IRONMAN Arizona 2016 was going to be my one and done full IRONMAN. I have done many Sprint/Olympic Triathlons and two Half IRONMAN races. But what made IMAZ such an amazing experience was being able to swim/bike/run it as part of a team. Smile Train is the most amazing team to be a part of. The support and camaraderie, along with the fact that I was fundraising to help children have a better life, kept me motivated and inspired. I loved having a uniform to wear, at the local events that represented something very special. When I finished IMAZ 2016, the feeling was euphoric and something I will never forget. But mostly I will remember the fact that I got to help children be able to eat, drink, speak and most of all SMILE.
At this time, I am a Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten combo teacher. I have been teaching for over 20 years, so I have taught many ages. The best part about working with kids is their smile. I am a wife to a wonderful husband, Vern, who supports me in all my crazy adventures, and a mother to three grown children. I grew up with a running background; discovered distance in junior high and never looked back. About five years ago I was in a rut and decided to try something new, called a triathlon. My husband decided to go along with me. First, I had to learn how to swim, then we had to get bikes. We did our first triathlon nine months later. We built up from there until I ventured off the couple’s path into a half IRONMAN then a full. Vern became my biggest supporter and he is still supporting me today.
Through Smile Train Team EMPOWER I was able to realize a dream. I love to learn from those I can and help those who need it. The people I meet, the training involved, the way my body feels when I am done with a competition are all reasons why I love triathlon. Especially because the triathlete community is a very special group of people, open to questions and accepting of all. Being a part of Smile Train Team EMPOWER helps me to do all the things I love to do and help children, all over the world, to realize their own dreams of a better life.