Setting Goals and a Good Example
When you get up and work out every morning at 5 a.m., suffice it to say you are motivated. But most truly motivated people are always looking for ways to get more motivated, and that's what Lori Martin was thinking when she started participating in triathlons.
"Some friends and I at the gym decided we wanted to set some goals to keep us motivated," said Lori, who competed in her first race in June of 2007. "So we signed up for the Beach Bum Triathlon, which is a local thing where you do everything on the beach. We all went into it with the attitude that we just wanted to finish; we weren't looking to get a trophy."
Nevertheless, several of them did manage to secure the coveted "Coconut Monkey," including Lori, who finished 10th in the women's over 40 category. The Beach Bum is what's known as a sprint triathlon, with shortened distances of a 500-meter swim, six-mile bike ride and three-mile run. (Still, swimming in the ocean and running/biking on sand is no modest feat!) Lori was so pleased with the experience that a year later she was back at the Beach Bum, improving her personal time by five minutes. At press time, she was gearing up for her third race, as well as training for a longer marathon next spring.
"I don't consider myself a real athlete," she said. "I played sports in high school, but I was never the best at it. This is something that anybody can do and it helps with your stress, your attitude and your energy."
As a single mother who works full time, Lori has come to rely on her workouts as a way to stay in shape-physically, mentally and emotionally. Not only does exercise help her to relieve stress, it provides that all-important social time when she gets to meet new people and spend time with the friends she already has.
"It's a way to have something for myself," she said. "You find something you enjoy, you set goals, then you write them down and that's how you stay motivated. It's something I try to do in every area of my life, not just the triathlons."
Meanwhile, her five-year-old daughter, Rachel, is always looking on. Herself a bit of a budding athlete-she likes to dance and do ballet. Rachel will surely notice her mother's dedication and self-discipline. If Lori has her way, Rachel will learn from an early age that you have to work hard for the things you want; you can't get the lead role in the play without practicing every day.
Lastly, Lori mentions off-hand that she was born with a heart defect, a pretty interesting side to the story of a triathlete. She doesn't go into detail, but perhaps that's because she'd rather be counting her blessings.
"It has never stopped me from doing anything, but I've always known it was there," she said. "I know there are people out there that can't even walk, and I'm just thankful that I can get up every day and walk on my two legs."
Hometown: Fairfax, SC Home is: Hilton Head Island, where she lived for 25 years Profession: employment manager/recruiter for a health care company Hobbies: spending time with family and being actively involved in her church Guilty pleasure: chocolate Words to live by: "My life's in God's hands, so I just have to have faith."