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A Feeling like Conquering the World: Triathlete Emily Shelton Shares Why She Races

By YWCA Minneapolis Triathlete Emily Shelton
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Emily Shelton lives in South Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters. They are an active family – between gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, triathlon and bike training, they still find time to play outside at the park and have fun with friends. Below, Emily shares some advice for racing and motivation that keeps her racing in YWCA Women’s Triathlon.

How did you find out about YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon?

I heard about YWCA Women’s Triathlon many years ago, but wasn’t at a place in my life where I was active enough to participate. I became more involved with the triathlon after I started working at YWCA Midtown. Many of the fitness members I talked to had done the triathlon and really loved it. The Endurance Sports Training staff also helped convince me to participate.

Why do you continue race in the triathlon? What are some of your favorite parts of the race?

I continue to race because the community is SO strong. I am getting more into biking, but will continue to do YWCA Women’s Triathlon because it is so well supported, such a great learning environment and everyone is happy and engaged; even the serious athletes who are out to “kill it” are happy and loving life! To be in this crowd with women who are conquering this physical, emotional and psychological event is so empowering. I feel like we could conquer the world standing there on that beach, despite all our nervousness and anxiety.

My favorite parts of the triathlon are the training classes and clinics, being part of a group of women that train together and the all encouraging, cheering spectators.

Why do you choose to support YWCA’s mission?

Empowering women and eliminating racism will actually change the world.

What is the best advice you have ever received about racing or training?

  1. Do you. Eat the food that agrees with you, not your friend. Wear the gear that is good for your body, not another athlete.
  2. Train hard, so that by race day you can rely on your training in case your mind starts to freak.
  3. Enjoy every moment of race day. Every moment.

What advice would you give to individuals who are considering racing?

When we do things that are uncomfortable, slightly scary or new – we learn. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Put those limits to the test!

Any other tips on making time to train?

Train before the kids wake up. Train with the kids. Ask the neighbors to watch the kids so you can train. Tell your partner you’re going out to train and they can figure out dinner. This is for you. I enjoy training at sunrise because it makes me feel alive and that I’m walking out of darkness and into the light. It gives me hope of what the day can be.

Learn more about YWCA Women’s Triathlon