August athlete of the Month ~ Heidi

It’s been another busy month for Tri Energy with more and more members joining us (welcome to you all!) and a month of open water swimming, aquathlon and triathlon debuts, park run debuts, 5k PBs, long bike sportives….and so on. Our August athlete of the month goes to Heidi, a very well deserved winner who has been on an incredible fitness journey that will inspire anybody!!!

Congratulations Heidi on being our August athlete of the month. We chose you for your completion of all 3 races in the Go Tri Duathlon Series despite having never done a duathlon before! Have you always been sporty?

Far from it!  I used to skive out of PE as often as I could … apart from throwing the javelin (which I was Middlesex under 12s champion), and hockey where I was made goalkeeper.  According to my supportive (NOT!!) first teacher, this role was given more due to me being unable to run, and more importantly because I filled the goal up more than most. I was lucky that for a year my hockey coach was Martyn Grimley – one of the England Men’s Hockey team which got Gold at an Olympics way back when!  I carried on playing hockey all through secondary school but my last day of school PE was pretty much my last sporting adventure for many years!

I am a qualified scuba diving DiveMaster, and was part of the way through my Assistant Instructor course when I was forced to give up diving for a while.  Since moving to Kidderminster (from Penzance in Cornwall) my options to scuba dive have become a little limited!!

I did ask, when I was told of this accolade, if Tri Energy had run out of athletes to award this to … I am in awe at the previous winners, those who inspire me, and who are pushing themselves in events!

Training for one sport is hard, but training for 3 sports is even harder!!! How did you first get involved in the world of multisport?

I was talking with Dale Evans, Wyre Forest Sports Development Officer when we were working together at an event about 6 weeks after I had undergone weight loss surgery.  He was just starting to publicise the Aquathlon that Tri Energy were hosting last October … I remember saying I could happily swim the distance, but couldn’t run!  Within half an hour, somehow I had talked myself into signing up!

AT the start of the year you committed yourself to doing all 3 of the Go Tri Duathlon Series. How did your training go for this and were you confident on the day?

I will be honest and say I didn’t actually train specifically to start with – my bike only actually came out of the garage (for the first time in over 4 years!) on the day of the first Duathlon – I couldn’t remember how the wheel came off the bike to get it in the car, and as I was running out of time, I jumped on my bike and cycled from Kidderminster to Stourport!  To say I was exhausted before I had even started was an understatement!

After the first one, I decided to spend time trying to build up stamina with my speedy walking – opting to walk wherever I could.  I should have done more cycle training, but to complete the full 10k for the two other duathlons was a massive achievement!
On the day of the last one, I was not feeling 100% and could quite easily have opted not to compete, however, I had said I would do all 3 and wasn’t about to let myself down!
What’s your best sporting achievement to date?
Completing the Trio of duathlons I guess – although my first Aquathlon was, I think, the most exciting feeling ever!  However, being able to wear a regular sized sporting vest – for a sporting club I belong to … wow what an achievement!!!
This was me at about my biggest – size 36 and weighing in at just under 26 stone!
Whilst this is not the most flattering of pictures, it is one I am extremely proud of – wearing my Tri Energy vest, taking part at a sporting event!
Which did you enjoy more the Tri Energy Aquathlon, or the Tri Energy Duathlon? and why….

Tough one – shame there isn’t a duathlon that is cycle and swim (missing out the run!) I may do a bit better in that?!  It was the Aquathlon, that started me off on this journey, so would probably say that one.


How has Tri Energy helped with your goals?

The whole Tri Energy family have given me a confidence I never believed I could have.  At no point have I been made to feel like a loser because I have not quite completed a task on the Couch to 5k, or because I was last to finish.  I set out this year hoping to become more active, and to be able to complete a 5k before the end of the year.
I have done a park run sub 1 hour (my quickest previous 5k on a race for life event on the complete level along the sea front in Penzance was 1 hr 8mins – so to get a finish in a little over 50 mins through Wyre Forest, was epic!)
What advice would you give to anything thinking of giving triathlon a go?
Give it a go!  Don’t be frightened!  Join the Tri Energy family and you will have all the help and support to help you achieve your goals for YOU!
And finally….what’s next?
Urm – as I find actual running so challenging (for several reasons) I would like to be able to walk faster and further for longer, and build up stamina on my cycling – perhaps join one of the road rides?  I am keen to keep pushing myself to get fitter, and although I know this is not going to be a fast paced happening, when I look back over the past 10 months, I can only be positive as I look forward to the next 12 months!  I am not sure how much I can achieve, however, I am certainly not going to give up trying (I will be the tortoise at the back!).
I want to offer my personal thanks to everyone along the way who has spurred me on, encouraging me to keep going, and seeing the positives in what I have achieved!  It has taken me years to get over the damage done by sports teachers and the other kids at school, making my early sporting memories more like nightmares.
My journey so far has been amazing … but as they say “it’s a marathon not a sprint” I am still early on in my race – I can’t wait to see how it progresses – thanks everyone for being a huge part of it … so far!
Well done Heidi!!! Here’s to many more sporting adventures and achievements in the future!

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