At the age of 5, I joined my first team, the local summer swim team. I stayed on this team for the next 13 years (when I got too old) and then ended up coaching it. Growing up, I have always been on a team. Softball, basketball, multiple volleyball teams, recreational and club swim teams and crew team.
Of course I have to mention my built-in team, my family, especially my parents. My mom took turns driving me and my two sisters to each of our multiple sporting events, oftentimes just driving back and forth. Many times, my older sister and I played against each other, which was great for carpooling, but uncomfortable for the loser on the drive home. Even more uncomfortable when I, as a pitcher on the softball team, brushed her back from crowding the plate while she was up to bat. My dad was at every single one of my games. Every single one. Weekend tournaments in warehouses in the middle of no-where, he was there. Early week-day games, he was there in his suit and tie, pager going off, but cheering for me nonetheless.
Having teammates and family support peaked as I became a collegiate athlete. Now I had multiple trainers, specialized coaches and a large team to fall back on. Upon graduation, I found myself lost without a team. Being an athlete on a team was part of my identity, part of who I was. No longer a student, no longer an official athlete, I found myself struggling with figuring out who I was as an adult.
Fast-forward 3.5 years. The last 9 months have helped shape me and have helped me realize who I really am and I feel like I am finally comfortable and happy with that person.
As my 26th birthday approaches, I feel like some thanks are due to these people in the last 9 months. I have finally found a team of amazing and wonderful people who welcomed me in, no questions asked. Twitterbugs, you know who you are, and you are amazing. The support you have given me to shape myself as an individual athlete is refreshing, and quite frankly, something that I did not know existed anymore.
So, without embarassing anyone, and without getting too mushy, I would just like to say thanks. Twitterbugs, thank-you for allowing me to train with you for my first STP, including me on your weekend adventures, pushing me to become a better athlete, and supporting me as we train for the Ironman 70.3. You are all wonderful people who I wholly appreciate.