|Triny: From Out of Shape Mom to Ironman Triathlete to Advocate #itcouldbeme|
|Why did you decide to see a dietitian?|
I decided to see Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD, CSSD, LD in 2003 shortly after having my first baby, Mateo. I spent most of my pregnancy listening to well-meaning relatives who always told me I had to eat for two! I was eating huge portions and had no clue what to eat or when. In retrospect, I was doing pretty much everything wrong. I was nursing and the extra calories that I was burning did not compensate for my eating habits. The most exercise I got was walking .25 of a mile to Starbucks to get a grande caramel Frappuccino. I was always hungry and really had no idea why. I had always been blessed with a great metabolism, and for the first time in my life, I no longer recognized my body and felt very uncomfortable and unhappy.
What did you change in your diet?
I changed everything. I realized that I could not eat like my husband and children. I had to design and plan my food strategy so I could be successful. I promised myself I would log my food every day no matter what. Catherine told me that people who logged lost 50 percent more weight than those who did not. Well that was enough for me! Logging made me accountable and aware of what I was really eating. It has been an amazing tool. I started limiting my portions by using smaller plates. Then with Catherine’s suggestions I started finding great alternatives that could substitute unhealthy food choices with healthy ones. After a short while I found myself in a routine. I had found a great combination of foods that I enjoyed eating, were easy, kept me satisfied and were very healthy.
How much weight did you lose?
I lost 50 pounds and 55 inches all over my body.
When did you start racing?
My first triathlon was in April of 2010. I fell in love with the sport instantly. I was so grateful to have found something that made me feel so strong and good about myself. I found an incredible network of friends in the triathlon community and I was hooked!
When I started, I considered myself a runner. However, that quickly changed as I discovered my passion for cycling. I had to change my diet to focus on peak performance. I found this part to be the most challenging. I had to increase my caloric intake significantly per day. It sounds easy but it really is not. I had to fill those calories with food that would help my body be the most efficient it could be. Once more I put myself in Catherine’s hands. She explained to me and helped me understand what and when to eat certain foods. I now eat a lot of carbohydrates throughout the day and especially when I am preparing for a race. I have increased the amount of “healthy fats” in my diet and have found that certain foods like cherries and chocolate milk are excellent aids for the body to recover. I started achieving great results and even won my division at the Texas State Time Trial on two occasions.
I moved to Colorado with my family in 2016, and as my kids grew, I was able to train even more consistently. I genuinely benefited by training at altitude and started setting big goals, goals I would have never imagined when I started, like qualifying for Kona, the Ironman World Championships.
Biggest achievement as a triathlete?
This question is a bit tricky for me because it has more than one answer. I had the most successful athletic year in 2017, I set several personal records and was faster, stronger, and the fittest I had been yet. I finished Ironman Cozumel had a time of 10:46:51 and came in 4th place. This has been by far my best performance. However, I missed my goal of qualifying for Kona.
I came back home, and I was determined to qualify at Ironman Boulder. On May 8, 2018, I was hit by a driver with in a truck while riding my bike, training on the Ironman Boulder bike course. I was in the hospital for 6 days, with 12 fractures all over my body and a punctured lung. Shortly before the crash, I had applied for the Women for Tri Inspirational Woman of the Year Kona slot. I found myself not being able to move in a hospital bed but having enough faith to believe I could do anything I set my mind to, so I asked a friend to submit the application.
I was awarded the slot and got the chance to participate in Kona that year. That is something I will never forget. I worked harder than I have ever worked in my life, not only to recover but to complete the race. I also raised close to $32,00 for Women for Tri. Every single moment of the race was one of absolute gratitude and happiness.
When I returned from Kona, I started studying the narrative between motorists and vulnerable users of the road. I discovered there were several layers to the current problem. One of them had to do with how motorists view vulnerable users, specifically cyclists. I found multiple studies that demonstrated motorists were no longer viewing cyclists as human.
I decided to create a movement to change that. I made a short video and asked friends to make one as well. I sent all the footage to a video editor and managed to put together an incredible 4-minute reel, showcasing what had happened to me and the call to action for more videos.
I posted this video on July 29, 2019, and within the first week, it had 24,000 views on Facebook. I have never looked back. My mission with this movement is to change the current “US vs Them” dynamic by re-humanizing cyclists and all vulnerable users of the road. I am asking people to make short videos where they share something about themselves and then they take a vow to follow all the rules of the road and ask motorists to look out for them and keep them safe. They end the video by saying because “IT could be me”. They share the video on their social platforms with the #itcouldbeme (this is essential- to break out of our echo chamber) and then they send it to me. I then share it on all my platformsI visualize the campaign as a three-fold consisting of education, policy change, and a strong visual movement. I want to create a long term impact and change how people perceive not only cyclists and all vulnerable users of the road but their attitude toward driving in general.
Today #itcouldbeme keeps growing daily. We have received hundreds of videos showcasing identities of those otherwise anonymous bodies on the road. This has had a tremendous impact, and I get feedback regularly on how profoundly this movement has touched them.
I have received two awards for #itcouldbeme. I was the Outspoken Woman of the Year and The Triathlete Magazine Age Grouper of the Year both in 2019. These incredible recognitions have touched my heart deeply and made me realize all of my efforts are working.
Today #itcouldbeme has over 50 ambassadors all over the world. We have kept the ambassador program open so it can continue to grow as we do. We have created incredible partnerships with different brands and have built a fantastic team, all of us working very hard, and we will not stop. We will make roads safer together.
Congratulations Triny not only on your weight loss and athletic accomplishments but your advocacy for others. Losing weight and exercise changed the course of Triny’s life. It has been an honor to watch the journey.
Be sure to check out www.itcouldbeme.org to purchase swag to support #itcouldbeme or if you are interested in becoming an ambassador.