Last Sunday one of our favourite Beauty of Exercise (BEXI) members, Liza Dukino, faced her fears and took part in her first ever triathlon – the Pinkie Triathlon. We are all so proud of what Liza achieved – from being anxious in the water, to having an immense fear on the bike (having had a bad stack). Liza has filled so many of us with inspiration and admiration. Below is a heartfelt story about Liza’s journey to the start-line and the actual race day – enjoy the read…
When you are part of a group like BEXI an injury can leave you isolated and lonely… if you let it!
In November last year an MRI showed a 50% tear of my plantar fascia and the advice was to stop. Stop meant no more training for Coastrek with the BEXI Trekkers and no more running. This was tough to deal with, with a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out), I couldn’t imagine not being around all my BEXI mates. And bigger than that I was afraid of stopping and going back to who I was before I found my healthy lifestyle focus.
I needed a new focus something that I could do that wouldn’t exasperate my injury and would still allow me to be part of the community. I had always enjoyed swimming and I had bought a 2nd hand road bike earlier in the year that was gathering dust in the garage… they became my new focus. But what to work towards?
I had joined the BEXI triathletes at the Port Stephens Triathlon event that year, just tackling the swim leg for the fabulous Helen. Seeing the team tackle and conquer the swim, cycle and run all with a smile on their faces and celebrating their achievements that evening lit a little fire in my belly… that was something I wanted to achieve.
So I joined the well time new Swim-FIT program with the lovely Sue Bennett and joined the Run-FIT crew on a Tuesday morning with a special tailored Liza-FIT program on the bike. A few rides on closed paths gave me the confidence to join the BEXI cycle girls on my first ride to Church Point – almost 20km and I was stoked. My confidence crew on the bike the more I joined my buddies Cass and Katja on our regular rides and my swimming was improving as I learned about my stoke and bilateral breathing.
Now, it was time to give all this effort a focus… the Ultra course of the Pinkie Triathlon. The plan was to do the whole thing myself, just do the run on the day and deal with the consequences of the injury to the foot afterwards but I had been finally started to see an improvement. Finally, I was learning to listen to my body and decided 2 of the 3 legs was a much better option. Super Coach (SC) Debbie, a constant source of advice and support jumped at the chance of joining me to finish the tri off with the run.
Along came race day and off we went, my run coach and my swim coach by my side on the trek out to Parramatta Park, I was pooing my pants I was so nervous. Waiting for the briefing to start I see 3 figures in the distance, all decked out in orange. My first thought is ‘WOW!’ – we need to get those feather boas and hats for the BEXI support crew for the Australian Running Festival in Canberra next month’. My next thought was -‘Oh s*#t’… that’s Lisa, Cass and Kris! These 3 amazing BEXI friends had taken time away from their families on a Sunday morning to come and support me. I welled up. I was so touched and overwhelmed by the support of those girls there on the day and all the positive support from those who couldn’t be there.
So with my BEXI friends cheering by the side of the pool I jumped into my first triathlon, maybe my second if you count Port Stephens but this time I was adding on another leg. The event was tough but the whole time I had a smile on my face because I was there, I was actually doing it! I tagged SC and off she went, blitzing all the other runners and I joined her for the last 50m and we ran through the finish together. Phew it was done, now where is that champagne?
So my advice in all of this is, never let an injury let you feel isolated and lonely because there is a fabulous BEXI community around you that will train with you and support you in whatever goal it is you set out to achieve.
BEXI Triathlete, March 2015