My parents have put me into various sports since I was young. I tried baseball for a year, soccer for a number of years, and hockey up until I began grade 9. I've been involved in many various outdoor things, always loved swimming and riding my bike, and done a little running when I was younger. In grade 9 I was lazy. I joined fencing, but aside from occasionally skiing/snowboarding (skiied since I was 4, boarded since about 10) that was the only thing I was involved in. At the level I was at, it wasn't a great workout (got much more intense later on).
In grade 10, I wasn't very athletic. I've never been great at most sports involving involving serious hand eye coordination and I was only half-decent at phys ed. When the spring came around, my friends joined track and they tried to convince me. I was hesitant at first, but I used to be a pretty good distance runner so I joined and did long distance... and it all started there.
While they didn't take track very seriously I began to run a lot. I strived to improve my running and get in better shape. It was great, I felt like I had more energy (aside from after a run) and I was getting to sleep easier. Then came shin splints. I didn't have great running shoes and I'd gone from no running to running 3-5 times a week. That slowed me down for awhile, but I got a good pair of shoes, took it a little easier than I had been, and got some anti inflammatory creams that I used for a few weeks. My shins got better and I was ready to run again.
After the track season, for the first summer, I made a concious effort outside of a club or sports team to stay in good shape. I'd do long runs, started doing some low weight strength exercises, and I kept doing fencing (fencing summer camps... 5 straight days of hell, I've never felt my entire legs being so sore).
I joined cross country in the fall of that year (and shortly after that A2A), and by the end of the season I'd lost approximately 20 pounds from the start of the year. I felt better than I ever had before and I was inspired to be more involved with athletic endeavors. That year went around with me joining indoor track (first time I started to work on my sprinting), outdoor track doing distance again, and running on my own after that.. although I quit fencing before the summer because I felt that it was taking too much of my time and I'd rather focus on my running.
In the summer I decided that I'd try to do a triathlon... I'm glad I did because I wouldn't be where I am now if not for that. I'd been doing some weights earlier in the year when I wasn't too focused on running, but during the summer that stopped. I was swimming about 3-4 times a week, biking a few times, and running a couple times a week. The triathlon I did, a junior triathlon (half regular distance), I placed 4/4 with other people who were around my age and all better swimmers than me, 2 of which had apparently done triathlon for some number of years. This was a little dissapointing, but considering the circumstances of me just beginning to swim regularily that summer and without instruction, I was happy. I knew that swimming had to be my main priority over the next year since that is where I fell behind.
In the fall (this past fall), I joined the school swim team and cross country once again. I put in a lot of time and with great coaching improved the technique of my strokes significantly. I shaved off approximately 1/3 of my short distance free/back times and could swim for far longer without tiring as quickly. At the end of November, the swim season ended. I purchased good winter running clothing, did some of that, and went to the school fitness center regularily. I did a lot of circuit training until Christmas, where afterwards I focused primarily on my legs and abs doing plyometrics and additional speedwork on the treadmill.
I joined a summer swim club (that meets twice a month through the rest of the year) and indoor track started once again. That puts me to now. I'm working on improving my 200m time on the track and although I'm more of a natural distance runner than a sprinter, I think I can really improve my times if I focus on doing some plyometrics and practicing my technique. I plan on doing a couple full length olympic distance triathlons in the summer and doing a 100km bike for Cancer in May and a 150km bike in June for Multiple Sclerosis.
I've went from inactive, approximately 175 pounds and not caring too much about athletics, to about 155 pounds, trying to put on a little extra muscle (for sprinting, swimming, and biking), and being very focused and intense on my athletics and wanting to improve myself. Not only that, but I feel that I've improved my self-image, confidence, and my will to persevere through difficult tasks (including pulling up my marks in school significantly).
I've heard from many family members (especially my dad), that they're happy to see what I've done and I'm actually inspiring to them. My brother and sister have become more interested in running, swimming, and biking since I've started doing all of those, my cousins have began running to help with their soccer, my dad has gone out to the pool with me on a reglar basis and is losing weight... it's really encouraging to both see and hear that from other people. This site has also been a great place. It's cool to see the other athletic goals that people talk about and it's been a great source of information.
That's where my athletic passion stems from.
Neo-Cortex, Frontal Lobe<br />Brainstem! Brainstem! <br />Hippocampus, Neural Node, Right Hemisphere...