Written by Yellow Fellow Flower, Jenny Moulds, Rockford, MI
My 2015 Declare It Day (DID) goal was actually one of my 2014 DID goals – to train for and complete my very first triathlon. It didn’t happen in 2014, and I was beyond disappointed. So when 2015 rolled around I knew what I wanted my goal to be!
I have always been a runner. Running was my thing! I rode my bike with my family to go get ice cream, and the thought of swimming made my heart race. Deciding to do a Tri was so far out of my comfort zone that if I thought about it for too long, my stomach would begin to churn.
All of my life I have always turned to running to calm my nerves, gather my thoughts, take some time for myself and get away from my fears. In 2006, my then 4-year-old daughter, McKenna, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Our younger daughter, Kayla, was just a year and half at the time. Our entire world turned upside down. I stopped running because I couldn’t breath. Anxiety completely took over my life. Our days turned into clinic visits, chemo, panic attacks and overall sadness, anger, confusion and dread. Running completely gone, I no longer looked forward to getting up, going to work, smiling…
But today, McKenna is soon to be 13 and is cancer free! Over time, I got the help I needed to take my life back and to once again be an involved mother in my girl’s lives. My husband Keith always was and continues to be a bright shining star in our lives, and he has kept me from heading down some very dark roads. He encouraged me to start running again and helped me make time to make that happen. I was back! Keith had done numerous Triathlons throughout our journey with Kenna and always asked me about competing in one some day. So it was a TINY nagging idea for years…
Our girls have watched me run countless races. They’ve run along side me in 5Ks and have been at the finish line for my marathons. I’ve watched McKenna fight against the odds and win! I’ve watched Kayla stand up for her older sister when she didn’t feel well enough to do it on her own, and every time I’d think of that damn Tri goal I would freak out then tell myself, “You can do this! You can be strong and push through anything! Just look at your family.”
The fear I had felt about signing up and training for a Tri was replaced with determination and COURAGE. My doubts turned into, “I BELIEVE!” If my family could endure the scare and dread of cancer and my daughter could tough it out through 26 months of chemo, than I knew that this was something I COULD DO!
Every time I run, no matter the length of the race, my last 3 miles are for my family. Keith for encouraging me and believing in me, Kayla for being the funniest kid I know, and Kenna for showing me that if you just keep pushing miracles do happen.
My finishing the Reeds Lake Tri was no miracle. I ended up last out of the water and last off the bike, but kicked some ass on the run. I thought about the beauty of self, the recognition of one’s own strength, the miracle of life and the gratitude I felt as I swam, biked and ran my way across that finish line. It took courage for me to do it, and it took me believing in myself to conquer the fears I had along my entire training journey. I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to compete in another one! I had my family and my Fellow Flowers family with me the entire time… in my heart.