Updated: May 23
In January 2019, I was in an unhealthy relationship, bored and in need of something, but I couldn’t quite figure out what. I had played college softball many years earlier and I missed the sense of camaraderie that comes with a team sport. I needed adrenaline and a support system. My friends thought I was a lunatic.
I had been thinking about doing a triathlon for many years, but was intimidated. I had no formal training in any of the disciplines. But I love a good challenge. So I searched Google for triathlon, adventure racing, eco challenges and the like and happened upon TVTC. They were having a kick-off meeting just a couple weeks later which I put in my calendar.
I was greeted by people of all shapes and personalities. People seemed friendly, and I tried to act calm despite the fact that my mind was racing. Would this be my thing? Would these people become my people? As fate would have it, in that morning’s raffle, I won a free entry into Wildflower, an Olympic distance, and very famous, triathlon. The entry was only valid if I joined TVTC.
That night I told my not-so-great significant other that it was clear to me that the universe felt I needed to join TVTC. She looked at me and said, “Well don’t expect me to change my life, just because you want to add another thing to yours.” I explained to her that I am a big believer in signs, and that winning the raffle was OBVIOUSLY a sign that I needed to do this. She didn’t agree. We ended our relationship about 6 weeks later.
What transpired over the course of the next year is nothing short of epic. I completed my first triathlon, a Sprint distance event in Morgan Hill in the pouring rain, in May 2019, followed by a 2.5k open water swim event in Livermore in June, an Olympic distance race in Folsom in July and another Oly in Oakland in August. In the mix of all the training, working 50+ hour weeks at my law firm in Livermore, and spending time with my teammates and coaches, I met my now-fiancee, Heather.
In addition to completing races, and meeting my future wife, in that little corner of Sports Basement I met friends that I will have for the rest of my life. From post-workout lunches, bike clinics, road trips to Tahoe, training weekends, comedy shows and trips across the country, we have had a million laughs in one short year. I have never known a more caring, loving, and generous group of people. Some of those folks have become the best group of friends I have ever had.
TVTC both saved me from my life and gave me a new one. My coaches and teammates have supported me, laughed with me, shown me what true friendship is, and have helped me finally achieve some work-life balance. I know that when it comes time for me to do a 70.3 (2020 or 2021) and then a 140.6 (2021 or 2022), my coaches and teammates will be there for me, and with me, and we will celebrate together. I will do the same for each of them as they achieve their goals. I owe an extra special thank you to Liz for being a wonderful coach, teammate, road trip driver, confidant, motivator, organizer and all-around good human. She also happens to be the person who pulled my name out of the hat for the Wildflower entry!
Thank you to Melissa for sharing her story. All this in one season with TVTC as someone brand new to the sport! We should also add that Melissa bought a bike the day before the first practice in February, then showed up, and said, "What do I do?" It is only the beginning! We can't wait to see all that Melissa accomplishes.