Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Just When You Thought I Was Crazy Enough…-

I’m doing a triathlon.

A former client turned friend who moved to Austin called me yesterday and said “let’s do the Austin Triathlon together!”

Without much hesitation, I said “yes!”

Why, you ask?


You see, I feel i’ve wasted too much of my life worrying and holding back from doing the things I really want to do.  I have wanted to do a triathlon for over 12 years.  I have also wanted to learn to surf for that long too! I learned to snowboard roughly nine years ago, but want to get better at it. I learned to wakeboard six years ago, and ditto!


On the triathlon note, why have I never done one?  I’ll clue you in.  I used to do fitness competitions.  They weren’t a positive thing for me because I was obsessive about my training and dieting.  It if for this reason that I have never pursued anything much more than 5k races, soccer, and professional women’s football (yes, you read that right, women’s football) since then.  The preparation for fitness competitions became a very negative thing for me, because I not only overtrained BIG time, I isolated myself and would eventually become extremely run-down and depressed as a result.  In fact, the last two competitions I trained so hard for, I decided not to compete in a week prior to the shows.  That last decision was in April of 2001 and was a result of my health.  My thyroid had been tanking for over a year, and my body was fighting me.  I have been on thyroid meds since May 2001, and although my levels are normalized, I have symptoms of chronic fatigue and am very heat sensitive.  My body basically told me to STOP the madness and take better care of myself.  Good thing, because I was miserable!  Also, at that same time, I was involved in a business deal that turned really bad (fortunately I didn’t lose any money, but I did lose my dream at the time, as the business started because of my vision).  My answer?  Go back to school!  It was like a lightbulb flickered on and I thought “i’ll become a Doctor!” LOL!  Pipe dream!  I did really well with pre-med coursework and the MCAT, though.  Let me tell ya, going back to school at the age of 25 is completely different, especially when you are FOCUSED and not obsessed with working out (as I was in undergrad, hence a few “F”‘s on my transcript which will forever haunt me, lol).  So…I shifted my focus from physical to mental.  It was nice, but of course I couldn’t find a balance and studied all day long, on top of taking the Princeton Review for the MCAT.  I rocked the MCAT, though, but didn’t get one single interview from any school.  GPA…go figure.  Not meant to be!  I busted my as* and proved to myself that I could accomplish a helluva lot in doing this, though, so it was worth it.  Even though I amassed more student loan debt as a result, it was worth it.

This brings me to the reasons WHY I want to do a triathlon.

First and foremost, I won’t be doing it for anyone else but MYSELF.  In the past, I did a lot of things because I felt they were expected of me.  The older i’ve gotten, the more i’ve realized that I should be the only factor in deciding what’s expected of me.  Other opinions don’t matter.  If I don’t know in my heart and mind that something is right, then I won’t do it.  That’s all there is to it!  I have finally reached a point in my life where my “inner voice” is able to be heard, versus me blocking it out.

My “inner voice” now says “WHY NOT?” instead of “WHAT IF YOU FAIL?”

Secondly, I have pretty much convinced myself that i’m not meant to do distance running.  An Olympic triathlon is a 0.93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run.  So…obviously not only will I be doing some distance running, i’ll be swimming and biking as well!  YAY!  I am SO ready to eliminate this lame-as* “you can’t do distance running” thought from my brain, because it’s wearing me out!  WHY NOT?  Why can’t I do it?  No reason.  I WILL do it!  NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

PS, thanks Anna ( for telling me that yesterday! 🙂

I am so sick and tired of living life worrying about the itty bitty stuff that really doesn’t matter!  I’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again (as well as many times after this, i’m sure): LIFE IS TOO SHORT!


(Yes, I realize I was screaming, lol…DEAL WITH IT!) 🙂

Get ready for updates from my trials and tribulations of training for my first triathlon!  Wow…what a tongue twister that is!

The race is Saturday Sept. 7!  I will be in Austin that weekend anyway for Labor Day…again, why the hell not? 🙂 Now my friends will just have to hang out and support me that morning instead of packing up to head to the lake…which we will surely do later that day!

Thursday’s workout was a 4.1 mile jog around the LSU lakes…in the mid-afternoon heat (will never do that again, ugh) – 36:24 .  I am STUBBORN and had told myself i’d just jog for like 20-30 minutes…go a bit and then turn around and come back.  That obviously didn’t happen!  Once I make it to the opposite side of the big lake, there’s no turning back.  I just kept telling myself to keep jogging…I wouldn’t even walk.  Yep, that’s me!


