|Katie and her parents after the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon|
This past Monday I called my parents all excited with terrific news….I had joined the TNT IronTeam to train and participate in Ironman Arizona in November, 2011. Not sure if that is the news most parents expect to hear from their daughter, but mine sounded like they were expecting it…and very supportive. They were not, however, as excited as me. I could hear it in their voices: they had a few questions like why?
The why for me is simple…because I know I am ready for the challenge. How do I know? Because my Team In Training family has been there to help me realize what I can do. I joined TEAM with no connection to blood cancers. Throughout training I realized I was amongst an amazing group of people. I was hooked, but hadn’t put everything together yet.
While training for my second marathon with TEAM I learned of a friend, Matt Uday, fighting testicular cancer. I followed his blog; captivated at his optimism, love for life, and firm belief he would beat cancer. As I trained, I thought these things …and I started connecting the dots between my life, Matt Uday, and the amazing people I consider my Team In Training family. I realized that when I train, I feel very much alive and that I am living the example set by the many survivors and fallen heroes.
As I connected the dots, my coaches quietly proved to me that I was capable of running faster, longer and achieving more than I thought possible. I started to believe that I could achieve goals I set for myself. I started to realize these goals add an extra zest and thrill for life. I may not reach all goals I set, but working for them is fantastic!
While training for Ironman 70.3 Augusta with TEAM (my first triathlon) I have been surrounded by many teammates and coaches who are like me…at least they look like me…a “normal” person. On my team there are a few that have done something I have not: Ironman. I started to realize that I too can do Ironman. I was amazed and surprised at this revelation…but it feels right. I am ready.
This is the year of Georgia Chapter’s inaugural IronTeam. I am ready for the challenge…and excited beyond belief. I get to be a part of IronTeam and train for an Ironman! I can think of no better way to train for Ironman then by helping give hope to those who have made my life richer, while training amongst those who have encouraged me to reach higher: my TNT family.
I know that my fabulous TNT coaches Mary and Mike will give me the tools and guidance so that I can succeed at Ironman. I know that my teammates and I will support each other and celebrate many personal and team victories along the way. I know that my teammates and I will continue to give hope to the heroes battling blood cancers. I know that this will be an experience of a life time…and I can’t wait.
Katie Aguilar first joined TNT in May of 2008 to train for the Chicago Marathon. After running three marathons with the TEAM, she is currently training for her first triathlon, the ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Katie will begin training for the 2011 Ironman Arizona with TNT in January of 2011. (Blog post originally posted to www.ironteamgeorgia.blogspot.com.)