Whitney Daly - My Journey, My Story

Whitney Daly - My Journey, My Story

"You can't run for another 6-8 weeks," the podiatrist said. "But I'm a runner. I just finished my first ever 10k. I'm about to start training for a half marathon." I said in disbelief and dismay. The doctor looked at me with arrogance and exasperation, "You can't run. Come back in 8 weeks and we'll make sure you don't need surgery." "Well, what can I do?" I asked. "You can swim."

"Well, that was a disappointing doctor's appointment," I thought as I hobbled out of the office in my knee high walking boot. I'd never been particularly athletic growing up. Sure, they were some poorly executed dance classes, gymnastics classes where I fell off the beam and a couple of losing seasons of soccer throughout elementary school, but my passions were Band and Debate. I was horrible at sports and as evidenced by my broken pinky toe, a bit uncoordinated. Running was a new important part of my life. Somehow it made me feel strong. Could I cope without it? What about my half marathon? So, I joined the pool, and I swam.

I've always loved swimming. In the water, I'm coordinated. And while I may not be the fastest, I'm confident. So perhaps it's not too much of surprise that after several weeks of swimming, I started to think, "Why not try a triathlon?" I mean, I already had 2 of the 3. So, I bought a bike and signed up for a local sprint triathlon. 

Completing my first triathlon is still one of my happiest and proudest memories, and the hobby has really spiraled into countless endurance adventures including: that half marathon I mentioned in the beginning, 2 marathons, countless sprint triathlons, and 3 70.3s. I've been back of the pack in each one of them and I've learned something about myself in each race. But the lesson that I've struggled to learn and am still working on learning is that in spite of my size and in spite of my lack of speed, I am a real athlete.

Somewhere along the way, I found Varlo. The quality was superb, and I looked cool. The brand was also inclusive and diverse. Everyone who wanted to be a triathlete had a place with Varlo. These values carried over into Team Varlo. At any given day, teammates are giving each other advice or chatting about the sport. It's a very welcoming community and mirrors the camaraderie I found as a member of my local tri club Team BABE Athletics. 

It's in the spirit of this community that I offer three pieces of advice to new triathletes:

  1. If you have to run through mud or beach sand to get to T1, pack an extra water bottle to squirt off your feet before you get on the bike.
  2. Don't lose the joy of the sport. It's easy to become obsessed with time goals and speed. There is a place for that, but this is a sport. We play sports. Don't lose your sense of play.
  3. Triathlon is hard. There are moments (especially on race day) where it will break you down, and you'll want to quit. Don't quit. Find a friend, and if you can't find one make one. Triathletes are, at their core, a welcoming bunch and will help you through whatever challenges lie ahead.
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Love this lady! So inclusive! We met over a FB connection. I wanted to swim in the ocean. She showed up to make sure I did just that❤️

Kimberly Varian

How inspiring! You are and always have been a badass babe! So glad I met you and I hope to get to know you better. I love my Varlo suit too! I just did my first 70.3. The only reason I signed up was because of meeting people like Whitney on the local team! Amazing!! Keep growing and going!! – Amanda

Amanda wood

Awesome story! Thanks for the tips. Don’t lose your joy! We play sports.

Dimitria Davenport

Love the advice at the end!!! Thanks for sharing your story!

Justin Duane Blohm

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