17 responses

  1. Awesome that you have a new goal driving you forward. Congratulations.

    June 6, 2009 at 3:22 am

    • Hey T!
      Thank you, and yes, i’m crazy! 😀

      June 6, 2009 at 9:13 am

  2. Paul

    June 6, 2009 at 7:46 am

    • Paul

      … forgot to even write my reply. Train hard, I am rooting for you.

      June 6, 2009 at 7:46 am

      • Awesome, Paul!
        Thanks for posting that!
        And thanks for your support! 🙂

        June 6, 2009 at 9:14 am

  3. That’s awesome! Good for you! Can’t wait to hear about your journey :).

    June 6, 2009 at 9:00 am

    • Hey Julie!
      Thank you!
      I am borrowing a client’s road bike, and am also going to be able to do stationary training @ their house b/c she & her hubby have a setup in the garage, along with a computer that monitors things. You “pretend” you’re in the Tour de France! lol Also, I got a tether thing for use in a pool, and am going to use that at a friend’s house until August, then i’ll join the Y and be able to track my distance. My weight training days will focus on core and kettlebells, and of course, short and intense is the goal!
      Yours in Health,

      PS – I NEED A MASSAGE THERAPIST! If I had a private jet, i’d fly to you! 😀 One day, who knows?!!! LOL

      June 6, 2009 at 9:17 am

      • Julie

        I believe endurance is mostly a mental thing. Positive self talk will get you a LONG way. Wishing you the best! If you get that private jet and need a massage therapist, come on out! 🙂

        June 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm

        • Hey Julie!
          I’m gonna come up with a few positive “mantras” like i’ve done before…back when I used to do fitness competitions, I used to write stuff on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. Just another way of “etching” these positive thoughts into one’s mind! Thank you bunches! I’ll keep working on the jet!
          Yours in Health,

          June 7, 2009 at 9:35 am

  4. hey sarah great message exactly what i needed to hear. I have finally reached the point after 25 long years that life is short and we should be focusing on the things that we can change and doing whats best for us individually and other opinions dont matter


    June 6, 2009 at 10:05 am

    • Hey Anthony!
      Thank you for your comment and i’m glad you appreciated what I had to say!
      Kudos to your for reaching “that point”!!! It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?
      All we can do is give each & every day our BEST shot. Too many people are apathetic & just let life pass them by. No thanks!

      Keep it up!

      Yours in Health,

      June 6, 2009 at 10:13 am

  5. JMJ

    Awesome Sarah. Great to have something to train for. It really will focus your own workouts now that u are training for something. I did the Navy SEAL fitness challlenge last month. It was a lot of fun and a great test of fitness levels. Just knowing I was training for that really intensified my own workouts. Good luck, I’lll be checking in on your training updates. I’m thinking about doing a mini triatholon.

    June 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    • Hey Jason! 🙂
      Great to hear from my Texas buddy!
      I saw the pics on your site from the SEAL challenge…how long did you train for it? What was the toughest aspect of it for you? I will be talking about my training and progress! I think you should definitely go for the mini-tri! Why not? 🙂

      Yours in Health,

      June 7, 2009 at 9:33 am

  6. I think the hardest thing will not be running or swimming so far, but not falling of the bike while clipping your feet in and out!

    June 6, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    • Anna!
      That’s what i’m scared of!
      Actually, i’m more scared of another rider clipping me and going down, although I have a feeling that I won’t be in the middle of a big group..
      Getting kicked during the swim! I had two black eyes from my bad car wreck 3 years ago, and I don’t plan on having one ever again! 😀

      June 7, 2009 at 9:37 am

  7. JMJ

    Hi Sarah, I trained for about 1 month. I just wanted to see if my current style of traing translated well into this challenge. I do a lot of BW training and circuit style, modified crossfit, so I really only increased my cardio with more running. The hardest for me was the swimming, by far. I have a newfound respect for all swimmers. I have zero background in swimming and didn’t have access to a pool b/f the challenge. I literally just winged it on the swimming portion. I did what I called a resistence band swim simulation on the stability ball during my training but that was it. Let me tell you, swimming is a whole different level of cardio fitness. I was only able to make it Thru everything b/c I was in pretty good cardiovascular condition.

    June 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    • Hey Jason!
      That is awesome, though! and you had to swim 500 yards…that’s pretty respectable, especially since you winged it! You are exactly right – swimming is TOUGH if you’re accustomed to doing other forms of cardio. It’s a completely different animal! I learned this yet again yesterday, working on it with the tether, and will work on it again tonite. It takes a lot out of you, and if you don’t have an efficient stroke, you burn out fast!
      Have a great week!
      Yours in Health,

      June 8, 2009 at 6:06 am

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