Inspiring and Share-Worthy Words....

The MTN Guys reached out to several athletes who participated in the YWCA Indoor Triathlon on March 18. The first person we heard from was FRANCIE STREICH, who was so darn cool that we built a post around her experience. That post was published last Friday. Since then, we have heard from a few other tri participants, and their stories are inspiring and share-worthy. 
ALEA LESTER was the overall winner of the YWCA's Sprint Triathlon on March 18. She sent us this email:
Hello. My name is Alea and I competed in the YWCA Indoor Tri on March 18th. 
I am a Registered Dietitian, a Health Coach with the YWCA and a triathlon enthusiast. I love participating in YWCA of Minneapolis run events like this one, because they are always well run and a lot of fun. The atmosphere that is created by the employees and volunteers is one that is inviting and inspiring, while still remaining competitive. I enjoy being a part of a community where... everyone is supported and encourage, but am still able to compete at a high level. 
We also heard from BROOKE DERRICKSON, the outright winner of the Mini Sprint: 
Hi MTN--
I'm currently doing PT for a knee issue, so I dropped down to the mini distance for the indoor tri in March. I always enjoy and am inspired by seeing the variety of people who participate in the indoor triathlons at the Y. The indoor tri, especially doing the entire series, helps me to continue exercising through the winter.
My first triathlon was the YWCA Women's Tri at Lake Nokomis five years ago. My friend, Jenny, asked me in the middle of January if I'd be interested in doing with her. I said I'd do it if she did. My motto is "If it sounds slightly terrifying and is good for you, then you should do it."  I bought a bike for myself that June, a few days before taking a T2 class through the Y, and we've been doing triathlons, both the indoor and outdoor ever since. I've found biking to be the closest thing to feeling like a kid again. 
Jenny and I just started a group this January to encourage as many women as we can to sign up for the YWCA Women's tri this summer, especially women who might not view themselves as athletic. So far, we have about 25 friends and co-workers who are stretching outside of their comfort zone! We will be a buddy wave in the Women's Tri this summer called Looking Sharp. The group name is inspired by a card with a hedgehog on it, that Jenny's husband gave her when she was recovering from chemo and her hair was just starting to grow back in. 
When I first started doing triathlons, my children were little. Before the race, they would always ask me if I was going to win. I repeatedly had to tell them that I would never take first place in a race because I'm not fast. And then I would explain that I didn't do the races to come in first. I race for myself, to improve myself and to be healthy and stay strong. Last year, I got to listen to my kids tell me to never say never  because I surprisingly came in first in the mini indoor tri (due to dropping down again for an injury, and with only 11 other participants!). We had a good laugh about that. But I'll take it. 
That's what I've got for now!
MARIE RICKMYER finished in 2nd place, forty-six seconds behind Brooke in the Mini. She sent us these words:


Thank you for this opportunity.
The MPLS YWCA Indoor Triathlon has been an amazing experience. Not only is it fun and challenging, I’ve met new friends I will have forever now. This is my third one out of four. Each race, I’ve improved on my time. And to think, I hadn’t even walked a mile since last September. It feels amazing!
A couple cool things about me—I am a poet and have been meeting with the same
Writing Group for over 15 years. Between the seven of us, we have published over 15 books combined. I am currently working on my manuscript now! 
With Gratitude,
Marie Rickmyer

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