You've probably heard the expression "It's like riding a bike." Whoever said that has never been on a racing bike. Even experienced riders feel shaky the first few times they're on one, and everyone falls at least once, Lucy Danziger, SELF's editor-in-chief and a seasoned triathlete, told Jennifer Lopez, who's training for her first triathlon. (She's doing it to raise money for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.) Jennifer's experience:
"I've never biked in my life. With swimming, at least I'd been to the beach. And can we talk about this bike? It's so thin and aerodynamic and designed for speed. When I first got the bike, it had clipless pedals [they attach to the soles of your shoes]. The pedals were so small, it was like trying to balance on stilts. But I'd just gotten the bike and was like, 'Let's get on the road!' We went out and I did eat it! I was trying to give Gunnar [Peterson, Jennifer's trainer] my Blackberry because it was falling out of my pocket. There was a girl in front of me on the bike path and all of a sudden she swerves. It was either I hit her or go into the sand. So I go into the sand."
"This was the first time I was really riding, too. I had been doing all my rides on the stationary trainers. Then I couldn't get back on the bike and in the pedals. I could not get going. I'm thinking, If I fall in the race for whatever reason, I need to be able to get back on my bike by myself. It's my bike! So I said, 'I'm not doing these pedals, give me the toe clips' [metal cages on the pedals that feet slide into]."
For more triathlon motivation, check out how Lucy Danziger made it through her most turbulent triathlon event despite the obstacles.
Not giving up, making changes when you fail--these are good lessons, whatever your fitness goal. No matter what your age or life or job commitments, you can still be your fittest, healthiest self and feel great. You just have to find what works for you. Want to take a new fitness routine for a test drive? Check out SELF's Reach Your Goal program, or find dozens of other plans.Keep checking back in with SELF to read more about Jennifer's triathlon training progress and charity initiatives.
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