Two summers ago, my sister did her first triathlon. She only did one and then got more interested in only running. Ever since she did one, I told myself I too could do one. I joined the track team for my school two years ago, and I joined the cross country team last fall. This year during those four months between cross country season and track season, I lost all motivation. I didn't train at all, and I gained about 10 lbs, all because of depression. Luckily I was able to pull myself out of the downward spiral enough for track, and ended up going to the Provincial league championships in the 100 m dash. But I continued to battle depression. About a week after Provincials, a friend of mine asked me to run for her in a sprint triathlon. I agreed, but I continued to regret it, as I had been training for nothing longer than 400 m for the past three months. I knew I couldn't back out, as I was her last option, and her knee wouldn't allow her to run. Finally when race day came, I was up bright and early at the lake with her. I watched everyone run into the lake, and then up into transition and onto their bikes. I had a 45 minute wait with her parents until I headed into the transition area to wait. When she came in, I took the timing chip from her ankle, and strapped it to my own, and off I was. I killed the first kilometer, and then my sprint muscles began to die. I ended up running the entire thing, but walking probably would have been faster. I finished in 35 minutes, and I was determined that I would do a full triathlon on my own. Two weeks later, with a lot more distance training, I was doing my first one: a super-sprint youth triathlon. The whole morning seemed to be in slow motion, signing in, setting up my transition, hearing the rules, getting our swim caps, and finally getting into the pool. I ended up, having put in a slower swim time than I actually swam, stuck behind two slower swimmers with no room to pass. Finally the swim was over, and I was running towards my bike. I slipped on my shoes, ran to the mount line, and I was on my way. I passed six people on the 12 km bike. The next thing I knew, I was running. I ended up passing another five people on the run. My legs felt like Jell-O when I finished, but I felt amazing. I finished in 50.5 minutes, and came 2nd in my age group. I was hooked.
I recently finished my first sprint, and again came second in my age group. I am signed up for two more sprint triathlons this year, and plan to do Olympic ones next year when I am 18. Training has kept me from being depressed, and I am happy to say that I am in the best shape of my life, and keep improving.