In 2011, I weighed 235 pounds and was morbidly obese. After trying and failing several diets over the years, I finally decided to have weight-loss surgery called sleeve gastrectomy. This is where 75% of the stomach is removed and the result is a slender, tube-shaped structure in the shape of a sleeve. Within a year of the surgery, I had lost over 75 pounds. But I was determined to lose more weight—and to keep it off. More importantly, I was determined to start exercising. So I signed up and trained for my first triathlon. On Mother’s Day in 2012, I did the TriGirl “super sprint” triathlon in Houston. After finishing the swim in cold, choppy water, as I was transitioning to the bike, I told myself (and my spectator family) I’d never do one of these again. I lied. Since that day, I’ve done more than 20 triathlons of various distances including my first full Ironman in 2017. When a race is over, you won’t find my name at the top of the leaderboard. But you will see me proudly wearing a finisher’s medal, high-fiving my friends and competitors, and smiling the entire time. How do I pull this off? Simple. I set concrete goals. I commit to doing the work. I train smartly and consistently. And I stay motivated with the help of my family, friends, coaches, and training buddies. Easier said than done, of course! Looking back, I’m proud that I’ve lost so much weight and gotten healthy again. I’m proud that I’m a fit, active triathlete and that I challenge myself to get better every day. Most of all, I’m proud that I’ve inspired lots of other people—family, friends, and random Facebook acquaintances—to lose weight, get active, and try triathlons.
I began my journey as a coach in 1998 while working as a social worker for a local non-profit organization that helped inner city youth with educational and enrichment activities. I created a running club that had 15 athletes who trained after school.
In 2012 I discovered the sport of triathlon, shortly after having weight loss surgery. Once I had several races under my belt, I began to coach athletes who wanted to train for their first triathlon. I assisted in race nutrition and gear selection, helped with confidence building and also hosted a transition clinic. From my first super sprint triathlon in 2012 to my first Ironman in 2017, I have been in love with the sport. “Triathlon has transformed me from an “I can’t” to an “I can” person” and I credit my success to having great coaches who have inspired me to push past my limits.
As a coach, I want to work with athletes, specifically athletes who are beginning their triathlon journey, which can be intimidating. With my social work background I can help athletes cope with training stress and personal stress that can interfere with training. The sport of triathlon should be challenging but also fun, and through my personal experience I hope to motivate and inspire athletes to always believe in themselves and never quit.
USAT Certified Level 1 Coach
Tri4Him Youth Assistant Coach Houston
Co Founder of HissyFit Racing
Licensed Master of Social Work
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear- Nelson Mandela
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