Once again, I am going to shift gears and talk about something other than NFL football. I was never the athletic girl in school. I was always the one chosen last for teams in gym and I would avoid most sports in PE class like the plague.
It wasn’t until high school, when I attended a Mini Boot Camp for NJROTC that the athlete I never knew existed was awakened. We had to do lots of PT and endurance training, including push ups, sit ups, running and everything else I avoided in school. It was a tough week of blood, sweat, tears and me coming up with creative curses, but I got through it….and ended up winning an athletic medal for doing the best in my age group and overall. Who knew the tiny little girl could make this happen? I think this is when Sammi the Athlete was born.
However, despite my success, the athlete in me went to sleep for awhile. I still loved dance and working out, but the competitor in me was gone. I worked out to stay in shape, but that was about it.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that Sammi The Athlete came back with a vengeance. My mom suggested we do a half marathon in Disney. It was actually a joke and an excuse to dress as princesses, but we, along with my sister, decided to actually make it happen. We spent a year training, running and preparing and once race day began, the competitor in me was reborn. I finished my first run in 3:11:20, which is pretty good for someone who would mosey around the track during the running portion of PE.
Once the race was over, I knew I wanted to do more and wanted to improve my time. I finished my second half in three hours (this one in Niagara Falls) and my third (which was technically an 11K due to weather) in 1:37. In between, I did several 10Ks and virtual half marathons to keep practicing and pushing myself. My plan is to do at least one or two a month so I can keep being the best I can be.
Which leads me to my next adventure: IRONMAN! I know it seems crazy, but why not? I first heard of it when my idol and favorite celebrity Apolo Anton Ohno competed last year and thought it sounded cool, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I decided to take it seriously and actually compete in one myself. Hey, go big or go home, right? Completing an Ironman would not only be an item checked off my bucket list, but also a way to push myself to my very limits. I also plan to do more runs (including full marathons!) and triathlons along the way.
I will be posting diaries, videos and other moments as I prepare for this next step in my life. I am giving myself one year to do this and hope to finish in less than 12 hours. Hearing the words ‘You are an IRONMAN’ come from Mike Reilly’s lips will probably end up being one of the most unforgettable moments of my life and I cannot wait to share all of this with you!