I ‘met’ the beautiful Samantha through the power of social media – aka Instagram. Her profile caught my eye. In her bio she explains she is “Just cruising along as I ‘tri’ to juggle life as a single ma with two chix, a full time job and passion for triathlon. Let’s see how this rolls out…” After following along for a while I knew her story would be an interesting one, so I invited her to introduce herself to the SRM community. I love her story, and I think you will too! Read on to know about this tri mumma and how she totally rocks life!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
I’m a single mum of two seriously amazing girls aged, 11 and 8. We currently live in Margaret River Western Australia. I work full time (during peak season this can be 7 days a week) in events management and marketing. I coordinate a lot of weddings with an awesome team of people and I love the work. It’s busy but very rewarding. My girls, although very different, are the best of friends and the three of us have the most wonderful dynamic. Our house is lots of fun but it’s calm and organised and I really love what we have together. Their differences make me laugh, one is into footy, basketball, skate boarding and won’t wear a dress if I pay her. The other is into dancing, gymnastics and all things purple and pretty and will jump at any opportunity to wear a dress!
How did you get into the sport of triathlon?
It’s not the happiest of stories. Basically I went through a personal crisis, and one of my strategies for getting through was to build a bucket list of things I really wanted to do and embrace that perhaps this change in life direction had opened some new doors for me. Second on my list was to do a Triathlon. The first is kind of embarrassing…but rest assured it was ticked off!! A family member had been telling me for years I should do one so i called him, he gave me a wetsuit (it was mens and even had the ‘package’ bit at the front), an aluminium road bike (and lessons on how to ride it) and a basic training program and sent me on my way. I did a first timers race and although it was a ghastly windy day that made Elwood beach into a surf beach and I had a flat tyre before I even crossed the mount line on the bike leg, I loved every single minute of it and I was instantly hooked!
I never did triathlon before I had kids so I don’t know any different. I’ve always juggled my training with my family life. Ramping up to be a competitive age group racer and working with a coach has meant I had to alter the way I manage my life and be more prepared for each day. I find having the girls motivates me more. That keep me accountable too because they know if I’m meant to do a session and will ask me ‘”how did you go?”. I don’t like telling them I’ve missed one! Also, because I do spend so much time training, I make sure I do it to the best of my ability. I don’t want to waste the time or have it not count for something because that would be letting the girls down too.
Why do you value triathlon in your life?
Triathlon is my time out. It’s my time. Its where I think, it’s where i’m not responsible for anyone but myself for a while. I can tap out and have it still be of value to me because I’m keeping fit and healthy. I also love how the training keeps me in a routine. I love to manage a healthy diet to complement my training. Most of all I love the motivation for race day. That’s what I look forward to. The race. I love the emotions I experience and pushing myself to the finish line and seeing all my hard work and dedication pay off . I love that my girls see it too. They get to see the hard work I do in training pay off on race day.
What is your favourite session?
Oh I don’t know??!!! I really love them all. I love that triathlon means you get such a variety of sessions. I never get bored! Probably open water swimming in the bay here in Margaret River is my all time favourite session. It’s so amazing. I love the waves, the sea creatures, and how free I feel in the open water. I also love 200m lengths!!
What is one piece of equipment that you couldn’t train / race without?
Hair ties!!! Haha! I seriously couldn’t train or race without a hair tie – does that count as a piece of equipment??!! I’m a pretty simple triathlete. I’m not really big on equipment, but I do like to have my garmin (it’s still one of the old style ones that looks like you’re wearing a laptop on your wrist!).
What do your children think of their Tri Mum?
I think they think it’s pretty cool!! Actually my eldest said to me recently she thought I was amazing for doing triathlons. I once over heard a discussion my eldest was having with her friends, they said, “Wow your mum is so fit, it’s cool she does triathlons! Does she have a 6 pack?” and she responded with, “she has an 8 pack cause she has no boobs!!’
What is your biggest triathlon achievement?
Oh that’s a hard one. I feel like getting to the start line of every race is a massive achievement!! I’ve only ever done one 70.3 I guess that’s been my biggest achievement in terms of race distance but I did a race once where nothing went to plan, I forgot my helmet, I missed my wave start and then I dived in with my wetsuit undone, it was a total debacle! I never once thought to give in and realised it was because my girls were watching the whole thing, I needed them to see that even when shit gets tough you need to keep pushing to achieve your goals. That was a goal race for me, I’d promised myself that if I finished in the top 10 I would buy a new bike. I finished 8th. That was a pretty big achievement.
What is your next triathlon goal?
It was Busselton in May but I’ve decided I don’t want to do it. No excuses, I’m not injured, not afraid of it, I just realised pushing myself with time and finances to train for it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I’m doing a women in business course and my job is demanding and I have two girls. Right now those things are my priority. I promised myself 2017 was going to be a head down bum up year getting life in order. I’m going to stick with sprint and olympic races for now. I’ll know when the time is right to step it up again. I’m not sure when I will race again as I have to travel more than 3 hours for most races but something will work out 🙂
What is one piece of advice that you could give to a mum returning to triathlon after children, or wanting to do their first triathlon as a Mum?
JFDI (oops can I say that?!!) Don’t buy into the mothers guilt. You’re a better mum if you take time out for you and keep you happy. Have you heard that saying…? ‘If mumma ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy.’ It’s true. You’ll be more present and patient if you’ve taken care of you.
As I type this my girls are doing an exercise circuit, I’m watching them interact and challenge each other – they’ve watched me train and race for 6 years and I can see in everything they do they have learned so much from what they have seen and none of it has been negative, even the hard times have positive lessons. They are very aware of health and fitness and have healthy attitudes towards competition. Do a triathlon, there’s something in it for everyone!
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Triathlon can be as serious or as relaxed as you want, you can have all the gear or barely any of the gear and still finish and have fun. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own personal journey, their own motivation, their own reasons for being out there just focus on your journey. You will get so much more out of it if you do.
Thanks to Sam for sharing her story. Such a great read! We love reading about fellow Mamas out there doing their thing! If you want to feature on the SRM blog, or know someone who should connect with us via our Instagram or Facebook and send us a message. We would love to hear all about you!
If you want to connect with other Mums that enjoy triathlon, join our Private Facebook Group where we talk all things being a Mum and Triathlon.Remember to join our Team for access to our resource folder, including training plans, nutrition guides, goal setting workbooks and more! It’s totes free, just click the link below. It’ll only take a wink I promise.