Hudaisa (aka Huda) speaks about her experience as a cyclist and squashes people’s misconception about fuller figure athletes.
“You should get her training wheels”. “How about a tricycle”. “How old is she?”.
These were the remarks that I heard as I practised bike riding after many years with a friend. It somehow felt that the weight of my embarrassment had stopped the tires of my bike and I felt humiliated to have some people pass such remarks in the presence of my friends.
At the age of 30, I was seriously ashamed that I had forgotten to balance myself on two wheels and I was convinced it was because of the weight I had put on over the years, that did not allow me to balance myself. I had also convinced myself that riding was not for me until I lost some weight, but then how do you lose weight if you eliminate one of the most important exercises from your routine? It was like thinking if the egg came first or the chicken.
Seeing my love for bike riding, one of my friends introduced me to Sara Harris and the rest is history. I still remember Sara’s first words when I told her: “hey, I am sorry I don’t have a bike, but I would love to learn to ride and I don’t know if I could use your bike cos I am a little on the heavy side”. She simply said: “Honey, get that out of your head, weight is just a number, we are here to have some fun”. And it really took me all of 15 minutes during our first session to get the sense of balance and ride the bike!
This made me realise that all of the weight barriers that deterred me from riding were just in my head (either self-induced or planted by people’s comments).
Through Sara I met some amazing women who have always supported me and guided me in my riding journey.
I am not saying that I am the best rider, but I am so proud of myself that I am not afraid to ride.
~ Hudaisa M ~
(you rock Huda!! And by the way, she learned how to swim too)
BE LIKE ANNIE
I met Annie McMonagle in 2019 on a bike ride. This tenacious Scottish lady then reappeared after a cycling race and this is her story.
I bought a bike through a mutual friend’s introduction for social cycling , the seller of the bike became family who in turn introduced me to Sara, who has also become family.
That friend had me doing the Spinneys 100km cycle challenge in 2 months (which she had said herself Sara told her off for having a newbie do this in such a short space of time), but my friend saw my drive, passion and excitement as did Sara when I completed it, and yes lots of lessons learned for me!
I wasn’t a great cyclist, I rode a bike but did love running and that’s my forte but had stopped many years earlier due to work commitments, my existing lifestyle and a whole load of excuses.
Through the introduction I came to learn Sara was organsing a run club at Barsha Park weekly, so I joined that which was fab and even to date from June 2020 is my favourite training of the week, which was a couch to 5km, now 2 half marathons later, I still look forward to the Monday run Club only session I do get up early for – haha!
I then decided to join the cycling class to learn more then it came to the swimming BIG NO NO
The best part was the friendship and community I was now part of and whom kept telling me to do a triathlon, not a hope I was doing it as couldn’t put my head under the water UNTIL that is I took up 1:1 swimming lessons with Sara. I am not the best nor the fastest swimmer but I can hold my own now and recently swam my longest distance of over 2km.
8 triathlons later something I said I would never do and now my first ever Ironman 70.30 in a few weeks – says it all really about Sara as a coach and team leader and you ladies as SBR Sasspots. The SBR ladies are the most unique, crazy, funny, supportive bunch of family there is.
We rock as a team!
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This Triathlon lark – it’s part of your life without you realising it. What if someone told you that you could combine swimming, cycling and running sports into one great race?
As a Level 2 British Cycling Coach, certified triathlon coach, my goal is to help people reach their personal best in the sport they love. There is the option of one-on-one coaching, in a group, online using Zoom, over the phone, in a clinic, at a training camp, or any combination of these. I use Training Peaks to manage all my coaching.
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