Inspiring What’s Beautiful Athletes
Meet Cristina. A wife, mother of two young boys, cycling advocate, author, preschool teacher and back of the pack triathlete. She was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and as a teenager moved to Casablanca Morocco followed by a move to the United States at the age of seventeen. Cristina played sports in high school but not very competitively. In 2010, I found myself overweight and unhealthy which began her surprising health and fitness journey which keeps taking unexpected turns.
Hello everyone! My name is Cristina and I blog at www.triathlonmami.com a place where I share my journey as a mom, triathlete and everything in-between. Like Jill, I am participating in Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful campaign. For this, I had to come up with a goal and document my journey of conquering it.
Choosing a goal was an exercise in and of itself! My main target this year is to race IronMan Florida and live to tell the story. So for this campaign I wanted to choose something aligned with my training. I also wanted something specific, measurable, that I was not able to complete the day I stated the goal. After much back and forth I determined my goal to be:
Go Up Sugar Loaf Mountain On My Bike
Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in Florida at 312 feet and though for some of you that might be a molehill this incline scares me silly. I live in pancake flat Miami, the only incline we have is a bridge and it has a 4% grade as opposed to the 14 % and 18% incline on Sugar Loaf. There is no way for me to train for this other than a lot of indoor cycling putting the weight of the bike as heavy as possible.
And that is what I have been doing. For the past four weeks I have been going to spinning classes. My sister joined me and now this is something we share at six am. When the instructor says “turn a quarter turn to the right” to make the bike heavier, I turn a full turn. I’ve made it so difficult that I cannot pedal sitting down, I must stand for the wheels to rotate. I am hoping this effort, along with my regular outdoor cycling and training will be enough to go up that thing.
Another reason why I chose this goal is because of the campaign name: What’s Beautiful. I’ve had issues with thinking of myself as beautiful, I can compare to others and fall short often. The one thing I respect myself for is for facing my fears, the one thing I am inspired by is seeing others do it too. That is one thing in me that I can find beautiful.
On any given day I can be driven by a hundred forms of fear; from losing a child to riding a bicycle I become insanely anxious. This has caused me a lot of problems in my life but I have learned how to handle my anxiety.
The antidote of fear is faith and action.
My bicycle represents a lot of this struggle, and I am still a bit afraid every time I go out. Not without reason as riding in Miami where I live can be quite dangerous. But I love my bicycle, I love feeling the wind in my face, and listening to the sounds of my wheel. It’s my meditation and my anchor.
I don’t want to be limited by my fears: cautious yes, fearful no.
Choosing a bicycle challenge meant facing a fear, and one thing I haven’t conquered yet is going up mountains. And so I chose the highest point I could find that was reasonably close and chose Sugar Loaf, a four-hour drive from where I am.
I am not kidding when I say I really do not know if I can do it. But my fear here is not a physical one as in an accident, it is the fear of failure. What if I can’t?
If I can’t it won’t be for lack trying. And the only thing that will be hurt is my ego, and I can handle that. After all I have small children … I am humbled often.
So here I go … June 14th my family and I head to Claremont Florida, and the next day I will ride 50 miles with a group including the climb to Sugar Loaf. I am facing my fears head on: and I will conquer it. You can follow my challenge at: : http://whatsbeautiful.ua.com/profile/23545 and join the Triathlon Rockstars Team at: http://whatsbeautiful.ua.com/team/202
How about you? What fears have you faced and laughed at?
You can find our more about Cristina at:
More inspiring What’s Beautiful athletes because it’s true,
we’re so much stronger together:
Jody at Truth 2 Being Fit has a wonderful I AM ENOUGH series of posts
Find out how Marissa of Let’s Move it Momma defines What’s Beautiful http://letsmoveitmommas.blogspot.com/2013/05/whatsbeautiful-to-you.html
Follow Nancy at Living the Dream as she pushes through limits http://www.littlefancynancy.blogspot.com/2013/05/whats-beautifulknowing-youre-limitless.html
Go to Happy Fit Mama and check out Angela’s recap of her first marathon http://www.happyfitmama.com/vermont-city-marathon-recap/
I love Lindsay’s latest What Makes Strength Beautiful post
The list could go on and on. One more, of many, inspiring and motivating athletes.
Presley of Run Pretty talks about the thief of joy