It’s no secret that here at Title Nine we believe in working hard and playing even harder. Every winter, the company challenge for the coming year is announced. We’ve tackled century rides, a Ragnar Relay, a Vineman Sprint Triathlon, and last year took on Tough Mudder.
This year, we decided it was time to do something different, really different: we built an event for T9ers, by T9ers, to take on teams of – you guessed it – more T9ers.
And thus, in September 2013, the first ever T9 Challenge was born.
And now, as the dust settles, we can say that it was a great success!
T9 Challenge course map – click to enlarge
QUICK T9 CHALLENGE STATS
Event Location: Lake Chabot
Start time: 9:07am
Elevation gain: 1,500 ft
Teams of 4: 9
Teams of 3: 1
Teams of 2: 7
Total challengers: 56
Total volunteers: 57
Miles biked: 396
Miles run: 210
Waaaambulances called: 0
I don’t know how or when my daughter will find out that for nine years I struggled with an eating disorder, but at some point it will happen. When it does I’d like to find the right words. The words that will let her know that she is perfectly beautiful as she is. Words that encourage her to be strong when pushed and swayed by the opinion of others. Words that are honest about the dark struggle of addiction. Words that let her know that she doesn’t have to walk the same path.
Preparing to join Mom at track practice.
Perhaps it’s every mother’s dilemma: how can I raise a confident and strong young woman who doesn’t make the same mistakes I did. Is that possible? Or is it even the right desire?
I want to protect my daughter from making the same mistakes I did. I want to keep her safe, yes in the literal sense from physical harm, more accurately I want to protect her from emotional difficulty. I want to keep her safe from struggle. However, safe doesn’t jive with strong or confident or resilient. One doesn’t become these things by playing it safe, in fact strength is built from resistance…strength is a result of struggle.
Sharing finish line high fives at the T9k Chicago 2013
It has happened to me: that picture on Instagram (or Facebook or any form of social media) that suddenly makes me feel inadequate. It could be someone elses finish time, or their super bendy yoga pose or their perfectly cute and happy kid and their spacious living room in the background. In the blink of an eye I’ve compared myself and found something lacking: I’m not fast enough. I’m not flexible enough. I’m not a good enough mom and my house is most definitely too small. It doesn’t happen frequently but when it does I find myself suddenly feeling discouraged. Or maybe the opposite has happened. A glance at their photo and suddenly I realize I’m faster. I’m more flexible. I have a happier, more well-adjusted kid. My living room is more tastefully decorated. And suddenly I’m walking tall and feeling confident.
It is all too easy. For many, especially for athletes, the draw of being active is competition. It is in our blood. We train with competition in mind. We compete with winning in mind. The unfortunate side-effect is that sometimes that mindset trickles into our daily life: we compete and compare almost unknowingly.