(Back) Maddy Hiltz and Leader Willow Winwood at triathlon training camp. (Front) Victoria Bixby

(Back) Maddy Hiltz and Leader Willow Winwood at triathlon training camp. (Front) Victoria Bixby

Living Well – Being inspired by a 5 year old’s tenacity

Vicky Trill's monthly column on sports, motivation and nutrition.

It’s amazing how much inspiration can be drawn from a child. Whether it’s the cute things they say or the amazing tenacity and resilience they have, they can really be inspirational. This summer the Desert Hills Triathlon Club ran a triathlon training camp for kids aged 5-12 years old. During the training camp, kids learned the sports of swimming, cycling and running as well as how to put these three sports together to complete a triathlon. Camp began each day at 9 am and finished at 3 pm. Kids in the camp were active all day long with a few breaks to fuel, water and rest. There are many highlights from the week long triathlon training camp, but I’d like to share one story of a child who inspired me. Her name is Victoria Bixby and she is 5 years old.

Victoria and about half a dozen other kids began triathlon training camp with training wheels on their little bicycles. The first day I asked Victoria if she would like to take the training wheels off her bike and try to learn to ride without them. She declined and had fun pedalling around with the other kids around the cones doing bicycle drills, the following day however, she was ready to take the training wheels off and give two wheels a shot. We found a grassy hill in the park and practiced coasting downhill. The first time Victoria tried the glide, she exceeded expectations by pedalling farther than just a coast. It took only a few trips down the grassy hill before she was ready to try riding on the paved parking lot on her two-wheeler. She was a little shaky with the steering at first, but was all smiles. At the end of the day, she was pleased to tell her Dad that she could now ride a two-wheeler.

At the end of the Triathlon Training Camp, most triathletes chose to participate in the TRYathlon Race which began with a swim at the Ashcroft pool, followed by a bike ride downtown and finished with a run. Victoria was one of the triathletes who was registered for the TRYathlon race. I chatted with her Dad the day before the race to suggest that as Victoria was new to riding the two-wheel bike she may be better off putting the training wheels on for the race especially given the more than 2 km ride down hills to downtown.  Her Dad said, “I don’t think that she will let me!” She hasn’t stopped riding her bike since she learned to ride a two-wheel.” She won’t let me put the training wheels back on!” I left it up to her Dad and saw little Victoria ready to race the next day with her two-wheel bike.

I didn’t get to see Victoria’s swim or her bike ride downtown, but I was waiting at the finish line and saw her bright smile coming! Not only did she finish her first triathlon and after just learning to ride on two wheels, but she also came in first place in her age group! I had tears in my eyes, as I thought about her tenacity to try and her sweet happy attitude to finish well. It seems simple and yet her example is a great one to follow for all of us.

Vicky Trill