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Mandy Bird's Triathlon Journey

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We always love to hear about your GO TRI experiences. We want to shout about them and share them with everyone and inspire even more people to get involved with GO TRI.

Here, Mandy shares her story with us around how GO TRI helped her cope during a particularly hard time.

Mandy first took part in GO TRI in 2017, inspired by members of her running club, Warley Wasps Triathlon. Following the death of her sister, triathlon was just what Mandy needed to help pull herself out of her grief.

“After my sister died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), I became very withdrawn and reclusive. I realise now that I was more likely suffering from a form of depression combined with grief.

“During the grieving process, I started over eating with little to no exercise. My weight was reaching 17 stone, I was incredibly unhealthy and suffering from extreme low self-esteem issues. I had an enlarged heart, high blood pressure and an underactive thyroid. I had hit my lowest point.

 “I decided that something needed to be done. I brought myself a treadmill and   started eating healthier. I couldn’t walk on it for more than 15 minutes without   having to have a lie down, but I preserved through and exercised twice a day   and started to build up my fitness.

 “I then decided to try to run. I couldn’t do 5 seconds without having to stop. I   kept going and  ran 5k for the first time on New Year’s Day 2017.

 “My husband persuaded me to join a running club which he had found online.    I can honestly say this is one of the best things I have ever done. It changed   my life for the better.

 “I didn’t realise initially that the club also catered for triathletes - I didn’t even know what that meant at first! I began running with them twice a week, all the way through winter, saving £1 for every mile I ran and eventually having enough money for a mountain bike.I began cycling and soon after started going for swimming lessons with the club. I was afraid to put my face in the water for the first few lessons but eventually I overcame this fear.

 “The triathlon side of things interested me so much that I decided to enter a GO   TRI with the encouragement from my new friends from the club. I loved it! Every single minute. The day was amazing and the sense achievement after completing my first GO TRI event was unbelievable. I had the support of my son Mitchell and husband Brian along with so many members of my club who had turned up to cheer me on.

 “I did another GO TRI a few weeks later and knocked 10 minutes of my time, despite the rain and the wind. It’s safe to say I’ve caught the GO TRI bug.

“I’m much healthier then I was in all aspects of life. My cardiologist discharged me in August this year after being astounded by how I had turned my life around. He told me that I no longer have an enlarged heart or high blood pressure which means I have come of my medication.

 “My next goal is to complete the Black Country Triathlon in Wombourne in April but will continue  entering GO TRI events too. I’ve gotten involved in open water swimming recently - something I aspire to become better at to enable me to enter triathlon with an open water swimming discipline.

“I am happier than I have ever been and I have finally come to terms with my sister’s sudden death. I think she would be incredible proud of me and would have been my biggest supporter.  GO TRI helped me in my time of need and for that I will be forever grateful.”

Inspired by Mandy’s story and want to give GO TRI a go? Find your local events and activities by visiting gotri.org. Visit SADS to learn more about Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

Want to share your story?

We are always on the lookout for new stories to share. If you’ve got a great GO TRI tale that you are eager to share, drop us an e-mail on info@gotri.org and we will be in touch to find out more.


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