At 5 a.m., Fara Adams sat on the edge of the bed in her Kansas City hotel room, breastfeeding her baby and thinking, “This is completely crazy.” It was the day of her first triathlon and the culmination of five months of training.
After having her fourth child at the age of 38, Fara had set a fitness goal.
“I wanted to do something big, something I had never done before that would really push me to the limit,” she said.
And the triathlon fit that category. Fara is a seasoned runner but a novice at cycling. And she didn’t know how to swim.
Yep. She’s crazy.
I’ve watched Fara over the years on the stage as an instructor at Jazzercise or pushing us during a Personal Touch class. She’s petite and encouraging and always has a smile on her face. Don't be fooled. That girl is tough. Fara doesn’t back down, even in the face of a challenge that required her to take swimming lessons and conquer a long-distance bike ride.
“I'll be honest and say there were many times I wanted to give up. My mind told me I was in over my head. My body was still so weak from childbirth. I was up at night with a newborn. Occasionally, I resented the fact that I had to put time in on the weekend when I really wanted to stay home and relax,” she said. “But I had set a goal and I wasn't going to back out. I had shared my goal with friends and family which helped to keep me accountable. I wanted to show my kids that when you commit to something, you follow through.”
So Fara kept at it, lacing up the shoes for another run instead of collapsing on the couch after a day at work, logging miles on the bike and laps in the pool. And she kept getting up on the stage to teach Jazzercise.
“Strength training is huge as well, along with cardio endurance. Jazzercise provided my cardio base, which helped my body endure hour-long swimming sessions. As an instructor I knew how to analyze the movements I needed for each sport and strengthen those muscle groups,” Fara said.
No wonder her Jazzercise classes were extra tough. We were part of her training regimen.
By 6:30 a.m. on the morning of the race, Fara was in a wetsuit at the lake getting warmed up and still questioning her own sanity. The lake was cold, dark and forbidding. But when the horn went off, she started swimming.
“I kept thinking of how I've prepared for this for months. I can do this. I will not stop. And I kept repeating that to myself,” she said.
And she did it, celebrating the end of each leg of the race with a big smile on her face.
“I absolutely loved the whole experience,” she said. “At times I was even teary because I was just so damn proud of myself for accomplishing something so far out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Well, I’m proud of you, too, Fara.
Now, could you ease up a little bit in class, for cryin’ out loud?!
Have you ever set a big fitness goal for yourself and accomplished it? Do you have a goal that you're working on now?