After much begging, my sister Marissa convinced me to compete in my first triathlon in the summer of 2009. Having trained all summer together and after completing it, I realized how much fun triathlons are and I fell in love with the sport. This last summer in 2011, I competed in four races in three different states including the Chicago triathlon. My summer was consumed with swimming, biking, and running and it will go down as one of my most memorable summers ever.
Then my mountain top high took such a drastic turn for the worse. In October an ultrasound, mammogram, and biopsy confirmed I had breast cancer. A lumpectomy and re-excision followed in November confirming that it was stage 2. I remember laying in the hospital bed in so much pain, beside myself, not wanting to face cancer at thirty one years old. It was the darkest time of my life. I was supposed to be so healthy, had done all these triathlons, and now how could I have cancer? To say I was in utter shock, is an understatement.
After coming home from the hospital, my husband and I were quickly informed I’d be undergoing chemotherapy and radiation from December through May. As treatment started and the holidays approached, I started thinking how 2012 could be different. How could I compete in triathlons next summer? Would my health allow me to? Instead of being consumed with training, I wanted the summer of 2012 to be different. That’s when my sister and I came up with an idea. What about organizing a triathlon at camp to serve others with the sport I came to love so much? What about honoring Christ instead of being consumed with my own accomplishments and hobby?
So we started praying, asking God if this would be possible and if this is what He would want for us. Little did I know, Dave Greenwood had started praying the same prayer. I found this out a few weeks later when I pitched the idea to camp director Nate Bishop. They were on board and all the pieces started to fall together. The TriForHim Triathlon vision became a reality!
Whether we are battling cancer, working at a desk all day, raising a family, or competing in a triathlon, we “tri” for Him and for Him alone. He brings meaning to what we do and it’s Jesus Christ we want to honor and glorify.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever!