Someone asked me a few years ago, when I first started racing in Ironman triathlons, if I was doing this for my father.  My first Ironman 70.3 was Cozumel in 2015, and my answer back then was NO - I am doing this for me. 

 In 2016 I did my first full Ironman 140.6 in Los Cabos, and it was at this finish line that I broke down in tears and said out loud, “this one is for you dad”.

Ever since Los Cabos, at the end of each finish line, I break down in tears and celebrate life for the ones that lost it.  I race to inspire others to fight for their dreams.

My dad committed suicide when I was 23 years old.  I am aware that I share very similar traits with my dad especially the one of:  NEVER SATISFIED.   

I became even more aware of this negative trait when opening my first business in 2013.  My dad was an entrepreneur.  He had several businesses and, like him, I was relentless chasing my dream.  I was 100% devoted to the success of the business at the expense of my own health and the people that mattered the most in my life. 

I hit a wall after opening my second business.  I felt trapped.  Chained. I felt like my dream was suffocating me.

Racing in triathlons gave me my freedom back.  It allows me to be me again by focusing my energy in other things that matter to me.  I realized how important it was for me to feed the athlete, in order to be me.

Racing this past weekend in Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico was incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Not only did It mark my 10th Ironman race, I also qualified for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France on September 7th 2019.

One of the main reasons why this race was so satisfying, other than qualifying for World Champs, is the fact that I had a tough 3 months of training in which I almost said “Fuck This Shit” by raising my white flag.

For starters, this was my first race that I trained through the middle of Baltimore’s winter. If you know me, I only bike outside once the temps break over 65F! I was totally out of my comfort zone and I learned real fast about winter riding gear! I am proud to say that my new comfort zone for riding outside is 40F or above. Also in the middle of my training I had a 2 week family vacation in Vietnam/Cambodia, and coming back from vacation I fell sick for 2 weeks, which compromised my training even more. The final straw was when I developed a running injury to the arch of my foot.

What kept me fighting was two things: my why and my new coach!

For the first time in my triathlon journey I hired a coach. With Puerto Rico being my 10th Ironman, I felt that I had done everything possible on my own to get myself this far. If I wanted to go further I would need help from an expert. Let me tell you, investing in a coach has been incredibly rewarding. Suzy Serpico got me outside of my comfort zone in more ways than I could have ever done on my own. She was the voice telling me, yes you can ride outside at 40F. She was the voice that told me to buy a swim tether to take with me on vacation. She was the voice telling me you can still train while been sick, lets modify the mileage and intensity. She was the voice to help me with my arch injury. I cannot thank Suzy from Rip it Events and her husband Danny enough. They both gave me the confidence that I needed to slay my dreams over the past 3 months. When I hired Suzy I declared to her I want to qualify for World Champs, and asked her, “can you get me there?” She said yes.

On race day this past Sunday, I smiled big for staying in the game through these tough 3 months. I trusted my coach and, even though I had setbacks, I knew I was MORE than ready.

We all have our stories, dreams, passions, and what inspires us. It is up to you to tell the world your truth. What I have learned is that the more actions you take, the more inspired you will be. Therefore, inspiration comes with action.

Esther Collinetti