Strong Fast Fit Participant Completes First Triathlon
Strong Fast Fit, a YWCA of Minneapolis youth afterschool program, is a culturally responsive youth program working towards eliminating health disparities in the Latino, Native American and Hmong communities. It focuses on nutrition education and engaging in physical activity. Young people are empowered to live a healthy and active lifestyle by experiencing how fitness and sports activities can be fun along with learning how to make healthy food choices. New life long healthy behaviors and habits are developed.
Maria wanted to compete in the Women’s Tri to help extend what she was learning in Strong Fast Fit while taking on a new challenge. “Something that motivated me to sign up for the Women’s Tri was that I love trying new things.” Maria knew that challenging herself to participate and completing the event would give her more confidence.
Although Maria has competed in 5Ks, this was her first multi-sport event. She was motivated by the fear of taking on a new endeavor. “This was my first triathlon. I was really scared about the swimming part, but I just kept reminding myself that ‘fear is another reason to try harder.’”
Maria wasn’t alone in her journey training for the event. Her Strong Fast Fit youth counselor, Sarah, was with her the entire time. “I prepared for the event with the help of Ms. Sarah; she was the one that was with me all the way. We would go to the lake after my volleyball practices and bike two or three times around the lake.”
Maria also faced her fears about riding a bike, but learned that with perseverance that was another thing she could achieve. “I was a little scared about riding a bike, but with the ongoing practice I got with Ms. Sarah that was another thing I accomplished.”
Like so many other participants in the Women’s Tri, Maria also welcomed the inclusive environment and all the support she received. “I enjoyed all of the people that were there. What I liked the most was that no matter who you were everyone would still cheer you on.”
Maria’s advice for other girls who might be intimidated by a triathlon is, “If there are any girls out there that want to do it but are scared I would tell them that ‘fear is another reason to try hard.’”
“My experience overall was great, and I will definitely compete in another YWCA Women’s Triathlon.”