By: Maria Venegas
It all started over a year ago when Loree walked over to my desk and saw a pink TRI shirt hidden in the bottom of my desk drawer. It had been there for over two years and I had wanted to complete a triathlon for at least twenty years. Completing a triathlon was my dream as a teenager, but I thought it was an impossible dream. Watching other people swim, bike and run was very exciting; but I could never imagine myself being out there. I had never ran in my life and I could barely ride my mountain bike, but I could swim. Then Loree said the magic words, “You can achieve anything you want to do, just join me and start running with the club and give it a try.”
I thought about it more than twice, before I decided to go to the greenway… but I said, “Well, if I don’t like it, I just will not go back, but… I LOVED it. I was very welcomed by all the ladies and I felt the good energy and encouragement, I mean I could really feel the love. The other detail that took me greatly by surprise was the circle of prayer; it was so powerful and I truly felt His presence.
Since then, I have never stopped running. On my journey, I have met wonderful women that touched my life in one way or another. I have learned that it is not only about running; it’s also and most importantly about being able to build personal confidence, believing in yourself and believing that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to with effort and dedication.
In May, I completed the first of eight official races, and in June, my dream became true. I was able to complete my first triathlon. I have no words to describe the feeling of crossing the finish line. It was very exciting. I not only accomplished something very important, but at the finish line, I saw the faces of the woman that have supported me all the way and have helped me to get there….the Purple Butterflies.
I will continue running because I am a runner, because I feel peace while I am running, because I believe in myself, and because I love the sisterhood I feel with the PURPLE BUTTERFLIES.