Leah (like my daughter’s name) but Lea, as in Princess Lea for those of you old enough to get that. I met Lea at Trevor’s soccer practices. She’s a mom, wife, daughter, and a woman who was unhappy with the way that her body looked after having two kids. She decided to do something about it. One goal morphed into another until she was training for an Ironman Triathlon. WHAT?? I’ll let her tell the story…this is my interview with Lea.
How did you feel about yourself at the beginning of this journey?
I was unhappy with the way my body looked after having two kids. I had never been an exerciser nor very thin. But over the years the weight just kept adding on. I wasn’t confident in my skin.
Was there a motivating factor that led to getting something started?
Truthfully, I was going through a rough patch in my marriage, I was a stay home mom with two small children, I was unhappy. So I started walking to relieve stress. I needed something that was for me. I think I lost my sense of self and was looking to get that back.
Tell me about how you started your workout program.
In 2009 I started out walking, pushing the boys in a double stroller. Then I worked my way up to running. I eventually joined a gym and got a personal trainer for several months. I also got involved with Team in Training and ran my first marathon with them in 2010. I then trained for my first triathlon with Team in Training in 2011. I really enjoyed triathlon, the competition and the training so that was my focus for the past 3 years and culminated with Ironman Texas in 2014.
Tell me about how the beginning grew into more and more training.
As I saw results in the way I looked and felt I was motivated to do more and to keep going. I realized that I could be fit and healthy and it felt good to feel confident in myself and my body.
What continued to motivate you to do more?
The competition motivated me to continue to train. I liked seeing my times improving and I enjoyed taking on bigger and bigger challenges.
Tell me about training for the Ironman Triathlon.
I trained 6-7 days a week for 7 months with OutRival Racing. It was exhausting for both me and my family. I was fortunate that as a stay home mom I could train during the day while my boys were at school, but there was also a lot of long training on the weekends.
Who supported you through your training?
My husband, kids, mom and friends supported me through training. I’m sure they were tired of hearing about triathlon and training!
Did you ever feel like giving up?
Some days I did, especially on those long workout days, but I’m very goal driven and I stuck with it.
How did you feel once you accomplished your goal(s)?
It felt amazing to finish Ironman Texas! It was surreal crossing the finish line. It’s really hard to explain what it felt like, I was in pain, I was exhausted, I was ecstatic, I was proud, I was happy.
Tell me about this journey and what is has meant to you now that you’ve had some time to reflect on it.
This journey has been life changing for me. I was 30 years old, overweight and unhappy, I made a choice to change and I am so much better for it. Six years later I am confident, healthy, active with my kids, and a happier more positive person. I have had some set backs.
What are the next steps for you in terms of keeping a healthy balance of life, health, and fitness.
I was burnt out from all the ironman training, so, this past year I haven’t trained much at all. I’m also going through a divorce and have had to reenter the workforce. I’ve put on about 15lbs due to these life changes. I’m finally settling into a routine with kids, work, and my wonderful boyfriend. I am getting back into the gym and I am starting to build my running base again. I am signed up for the New York Marathon in November. I have recently worked with a personal trainer to help me establish a weight routine and of course for the accountability. I see fitness as a part of life and I will do my best to be active and fit. I may not compete as much as I used to, but I foresee myself running and doing triathlon for many many years to come.