All my life I have always competed in co-ed races.  On September 1st, this will all change.  I will be bare-footed wearing a wetsuit at the start line on the southern-most tip of the African continent among female athletes from 70 countries celebrating us, women of triathlon.

Now that is fucking badass.

All of our hard work, dedication, commitment, and sacrifices have rewarded us with this opportunity of a lifetime.  By qualifying in our age groups in previous races, we have been invited to the most prestigious race – the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

Each year, more than 130,000 athletes compete in races all over the world that qualify them for a spot in the Ironman World Championships.  I am one of just 3,000 athletes (male and female), which qualified to participate in this particular race.

I am extremely proud of myself, as well as the other 3,000 athletes that I cannot wait to meet.  Will there be another woman from Baltimore?  Will there be a woman that has a story similar to mine?  Will we look into each others eyes and see an ocean of love and pain?

We are women of all walks of life embodying the sport with our hearts and our souls, while testing the limits of our bodies.  We have overcome challenges and adversities, while discovering the depths of our own strength.  For many of us, this sport called triathlon has given us confidence, power, freedom, and spirit.  For me, what I learn from my training and races overflows into my business and relationships.  It has made me stronger both physically and mentally.   

Triathlon is my passion and my inspiration.  It is where I have found self-love and where I can inspire.  Because lets be fucking real…a triathlon of any distance is fucking intimidating and yeah, overwhelming too.  When I am out there racing and sweating my ass off, my goal is to inspire others, no matter their age, size or experience, to believe that anything is possible. 

This year I witnessed my own mother conquering her fears at age 64 in her first sprint triathlon.  You should have seen her face at the finish line.  Radiating love.  Glowing.  Confident.  Empowered.  My mom grew wings at age 64, and she is now unstoppable - planning her next triathlon, and going for a longer distance. 

Fuck. Talk about fearless….

On September 1st I will race among women supporting each other in one epic adventure in South Africa!  Do more epic shit my friends!!  You only get one life!!! 

Esther Collinetti