The quest to qualify for an Ironman World Championship has always being a major goal of mine.  I started racing in Ironman distances back in 2015. 

My first Ironman 70.3 was Cozumel, which I came 9th in my age group and my first full was Los Cabos 140.6 in 2016, I came 10th in my age group.  With each race season I have been progressing my overall fitness, mental toughness, and my gratitude as an athlete, woman, and entrepreneur. 

I am grateful for all my victories and my failures, as I have expanded as a human with each race.  What I love the most is being able to inspire my tribe through my actions as well as share this journey with close friends, my husband and my mother.

It has taken me 3 years, 6 half and 2 full Ironman, of hard work to secure a spot in the Ironman World Championship 70.3, a race that I classify as epic.  Crossing the finish line in Port Elizabeth, South Africa was def a major highlight in my life.  It made me feel accomplished.  Alive.  Living with purpose.

But what I am most proud about is that I am out there living it and enjoying each second of this epic journey called life especially when 15 years ago I had almost lost myself through addiction and my internal demons caused by mental health.

My demons showed up a few days before the start of the Ironman World Championship.  The first time was via facebook when a female friend questioned how I qualified for a spot in the World Championship.  I brushed this off knowing of her own insecurities but never the less, it questions my worth.  Then arriving to South Africa and I stood among the top triathletes in the world and everybody looked incredibly fit, strong, and ready.  I judged myself and felt not good enough, an imposter among the top Ironman athletes of the world.

An imposter?  But how when I qualified for this race and my Ironman ranking as All World Athlete is silver in my age group. 

The answer is mental health.  Demons.  Negative traits.  My bullshit.  These traits are past on generation-by-generation, hereditary traits.  The only way to control these traits is to get to know yourself and your parents so when you battle your demons, you are clear on how to keep them leashed up in order to fulfill your dreams.

This epic race that I qualified and completed in Nelson Mandela Bay is for all of you that have and are struggling with your own demons.  Find your tribe that will stand and support you.  Don’t be afraid to break the stigma of suicide and mental health.  You are not alone.  You too can cross the finish line of your epic journey called life in order to live with meaning, purpose and direction.

Your tribe is your tribe.

Esther Collinetti