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It All Started With Ramblin’ Rose

By Michelle Perno


I am so grateful for the Ramblin Rose series. I was arm twisted into joining a friend on a crazy journey that ended with Ramblin Rose Huntersville in 2007 (I was part of the original Ramblin’ 100 organized by Alyse Kelly-Jones that later became Tri It For Life). When I first signed up, I didn’t even know the components of a triathlon! I thought it was just for those crazy fit people in Hawaii. I had no idea that triathlons came in different sizes and that “regular” people like me could participate in them. I used to be someone who didn’t want to do something unless I was going to be the best at it. It turns out, that is a terrible way to live life. It really limits your possibilities, because while it’s nice to want to be the best, the reality is that, we can’t all be the best at everything.

Triathlon is a wonderful community where people support you along the way no matter what your talents, and I have found this to be so refreshing. I am on a high right now because I just finished my second Iron Distance triathlon (Beach 2 Battleship full 2014, and Ironman Chattanooga 2015). I have no God given endurance talents. I was never a runner or biker or swimmer by any means. I threw shot put and discus in college! We ran 2.5m (the diameter of a discus circle)! Everything that I have achieved has been through hard work, and I’m really glad I came out of my comfort zone of needing to “be the best!”