I got hooked on triathlon almost accidentally, 3.5 years ago. A few friends were signing up for an adventure race and while I thought it would be just a causal, fun day with the girls, when I looked at the distance of mountain biking, I knew I needed help with some training. I approached Nancy at Dig Deep who helped lend me equipment, got me training in the studio once a week and convinced me to also sign up for a Sprint Triathlon at the Toronto Triathlon Festival. I wasn’t experienced in swimming, cycling or much running but I was fascinated with the idea that I could maybe complete a triathlon. It was not something I had ever considered.
I fell in love with the community and the sport – and have since completed another virtual Sprint, virtual Olympic and am currently training to race Muskoka 70.3 this July. The crew at Dig Deep, and in particular Nancy, give me so much encouragement, inspiration and confidence in whatever goals I decide to tackle. Next year I plan to attempt a full Ironman as I celebrate turning 50!
I discovered running several years ago. I did my first marathon in 2018 and with that accomplishment came a sense of empowerment…. of pride, of believing in myself. I am grateful to be surrounded by amazing people that inspire me every day. Several of them are Triathletes. As I saw them shine, conquer fears, and live their dreams, I decided I wanted to do a full Ironman. For that I would need to improve my swimming and I would need to learn how to bike.
The bike is the most challenging for me…. It is complicated… I don’t know how to change the gears, or clip in, change a tire…. It has its own vocabulary and odd stats on my Garmin… It is intimidating. Dig Deep is helping me conquer fears on the bike; I am now having fun with amazing buddies, discovering new routes (and bakeries). I feel welcomed. I feel I can ask any question, without shame of my ignorance. I am improving my bike skills; my fitness and I am having fun. I have found my tribe.
With the support of Dig Deep, I have signed to do my first Triathlon race: Toronto Triathlon Festival, Olympic Distance on 24 July 2022.
I am excited with my training and coaching with Dig Deep and I am looking forward to celebrating my race and the club members achievements during this season.
With Dig Deep, you have the support you need, no matter what level you are. Even when you have doubts, Dig Deep team is there for you, reminding you that you can achieve anything!
In 2015, I stopped couch surfing, and started to swim…then run…and bike….I told Nancy what I was doing – and she insisted I could do a Triathlon, so I signed up for Toronto Triathlon Festival….and the rest is history! Now I have 8 Sprints, 3 Olys, and 3 half marathons under my belt. Honestly, without Nancy, I would still be sitting putting on my shoes at my first Sprint! Riding at Dig Deep has been such an amazing growth experience on the bike, and I missed it immensely during COVID…so glad to be back with Nancy and the Dig Deep gang to have some serious fun getting healthier, and stronger!
Curiosity is what led me to the start line of my first triathlon in 2017 in my mid 30s. Alone, clueless but exhilarated. I learned how to run after. Swim freestyle after. Ride a road bike, after.
I joined Dig Deep – new to all 3 sports – with an audacious dream of doing a half ironman. Still clueless, but now with a budding sense of community. One that warmly enabled, not judged. Between their embrace of education and infectious encouragement, I completed my first half in 2019 and first full Ironman in 2021. I don’t feel alone anymore and neither clueless but still have SO much to learn – that’s what keeps me excited and makes me want to give back. Inclusivity and representation of women, especially of color, is something I am passionate about and hence, identify myself as a proud Ambassador of Dig Deep. This sport and the people it came with have helped me find purpose and discover myself. It’s taught me the meaning and power of togetherness and that you don’t have to know everything, you just have to want to know.
My name is Shelly Christensen, I began my journey with competitive cycling back in 1985. It was Steve Bauer’s dad who encouraged me to race. Mr. Bauer taught at the high school I attended. At the time there was a local high school bike race, which involved a team relay race. The participation requirements were simple there needed to be 1 female and 3 males. I say that tongue in cheek as it isn’t always simple finding women at any age willing to ride a bike, let alone race one.
I was fortunate enough to be the sole female. After that as the saying goes the rest is history…. I was bitten by the cycling bug. I have competed in bike racing in all categories from junior to master’s and in multiple disciplines. I love the challenge of what I can do on a bike as the sport itself has the capacity to push your abilities above and beyond limits which you would not think is possible. For me, cycling is an integral part of my life, I am a nurse practitioner in a mental health and addictions program. My bike provides me with an outlet to manage the stress of providing health care in a high needs’ population. My passion for cycling also includes coaching particularly women who are new to the sport, whether it is for fun, fitness or competition.
When I started my triathlon journey, I wasn’t truly certain I could do it. The community I found through Dig Deep not only helped prepare me physically for my goal event, but also gave me the support and confidence to aspire to (and accomplish!) more than I ever expected to!