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Tri and Try Again

Aug 2, 2013, 17:09 PM by

There were tears. But not for long.

I remember as a child—at the age of 6 maybe—crying during soccer practice. I hated soccer. I don't remember why, but I'm pretty sure it had to do with the constant running. I hated running. And so I'd cry. I'd sit on the sidelines during every practice and every game for an entire season and I'd cry while  the other children played and ran and seemed to enjoy themselves. Needless to say, my parents never signed me up for soccer again. And I eventually found sports that didn't make me burst into hysterics.

I wonder what the 6-year-old me would have thought of the YMCA's Strong Kids Triathlon. She probably would have cried—but I hope she would have sucked it up.

That was one of many elements of this weekend's event that gave me warm and fuzzy feelings: There were kids who seemed shy and nervous and scared; some of those kids cried. But most, if not all, dried their tears, got in the water, got on their bikes and ran through the finish line.

And it was a beautiful thing. Of course, this being Boulder County and all, there were plenty of kids who were decked out in their cycling jerseys and Spandex race suits (often accompanied by parents in their own gear). There were kids who seemed so comfortable with competition and their own athletic abilities. Many were out-right pumped to get moving.

But at the finish line, when the tiny athletes harnessed their last bit of strength and found the energy to sprint the last 50 yards, it didn't seem to matter whether it was their first triathlon or their fifth, whether they came in first or 14th, whether or not they had shed a few tears. Their parents greeted them all with the same smiles, hugs and pride, and they all wore their medals with a certain satisfaction and joy.

So, even if the day started with tears for some, it ended with smiles for everyone. And that means  fears were concurred and bravery was summoned.

Almost brings a tear to my eye.

Here are a few of our favorite pictures from the 2013 Strong Kids Triathlon.

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