Hey! You found me…or stumbled upon me by sheer luck! I’m Jo and, at 46 years old, I signed up for my very first Ironman event. My goal? To complete a full Ironman before I turn 50. I’m not your conventional triathlete and I’m sure I’ll have some mishaps along the way. Laugh and cry with me as I step out of my comfort zone and strive to hear those 4 words, “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”
Three years ago I experienced my very first Ironman…as a spectator. From the terrifying start of the swim to the outpouring of support from strangers during the “Final Magic Hour,” it was absolutely ELECTRIC! In that moment, I wanted to be one of those people crossing the finish line. Now, I guess I should admit that I am not, nor have I ever considered myself, an athlete. I’m just a woman with a dream!
Let’s back up just a bit so you can understand where I’m coming from. I was born into a family of athletes. Both of my parents played basketball in school; my dad ran track and played softball; my brother played football, soccer, baseball; and they all played tennis. I played the piano. I wasn’t against sports, I just wasn’t for them. This all caught up with me in 7th grade. I have a memory etched in my mind of an English teacher (yes, English teacher) bringing a scale into the classroom and weighing us all in front of the class. After each student, she’d announce to the whole class how much they weighed. With my weight announcement she also added in “somebody needs to lay off the after school snacks.” Well, that got a good laugh out of everyone…and I was there after the “fat girl.” Let’s just say the next few years have some not so great memories.
I’ve dabbled in various areas of exercise over the years – I was a professional singer/dancer for the better part of 2 decades so keeping in shape was a priority – but I always did the bare minimum to get by. And I’ve always struggled with my weight. Things changed for me when I was just shy of my 38th birthday. I found myself in the middle of a divorce from a man who told me I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, or attractive enough on an almost daily basis. Even worse, he was the one leaving me. I didn’t even have the self-confidence to walk away from it.
I started running as a way to clear my head and, truth be told, you can’t run and cry at the same time. Next I found a boot camp workout group and I was hooked. I was never the strongest or the fastest but I did my best. I set a goal to run a half marathon before I finished my 40th year on this earth and did even better…I ran 2 within 4 months!
Fast forward a few more years and you find me experiencing my first Ironman. You see, I met, fell in love and married an Ironman. I’ve given up my performing career and am working on certification to be a personal trainer as my new career path.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m sounding like an athlete at this point. Trust me, I’m not. You know those shirts that read “I run…I’m slower than a turtle running though peanut butter, but I run?” Yeah, that’s me. I am not fast. As for the personal trainer path, I know what it’s like to be a woman in your 40s and utterly intimidated by the typical “gym rats.” Sometimes your life goals are just to be healthier, not to out run or out lift someone. I am that person.
That’s me in a nutshell. Oh, there were many other hiccups along the way and I’m betting if you follow my journey, you’ll learn so much more about what makes me tick. Let’s train for an Ironman!!
If you have suggestions, questions, advice, or just want to chat, drop me a note! I’d love to hear from you!