I started my journey with TNT in 2008. I signed up for the San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon weighing in at 340 pounds. I was an athlete in high school and college but I had given up on trying to be healthy when I lost my brother to ALL in 2002. My brother, Bryan, had been a Special Olympian. He competed in swimming, bowling, basketball and track. I could not understand how someone who was an athlete could get so sick. I finally got to a point where I understood that blood cancers can affect anyone at anytime. So I decided that I could do a lot more to honor the memory of my brother and help defeat the disease that had taken him from us.
Initially, I was embarrassed that I had gained so much weight so I didn't go to many group training sessions. I was always competitive and I found out that I couldn't do it anymore. I was afraid that people wouldn't believe in me. I discovered on race weekend that it doesn't matter what you look like and how long it takes you to cross the finish line, people still believed in me. I crossed the finish line and I lost a lot of weight too. I was sad that I hadn't been more involved and I vowed to continue working with TNT.
Last fall, I decided that I was going to try to complete a different event with TNT. I signed up for the Tugaloo triathlon. Then my clumsy ass managed to fall down some stairs and get a bone bruise on my left knee. No race for me.
Finally, this spring my leg was healed and I had lost over 100 pounds. So I decided to sign up for the St. Anthony's triathlon. I'm so glad I did. The whole experience was amazing. Again, I feel like I didn't take full of advantage of all the training sessions, but my life had gotten crazy busy with graduating from law school, applying to take the bar, teaching an after school program, etc.
I learned how to swim, change a tire and put on a wetsuit (things that I never knew would be so difficult). I was still really slow, but definitely faster than I was 100 pounds ago. I made it to race weekend and felt like I was truly ready to race. I made it through a shortened swim, the bike and finally run. I got a nasty sunburn, but I finished the race. It was bittersweet crossing the finish line. I knew that this was a great accomplishment, but yet the one person I wanted to share it with the most was not there.
I think my favorite part of the whole experience was running the last mile and hearing the cheers and seeing everyone who had stayed around to watch my slow ass come back in. I have to take the bar exam this summer and I wish I could have all of you come and cheer me through that too. I will be back soon for another triathlon with Team In Training.
Angie Prophet just completed the 2010 St. Anthony's Triathlon with Team In Training. Thanks Angie for sharing your experience and we are so proud of you!