For this week's #wcw I would like to introduce you to my teammate and friend Kelly Riegel-Green.
1. When was your first tri (or when will it be), and what made you sign up?
Kelly is a fighter! Kelly will be an Ironman! Kelly's journey to Ironman is a lot different from many of ours. Kelly has Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension and Occipital Neuralgia, and recently had a full hysterectomy to remove a tumor that did have cancer. Kelly is a paratriathlete that has to overcome so much to even make it to the start line of each race! During the race, she counts on teammates to guide her through each of the events because sometimes her neurological diseases cause partial blindness during the race.
I am so honored to share her story, in her words:
I did my first tri as a relay in aug of 2013. My first solo on was Aug/Sept 2015. My first tri as a paratriathlete was July 2015 - caseville (99 days after my 8th brain surgery).
At first it just seemed like it was one of those impossible things that really fit people could do… After losing well over 100 pounds I had started biking and running and someone suggested a tri.
During all the surgeries (8 brain surgeries in 104 day span plus lumbar, peritoneal (stomach) and brain drains, lumbar punctures) all I would do is focus on I want to be an ironman. I would walk the neuro ICU with a nurse and when they asked why I would keep pushing I would say I need to keep up my strength so I can be an ironman.
2. What motivates you to do triathlons?
So many things actually. Showing my kids that you can! “Beating” the fat girl I use to be- conquering overeating and anorexia . Proving that even with 2 neurological diseases and being a paratriathlete is means I am in control of my health again.
3. What races are on your bucket list?
MI titanium full ironman, Marine Corp. marathon, quantico tri, army 10 miler….. Paratriathlon olympic team for singapore 2020
4. What race are you the most proud of?
Every race i do makes me proud for a different reason. Be it learning something new about myself and what I can do, meeting someone along the way that becomes a friend, proving that I can go faster or longer than I thought, that i taught someone about paratriathletes or my conditions. Or maybe that I raced with one of my kids.
5. If you could race with one person, who would it be and why?
Just one?!! Yikes there are a few people I want to race with actually…
Dr. Boyd Richards- my neurosurgeon.. He is a runner and I just think it would be a great time. He reminded me when i saw the first scars that “ironman trumps bikini model everyday” and has always said we will figure things out and he’ll help as much as he can to make my goal happen and me healthy
Jason Madaus because he’s constantly encouraged and listened to me and become a great friend but we live a few states away so haven’t met in person.
Bonnie Kissinger- my coach because it would be awesome to show her in person how much she’s helped me
Amy Dixon- because she’s an amazing triathlete and hopefully that means we are teammates on the olympic team for 2020 =)
Leslie Battle (though we technically have raced the same race recently LOL) .. because she’s just a great person who has often helped keep my head on straight and focused.
John Hirsch- because again he has helped keep my head straight and reminded me of my goals and he’s freaking amazing athlete
Allen Moredock- another go to person in my life for inspiration, focus and ideas but distance has prevented us from racing together.
There is a BIG list…=) guess I better get to work and get more races on my schedule LOL