2019 Member Spotlight – Pamela SimmondsDecember, 2019
I’ve always been pretty active. I ran track through High School and College and I played softball from elementary school until I started doing triathlons a few (almost 10!!) years ago. I did my first marathon while in Law School and once I started working I started looking for my next new challenge. I was talking to a co-worker, who happened to be an NTP co-leader (hey Will!), and he suggested I sign up for the New Triathlete Program (NTP). That conversation took all of two minutes to convince me to do my first Tri. I realized shortly after that conversation that my swimming skills were suspect, I wasn’t going to drown but had some serious concerns about swimming in open water for any distance and probably hadn’t ridden a real bike in almost 10 years…this was going to be a challenge but it was exactly what I was looking for.
I joined the 2010 NTP class and loved it. I loved the challenge of working toward a big goal, working on different disciplines, and learning new swimming and biking skills. I also made some great friends. I met two of my best friends during a swim clinic, I hopped in their lane because they looked nice and also like they didn’t know what they were doing. My first race was the DC Triathlon in June 2010, I did the olympic distance and was hooked. I signed up for Nations in September and somehow ended up at the So You Think You Want to be an Ironman clinic that fall. I signed up for Ironman Florida the day it opened.
At that point I was fully into Tri-life, had signed up to be an NTP co-leader the next year, and was singing the praises of NTP to anyone who would listen. My mom and a group of her friends set a new challenge for themselves every new year and after listening to me rave about triathlons they decided to sign up for the 2011 NTP. There were definitely some ups and downs during her training, she had a mini-meltdown a few weeks before the race when she decided she just didn’t feel like training anymore and had convinced her friend that they should just back out of the race, hang out, and drink wine. I sat them down and told them if they quit at that point they would never forgive themselves and regret it forever. They begrudgingly got back to their training plans for the last few weeks and in June 2011 she and one of her best friends became triathletes. Although they both “checked the box” on doing triathlons and have gone on to other things I know going through the training and completing the race has given them a great sense of accomplishment that no one can take away. Since completing her first tri my mom has gone on to do numerous charity rides. She still enjoys biking and swimming, and we’ve been chatting about doing a half marathon next spring.
I also suckered my brother into doing the New York City Triathlon in 2016 and although he thought I was trying to kill him, I’m pretty sure he secretly enjoyed the accomplishment. I’m still working on getting my dad to do a tri at some point, so far it’s been an absolutely no, but stay tuned!