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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 6, 2015
MOST OF US on team Yes She Can belong to other groups:
PTA, church, Keep Fit, whatever. But none of us have ever
been on a team like this. What do we have in common? Ab-
solutely nothing. From the youngest to the oldest there's a
good 30-year span. Some have children, some don't. Some
work in offices, some stay at home.
And yet we are tightly bonded and fiercely loyal. We laugh,
we car pool, we share recipes, hints and tips. We worry
when one of us misses practice. We care when one falls ill.
So maybe we do have something in common; not lifestyle
or belief, or even gender --- there are guys on the team!
What we have is heart. And heart will take us a long way.
Here are two more of our members, Fiona and Nadia.
Fiona Greensides, 43, from Scotland. Living in Trinidad 4
years and loving it.
Since moving to Trinidad my life has done a 90-degree turn.
I have accomplished so much, met some fantastic people,
and had loads of fun doing it.
In the UK I led quite a sedentary lifestyle, apart from cycling
to and from work in the summer, and the very occasional
session in the gym. Now I am a Zumba Instructor, and a
member of the Sports Committee in the Princes Town Bap-
tist Church. I take Latin dance lessons, work out in the gym
regularly, help out in Kalicharan Mas Camp, and now, if that
is not enough, I am taking part in the Trinbago Triathlon.
I have had a lot of health issues this year, and although not
over them completely I am getting there. Over Christmas
2014, I developed a chest infection which left me with
asthma. I thought I had gotten over it, but doing all this spe-
cific breathing events has brought it back a little, but each
week it is getting easier. I tore a calf muscle during a Zumba
class in April, which was rather painful and left me unable to
walk properly for a week.
My goal for the triathlon is simply to finish. I had wanted to
try one for a long time but the distances for the run always
put me off. I just hope I can manage the 1K for this one.
The support of the Yes She Can group has for one another
is tremendous. In only 4 weeks we have gone from a group
of strangers to a family, which is great.
I just want to take this opportunity to say 'Thank you' to An-
drew, Allison and Joshua, our trainers and friends by the end
of this process, and the more experienced triathletes who
we have met, for their insight and advice.
The biggest THANK YOU must go to my husband Paul
Greensides. With early starts, late finishes at work, and all
my activities, sometimes we don't see each other from one
morning to the next, but he is always supporting me, no
matter how crazy life gets.
Nadia Goodman, 36, full time mum and postgraduate
student of speech language pathology
As a child and teen, I was active. My parents were avid com-
petitive long distance runners. My siblings and I would jump
on our bikes as soon as we woke up during weekends or
holidays, and not re appear at home until hunger called.
I was active until I got pregnant with a much-longed-for little
boy. During my pregnancy I was confined to bed, and gained
a tremendous amount of weight. When my son was born
slightly early due to my preeclampsia, he was rushed to the
hospital with respiratory distress. We were in the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit for ten agonizing days.
Those ten days of trauma removed any thought of exercise
or self-care from my mind for quite a while. After seeing
some family pictures, I couldn't believe that I had allowed
myself to become what I was seeing. I made a change in my
diet, and rediscovered my love for being active. Though I still
have weight to lose, exercise became less about weight loss
and body shaping and more about improving running dis-
tances, or performance in a spin class.
Through a Yes She Can challenge, Roberta, my mother and I
formed a female running club. When talk of the triathlon
came up, I said yes immediately, thinking, well, I run regularly,
I was a wizard on my BMX as a child, and I spin obsessively,
and even though my activities near water consist of sun-
bathing or lazily paddling, I am sure I can swim 100m.
How I deceived myself! I realized that jumping off jetties in
yacht clubs and racing cousins using improvised doggy pad-
dle (I have christened my former style the Pointe-a-Pierre
Yacht Club Shuffle) does not constitute open water swim-
ming. Riding all over as a 100lb 11-year-old, or sitting in an
air-conditioned gym on a spin bike, does not constitute road
riding as an overweight 36-year-old who is convinced that
every car is out to knock her down; and enjoying my runs
fresh from a nap does not translate to speed when jumping
off a bike in the hot sun and then having to face running.
I was doubtful if I could accomplish this. I often feel like on-
lookers will wonder why I am even doing this, and that peo-
ple's first instinct would be to doubt, since I do not look as fit
as my teammates. The time away from my son also both-
Strangely enough, my self-doubt and the inconsistent state
of my health (I suffer from ulcerative colitis) is what is forc-
ing me to stay and to keep trying. I suffer from an advanced
case of good old Trinidadian "bad mind". I have decided to do
this, so I am doing it. If my stomach gives trouble, my mind
will take over. If my body decides it has had enough, my
mind is stronger. There have been moments of meltdown
when I have cried and told my husband that I am giving up,
but I have always composed myself, gritted my teeth and
started over. I have great support from my family, my hus-
band, my parents and my sister. My son thinks I am the
most magnificent creature on the planet, and tells his
friends how his mummy is going to training and that his
mummy rides bikes!
What have I gained since we started this journey? I have
gained new friends. I have developed a deeper appreciation
and respect for old friends who are also on this journey. I am
becoming quite boring in my effusive descriptions of rides.
But most of all, I am gaining some more self-respect, and I
am still here. I am still on my bike, in the pool, or on the road,
and I am NOT giving up.
By Roslyn Carrington, Fiona Greensides
and Nadia Goodman
Fiona, Nadia and a friend.
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