Not Finished Until I’m a Triathlete

Jeanne's fifth and final journal entry on her 8 Week Challenge fitness journey. 

July 11, 2016

The fitness challenge is over. And it really was a challenge, in every sense of the word. Difficult, and at times frustrating, but also enlightening, energizing, and even educational—the whole gamut.

My last week in Texas wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, it was hot with a heat index over 100 degrees most of the days. And, yes, my sister’s family made homemade ice cream (twice!), which I ate happily, along with several hot dogs. But for the most part I adhered to my carbohydrate: protein ratio and even got a little exercise in, although not outdoors—I ventured outside only once for a very brief foray on a bicycle, but I did find an air-conditioned gym to visit.

Given the ups and downs of the eight weeks, my expectations for the final fitness test were low, although reasonable, I thought.  But, wow, I hadn’t realized what change could happen when going from no exercise at all to exercising a couple of times a week—even skipping almost two weeks.  I don’t remember the exact numbers, but all of my exercise results had improved significantly—except push-ups, which I still have a hard time with. And I lost 10 pounds, 2% body fat and a total of 8 or 9 inches from various parts of my body. It was unexpectedly exciting and I left the gym feeling stronger and encouraged.

But the real fitness challenge isn’t over since my goal was to do the Iron Girl triathlon in Vancouver in early August. Less than four weeks away. The thought gives me a thrill of apprehension. Prior to the fitness challenge, I was considering dropping out of the race and attending only as a spectator to cheer my sister on. But now, I'm committed to being a triathlete myself no matter how long it takes me to finish the race. I can do it. And I will.