When I was growing up, I always wanted to be on a team. Since I was not athletic, I was always picked last and learned early on that team events weren’t for me. But I still yearned to be on a team, so I joined drama club and was in the band.
Team Jackets were in
Team jackets were “in” when I went to school. Since I wasn’t on a team, I was able to get a generic jacket with my name embroidered on it.
Just a little background, I come from a lower middle class family and both my parents worked hard to put food on the table so there wasn’t money for any extras. My mom told me that if I wanted the jacket, I had to get a job, make money and buy the jacket myself. And, that’s exactly what I did.
The day I was able to go into Mr. Sports in Long Beach, NY, was one of my happiest childhood memories. I ordered a jacket, gave the woman the correct spelling of my name and a few weeks later, the jacket arrived. When I tried it on, I noticed that the spelling was incorrect. They spelled my name “HILLARY” instead of “HILARY.” I don’t know why I didn’t argue with them or why my mother didn’t argue with them but I was told to live with it the incorrect way.
40 Years later…
Forty years later, when I was on my first triathlon team, I ordered a ton of team gear but the order was never placed, so I never got any of it. I ended up borrowing a team tri shirt for the two triathlons I did last summer. After that, a sweatshirt went on sale. I decided to get it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a “team” sweatshirt with my name on it? I smiled thinking about it, thinking that I would finally have team gear with my correct spelling on it. Interestingly, I left the team after the sweatshirts were ordered and then my sweatshirt never came in.
Iron Fit Endurance Team
After that, I interviewed a ton of different coaches and found myself selecting Danielle Sullivan of Iron Fit Endurance as my new coach for the 2015 season. One of my closest friends belonged to an all women’s group and encouraged me to join that with her as well. So, now I find myself on two triathlon teams. And they are both rocking teams!
The first team is Iron Fit Endurance or what my teammates call IFE. Danielle (or Dee as many people call her) is the head coach and she really cares about her athletes. I was so impressed with her attention to detail and how she mapped out a path for me for the year. I was also surprised to see that my schedule was up well before I expected it to be and every time I did better or worse during my training, she would adjust. I love that about her.
I also love how responsive she is. Whenever I do a workout, within an hour, I get an email giving me feedback and encouragement. It’s awesome!
She also understands that everyone is busy with their work and their families so she tries to arrange the schedules so they are doable and don’t get in the way of other obligations.
One of the other thing that struck me about Danielle was that she was a professional triathlete. She got paid for doing something that she loved doing! And she was (and still is) great at it. Take a look at her website, www.IronFitEndurance.com and you’ll see all her accolades. There are exceptional athletes on the team and then there are some newbies, like myself. Of the teammates I met at swim practice or at social events, I’m really impressed with them too. I’m new to the team, but I will be proud to wear the IFE uniform (when I get it)!
All Women’s Tri Team
The other team I joined is the All Women’s Tri Team. This group is run by Lisa Laws and Megan White, both exceptional athletes. I just love what the team stands for. It’s a group of women who may or may not be new to the sport supporting each other. It teaches women that they can do whatever they set their minds to do.
The group has an active Facebook page where members share training experiences with each other. Everyone is so supportive and give encouragement to each other. It’s really awesome! They have a very cool tri kit with a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Most of the women are from the New York City area.)
So, going from never being on a team to being on two teams is pretty exciting. The only problem is, which tri kit do I wear for which event?