Did you know that we have world-class athletes working in many of our lululemon store locations worldwide? Laurel is an educator at our Robson Street store in Vancouver, BC who represented Canada in the World Triathlon Championships in Australia this past Fall.
A year ago I raced in my first Short Course Triathlon National Championships and qualified for the Triathlon World Championships in Australia this past September. I immediately made the decision to go. I had a big goal coming up this race season: I was going to win the World Championships!
I was excited to go to Australia and represent Canada. On the flight I met many amazing athletes who shared their stories, and I realized that I am part of an amazing community.
On the day of the race, I was definitely nervous, but as I went through my mental checklist of everything I needed to do I began to calm down. I finished my warm-up and ran over to official start. It was a fantastic site to see: 75 young girls from all over the world stretching and shaking their muscles in anticipation of the start. Given the go-ahead, we stood in silence before the gun went off!
Swim: This was by far the most brutal open water swim I have ever done! As we swam in a tight pack, I was kicked and hit too many times to remember, but I’m sure did my fair share of combat too! Towards the middle of the swim, the pack began to thin but there was still no way of passing each other. I reached the beach a little agitated but continued on autopilot as I ran for my bike.
Bike: The bike was two 20km loops along the shoreline. I hammered to the best of my abilities, but was still passed by a lot of other athletes. I thankfully did some passing of my own.
Run: The course was flat with two loops totalling 10km. I was expecting to immediately pass a ton of runners, but I didn't. I guess that's what happens when you're at the world championships! As I ran along in my own little pity party I reminded myself that this was not the person I wanted to be, not in life and not in a triathlon. With this in mind I just went for it. It was amazing what choosing a positive thought did for me. I started picking people off one by one, two by two, and group after group. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it, but I sprinted, bursting across the finish line.
I was disappointed when I finished. But as I walked through the finish area I noticed where I was - I was in the finish shoot of the world championships, and though I only finished “middle of the pack” in my race, it was “middle of the pack” of the best in the world.
Back home, I took a much-needed vacation and realized that I still want the same things out of triathlon and life: I want to live life to the fullest, be a world class triathlete, never doubt my own abilities, and appreciate the journey, having a blast along the way.
My advice to anyone who has big goals: learn from and appreciate the setbacks. Never doubt your ability to achieve greatness. Enjoy the process of becoming whoever it is you want to be.
Want to get your big goals set up and on their way? Visit our goaltender website!