A Non-Athlete’s Journey to Ironman 70.3

My name is Benita Rixton and I am a triathlete… No wait let me be more accurate:

I am overweight, an ex-smoker, a moderately heavy drinker and the sum total of my athletic prowess is very close to zero, except once, many years ago, I joined boot camp. I am also a mother. I have three magnificent, strong willed, spirited children who are my greatest achievement and my biggest blessing.

A couple of months ago I entered a half Ironman. No, I wasn’t drunk and it wasn’t a dare. I just made the decision and did it. I also decided to start a blog and write about my journey. No half measures! Only Half Ironmans!

Given my earlier self-description you are probably wondering why on earth I would even attempt to enter and train for this race, wouldn’t it be easier to just watch it on TV instead?

Acknowledging the reader of this article is most likely an experienced and seasoned athlete, you know why - that “thing” that happens within you, the elation, the high, that feeling that gets you hooked to this, and you want to see how far your body can go and what it can do. I know mine can successfully grow humans, time to find out what else its capable of.

I joined MTD over a year ago and at the time I wasn’t clear on what my reason was for wanting to train and race. I completed a few sprint distances, but I was a little lost on the process and reason for it all. I attended a talk at MTD some time back and I remember Claire Horner stating very clearly how important it is to know why you are doing this – I sat with this thought for quite a few months. There are 2 things I knew then: 1. I am not a quitter, 2. The road to the finish line wasn’t going to be easy, I would have to learn 3 separate disciplines and execute each with relative success…if I wanted to do this, I needed to be clear on my reason.

The penny drop moment happened after I went to watch Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman. I know, don’t laugh, it is ridiculous but really, the day I walked out of that cinema was the day I decided that I wanted to enter Ironman 70.3 East London.

I need to know that I can do it. That what I think is impossible actually proves that I (A)M Possible. I want my children to know that too, that they are possible. Whatever the journey whatever the road, is always possible. Even if the road feels very hard and very long, it is achievable.

The best decision I could have made was to join MTD. To be housed in the same club with elite, super human athletes who are led by power team Claire and Kent; and to be coached by Mandy who has unwavering support, patience and

compassion for all her athletes; and to train alongside friends who are so encouraging, and offer worldly advice; is a privilege.

This journey is a privilege and I am grateful to be on the road, yes its tough but that “feeling” that you know so well, that's what gets us. I am not aiming for a podium finish, or for a particular time, I just want to get there and absorb every inch of the experience on the way.

Follow my journey:

BLOG: https://livinggold.blog/ FACEBOOK: @livinggoldblogSA

INSTAGRAM: bdoria82

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