In 2007, my sister and I were convinced to try a triathlon, by none other than our mother. After spending every summer in Rehoboth Beach Delaware, she suggested the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon, held every September (Sept 15, 2007). This triathlon begins with a 0.5 mile ocean swim, followed by a 7.2 mile bike ride, and ends with 3.5 mile run.

I think the conversation went something like this:
Mom: I think we should all sign up for the Dewey Tri
Me: ??
Mom: Its a swim, bike, run.
Sister: Oh, this could be fun.
Me: I can swim, I have ridden a bike, but I am allergic to running.
Mom: It’s July, we have plenty of time to train.
Sister: I think we can do it
Me: I guess, we do have 3 months.

So, we all sign up for the 2007 Dewey Beach Triathlon.

I grew up at the beach and I love to swim. I think of myself as a pretty good swimmer (I made it to shark at the local YMCA’s swim lessons). I belonged to a gym, and was regularly swimming. The next step was to buy a bike (the fun part) and learn to run (the part I was dreading). The countdown to race day began.

My mother began training regularly, running weekly 5Ks and working with a swim coach. My sister was so excited, she signed up for a longer triathlon. I, on the other hand, could not get up the courage to start running. I would swim and bike several times a week.

Needless to say, September quickly approached. The Friday night before the race was rainy and very windy. In an ocean triathlon, if the ocean water is too rough, it turns into a biathlon. As my luck would have it, we would run twice. NO THANK YOU!

As morning approached, the skies cleared up and we would swim. At 5:15, we drove to the transition area, set up our station and headed to ocean. We were novices and our last name starts with R, placing us in a heat very near last. The air gun sounded and we were in the water. It was more difficult than I expected; my sister and I rounded the last buoy and both got caught in a rip tide trying to get to shore. Next, came the bike – a nice flat 7 mile ride. We rode into the transition area for the final time, dismounted and began the run. To my surprise, my mother took off and was out of site in a few short moments. My lovely sister decided to run with me.

The run is on the main drag of Dewey Beach, passing all the locals and the vacationers trying to salvage one last weekend at the beach. About a quarter of a mile into a three and a half mile race, I wanted to quit. My sister was very encouraging:

Me: I want to quit.
Sister: We can do it! Are you out of breath?
Me: No.
Sister: Do you feet hurt?
Me: No.
Sister: Are your legs tired?
Me: No.
Sister: Then, why do you want to quit?
Me: I don’t know.

I pause, and just as we are passing a bunch of people having breakfast outside, I say, quite a bit louder than I realized: Who’s idea was this? It was the worst idea ever!

The entire establishment erupts with laughter.

It was on that day, when I finished the race with a time of 1hr and 46min and 59sec, that the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon ruined my life. It has only made me want to complete more events. I have participated in many events since then: the 2010 Dewey Beach Tri, a few indoor tri events, a couple 5Ks, a 10K, and a crazy “pedal and paddle” event which involved biking 46 miles stopping only to swim laps in 20 different pools. During each and every event, I want to quit, and wonder what I was doing. I always think, “This seemed like such a good idea… 3 months ago.”

It was from there the title was born along with the hopes of training my mind and my body.