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kind of a normal person

On a good day, I'm a totally average athlete. I didn't play sports growing up, but I always liked to run, and in 2009, I did my first half marathon. I loved it so much that I signed up for race after race -- and got injured. A lot. Hips, ankles, cuboid, psoas, quads, IT bands -- you name it.

Swimming and biking started off as cross-training activities, ways to prevent the overuse injuries I was experiencing with running. But then my friends convinced me to do my first triathlon in 2011. I was horrible at it and backstroked the entire swim, but I was hooked.

The triathlon process has been a long one. I fell a lot learning how to clip in to my bike, and one of those falls was into a planter, and it was so epic that a man in a truck pulled over to see if I was OK. When I lived in Seattle, I was literally -- I shit you not -- the slowest swimmer on my entire tri team.

You'll probably never see me on a podium unless there are like four people in my age group and the fourth person got a flat tire.

But I love this sport. I don't know where I'd be without it. I love the community and what I've learned about discipline and hard work and making impossible things happen.

I've now done three Ironman races. I still worry I might see a dead body while I'm swimming in open water, but these are the risks I'm willing to take. And triathlon is worth it.

Also, seeing a dead body would make a really good story.

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