Atlanta Multisports Magazine Issue No 3 - Page 27

I was coaching soccer for more than 10 years at Georgia Futbol Club (GFC) and Gwinnett Soccer Association (GSA) and although I was exercising 6 hrs. a week with the boys, I was taking medicine to lower my Cholesterol levels every day from 2001.In 2013 at 52 years old I stopped coaching and decided to run a 5k that my employer (Time Warner) organized through the Fit Nation program. I was surprised when they announced my name as the 1st place in my age group 50-54. That motivated me to register and run all the races that Fit Nation was sponsoring. They also offered training for a sprint triathlon with the Atlanta Triathlon Club and I decided to participate. My first sprint triathlon was on the 29th of September 2013, at Lake Lanier. It was fun! I enjoyed every minute of it very much. I finished in 19th place out of 42 in my age group and my goal was just to finish before the cut off time, so again I surprised myself. In 2014, I ran a few 5k races, 10k races, and in my second spring triathlon I finished 9th in my Age Group. In November, I ran my first half marathon and I was really happy for finishing in less time than what I expected. My Doctor found out that with all the training and running I was doing, I didn't need to take Cholesterol medicine anymore. My health was improving dramatically!There are a lot of obstacles that you must pass in order to do what makes you happy. For example, on September 6th 2014, I participated in the John Tanner Spring Triathlon. I was unhappy because one week before the Triathlon, I was notified that I was going to lose the job that I truly enjoyed at the end of the year. I was very anxious worrying about my future every second, going into the swim I was thinking about that loss and things did not go well. I could not concentrate on my swimming during the race. I ended up swimming a longer distance and annoyed by other swimmers while trying to avoid them. I was able to get over that feeling during the bike section even when my chain kept derailing going down hill, and I had to stop and fix it. The run went well, however I got out of there as soon as possible. I was sad and disappointed with my swim time. I knew that I could have finished in a better place. I learned that to perform well in a race you must be mentally prepared. The happier you go into it the better the result will be, even if you end up in last place. The medals are nice because they remind you of your successes and all the work that went into getting them. However, I try to measure success in the way I feel about what I just done, not necessarily by the medals. I learned to enjoy every minute of my training, and really enjoy every race, and leave my worries where they belong.For the year 2015 I have decided to participate in the Water Front Chattanooga Olympic distance triathlon, and train again with the Atlanta Triathlon Club. With the help from their great coaches and the indescribable camaraderie that I feel with this diverse group of athletes, I have more probabilities for success.

Abelardo Casillas