Post by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the REX Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.
On September 4, seventeen determined athletes participated in the Knightdale Wellness Center Mock Triathlon. Over the past few years, we have held this event at our centers to help members prepare for race day.
Participants have an opportunity to participate in the entire swim, bike and run course without the pressures associated with an actual race. We start in the pool with staggered swim starts (every 30 seconds a swimmer begins), we have a transition area and we cycle and run the entire course. New cyclists and runners are partnered with experienced triathletes so we run a very safe event.
However, the Knightdale event was a little different. Instead of being the instructor, I became the student because several members taught me something new about the sport of triathlon. As we started the swim, I asked each person about themselves and this is what I heard:
- Swimmer #1:“I was recently in the hospital for a month.”
- Swimmer #2: “Cancer survivor.”
- Swimmer #3: “I was in a serious automobile accident but I’m back.”
- Swimmer #4: “I’ve never done this before so I want to see if I can do this. I’m not even registered for the race.”
So what did I learn? The triathlon can be so much more than an athletic event. It can be a reaffirmation that life’s challenges may cause one to stumble but not fall. Thanks all for sharing your stories and I can’t wait to see all of them again on September 19 at the Rex Knightdale Triathlon.