A Crazy Awesome Adventure (Taylor’s thoughts on NCAA Triathlon Team)

               

     Wow it’s crazy to think it’s already September and I’ve been at college for two and a half weeks! I haven’t had the chance to sit down and reflect on the whirlwind of chaos I’m living. However, if I could sum it up into two words I’d say it’s “crazy awesome!”

                I am a freshman at Black Hills State University and I am on the triathlon team. My whole life I have always competed on and for a team. I knew there was no way I could survive college without being on a team. So when the opportunity to be on BHSU’s triathlon team came up, I was ecstatic!

                I love triathlons, but the past few years it hasn’t been easy training by myself. This past summer was especially difficult working and trying to fit in training here and there. Plus, I didn’t have a team to train with. Last summer I would at least run with girls from the cross country team, but this year I no longer was on that team and training just seemed kind of empty. I think that’s why race day was always so special because we would meet up with friends, race, and celebrate afterwards.

                But now, I’m on a team again and it’s a blast! There are six of us girls on the tri team, and each girl plays a vital role on our team. I’ve never had this much fun training in my entire life (even though we have 6a.m. practices). I believe team comradery is key to any sport, even if you race as an individual, you train as a team. It is so much fun to have these built in friendships that will last a lifetime! Plus, it makes walking into the cafeteria a lot less daunting knowing I have a seat saved with the tri team.

                Training with the girls has pushed me beyond limits I never thought I could surpass. Working out has been exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. Even though there wasn’t much of an altitude change, breathing was a butt-kicker at first (especially in running). But wow, training in the middle of the Black Hills is an amazing experience! There is never a dull view at any practice. Watching the sunrise over the hills on a morning run is a striking way to start the day. I have definitely upped my bike average because when we’re biking I always can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner. And I have to say around every turn is a whole new dazzling scene. Even swimming, sighting little wooden bridges among the towering pine trees is a view I will never get tired of. There is something magical about training in the hills and it all seems like a dream. Yet, this dream is a reality and I am loving every minute of it!

                Of course, it is college and there are classes I have to go to. I was honestly terrified of what class would be like. But here I am, and I’m still alive after the first two weeks of class. It isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Homework takes a little bit more time, but class doesn’t. The best part is, I finish all of my classes in the morning so that I can go do homework outside in the afternoon and admire everything around me.

                College has been a lot to take in these past couple of weeks. There have been so many activities and free events. I think this is the first time I’ve sat down and absorbed everything. I honestly don’t think I would be doing this well without the team. I get homesick every now and then, but the girls are always there to help take my mind off it.

                Plus, I get to see my family this weekend for my first race as a NCAA athlete! Our debut race of the season is this Sunday where it will just be our team competing against SDSU. I am so excited to see where I am at. I haven’t raced in almost a month and it is driving me crazy!

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