I started triathlon in 1999 at age 15 when my swim coach of 3 years suggested I try a tri. Not sure why since I didn't run, and only rode my bike to practice sometimes, but regardless, I loved it! Totally hooked. I grew up in the sport in the days of Richard Barnum Reece for you older Utah athletes; The days where you were required to bring a volunteer or he would choose a member of your family for you, before the days of chip timing when you had to count your own laps for an olympic pool tri and remember how long you started after the first person so he could subtract your time, and the days when we enjoyed post race food consisting of oranges in a box in the back of Richard's truck. Awards consisted of cotton tshirts, ribbons, and cheap plastic trophies that my children now enjoy. Oh were the days :)
I did Spudman before it was huge, and Utah Summer Games when it was still in Quail Creek. When I was 17 my awesome loving grandparents took me all the way up to Coeur d'Alene for USAT Nationals where I placed 8th in my age group and qualified for the World Championships (which were unfortunately cancelled a few months later because we were too young? - booo!). I was a 4-5 sport athlete in high school at times running cross country in the fall, swimming in the winter, running track in the spring, played 1 season of Water Polo one spring, and raced triathlon all summer long. I was never a state champ or even a region champ in any of my high school sports, but was pretty good. I look back at that time and have no idea how I had the energy for 2 a day practices, school, and a part time job as a life guard and swim instructor. Makes me tired just thinking about it, but those were good times, with better times to come.
I've only taken a few seasons off since then, one for engagement, one for our first baby, and most of a season off as for a broken foot in June 2009, but all is well with that now.. I've been fortunate to have healthy pregnancies that I can exercise through except 8 weeks of bed-rest with my second for preterm labor, who ended up being a 10lb natural birthed baby anyway! I went on to have another big baby at 9lbs6oz, another sweet baby girl, who was born in the water at a birth center - very very cool! So cool in fact that I did it again with our youngest born in February of 2012. 9lbs14oz, peaceful beautiful drug and intervention free birth again in the water with her siblings and daddy standing next to the tub. Don't let anyone tell you you can't exercise, can't have big babies and can't do it without drugs - it can be done! I've been able to recover faster with each baby, and I attribute that to staying active while growing in monumental proportions.I have had to work toward healing abdominal separations (diastisis recti) with my last several babies, and that has meant a slower return to running particularly after baby #4, but patience makes progress, and healthy bodies.
Since then I've raced an average of at least 5 races per season, sometimes having the opportunity to get a little race happy and race double that at around 10 races a year. I've done everything from Sprint to Ironman, 5k to 100 mile, and a good deal of 100+ mile rides. I have gone through the whole spectrum of racing from finally placing in my age group to consistently placing overall and even winning some races. Success now has been a long road that's come with much work and experience. I think triathlon is an amazing sport that is great for pretty much everyone. Jump in and 'tri' it! It doesn't have to be open water, sign up for a pool tri, just sign up. That will be your motivation.
Trail and ultra running is an amazing sport with such amazing things to see and hear and experience unlike anything on the road. The slower pace on trail feels good too. Get out and just go on a hike if running isn't your thing! The people that will be around you in the sports I've been in are great, they're kind, helpful and supportive. Many of my best friends are runners and triathletes. Triathlon and ultra running are life changing and richly rewarding sports that I'm so happy to be a part of.