top of page

The Power of Trying Something New

By Emma Moneuse

A few months ago I competed in my first sprint triathlon. The typical race consists of a 400 yd swim, a 10 mile bike, and a 5k run. Having been an athlete my whole life, I felt confident in my ability to take on the task, but it didn’t come without challenge. 

I was familiar with running and felt comfortable in my ability, but I had never learned to swim with technique, nor had I ever biked more than some casual rides on my beach cruiser. I was excited by the reason to try something new. 

Girl riding a bike down a paved trail

I went to my local community pool, dawned in my new swim cap and goggles. At first, I was scared everyone would realize I had no idea what I was doing, but with a bit of bravery, got in the pool anyway. I’d watched Youtube videos about how to breathe properly while swimming freestyle and studied proper form, but as would occur many times throughout this journey, I realized the power of communication and community. As it turns out, the lifeguard on duty was a competitive swimmer, which I found out after telling her I’d never swam laps before. Throwing care to the wind, I asked her for help– something that is always a good idea to do. She was happy to share her knowledge and with only a few words of advice, I was swimming. I still had a lot to work on, but I felt great. 

Girl in a swim cap

Again utilizing the tools of my community, I was able to borrow a neighbor’s road bike, as I determined my beach cruiser may not be the best choice for racing. I began logging miles in the bike lane and felt incredibly motivated by the discovery of my capability. Later I found a race bike second-hand and gave it a new life. 

What started off as a timid approach to the race, became a journey of purpose-seeking and self-discovery and I began to feel so much joy in the act of training. I made a stricter schedule for myself, hitting the pavement and the pool and learning so much along the way. 

I started talking to people in the local triathlon community and found nothing but kindness, cheer, and motivation from every person I came across. Rather than exclusivity, the community was focused on bringing as many people to the sport as possible and helping people from all walks of life accomplish something incredible. 

I was reaching fitness milestones I would have never achieved if not motivated by a goal. I highly recommend goal-setting for anyone struggling to find motivation to move, get outside, or learn something new. 

A girl in sunglasses running

Come race day, I was only focused on one thing: joy. I had worked so hard to be in this moment. I was doing something challenging, surrounded by so many people who were also accomplishing something great. I couldn’t help but smile my way through the race course, witnessing the magic of human ability. 

Girls on podiums with awards

Amidst all the joy, was victory. I placed third in my age group and had a podium finish for my first sprint triathlon. I was shocked, but more inspired than ever, leaving the experience with newfound truths about life:

Community is everything

While I could have made it through the race on my own, I don’t think I would have found nearly as much success or enjoyment without having a community of support. Not only was I lucky enough to have friends and family cheer me on, but I put myself out there and talked to people who had done this before. I wasn’t afraid to ask questions or to sound inexperienced, and those connections made it feel like I was doing it for more than just myself. In any situation, I recommend community. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with people, you might learn something new and you may even be taken on a new adventure.

Joy can be found anywhere

That’s right, even in the middle of a hot Florida morning, running a 5k with tired legs and two miles left to go. 

You are capable of anything you put your mind to 

I was once a girl who had no idea how to breathe while swimming, now it’s my favorite of the three events and I find myself implementing it into my fitness routine even outside of training. 

I encourage you to try something new. Whether it be signing up for a race you’ve never done, joining a team, going to an art class, hiking a mountain– whatever it be, you may just find a new passion, a purpose, and a face full of smiles. 

76 views0 comments


bottom of page