By Tarus Nelson
Carmen Johnson is fed up. The single mother mastered the juggle of kids and professional life but when it came to her health, admittedly it took a back seat. However, this year is the inaugural one for adults to enter this noncompetitive race series and Johnson is not one to be left out.
Preparing for her first STRIVE Splash N Dash this summer under the campaign banner of #Strive2TriChallenge, Johnson is one of many parents that have decided to not let the youth have all the fun and #TeamStrive has been right there inspiring a collective of adults eager to stay active.
When STRIVE leadership issued the STRIVE 2 Tri Challenge, we realized that the ever-growing list of multi-sport events appearing regionally could confuse a new triathlete that is deciding what race to do first. Constantly, we field the same questions from an energetic and engaged audience: What race do I sign up for? Do I rent a wetsuit? A new bike cost how much??
Triathlon is an expensive sport and the cost for continued training increases according to how great you want to look while crossing the finish line.
Strive To Tri (STRIVE) is a 501c3 non-profit located in Prince George’s County Maryland which is a melting pot of diverse residence on the outskirts of DC & Virginia. STRIVE has established in 2011 as a resource to empower youth to lead an active lifestyle through free 6-week Splash N Dash Camps in underserved communities and USAT Splash N Dash Races.
As a proud race location of the USAT Youth Aquathlon Series since 2013, we’ve witnessed great success with these programs, which compliment each other. Parents were so energized by witnessing their kid complete a race that they clamored to participate in their 1st USAT event.
We’re located in a dense area where safe cycling lanes & functional bikes within households are a challenge especially, for a new athlete. We had to be creative on methods of introducing this sport to a minority demographic, which was relatively unfamiliar with triathlons.
STRIVE devised a strategic plan to provide fun, inexpensive USAT Events throughout the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area to all youth; as well as adults eager to dip their toe into the pool of multi-sports.
These inexpensive short course races are structured on participation, not competition, as a monumental first event within a family-friendly environment. This STRIVE “Get Off The Couch” Movement allows for all-inclusive events in various venues throughout the region open to all ages groups.
Carmen Johnson has been steadfast in her commitment to the Strive 2 Tri Challenge. She has graciously decided to share her journey with us on the STRIVE Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter social media platforms. From the grueling late-night workouts and swim and early morning prep for work and kids, Carmen is a true superhero. Taking up the Strive 2 Tri Challenge, Johnson joins a community of parents that are answering the call to “Get Off The Couch” get active and Strive 2 Tri.
Getting Parents a step closer towards the starting line while providing an annual membership plus countless other USAT benefits makes the journey to becoming a triathlete easier for all and STRIVE is happy to play its part in the growth of the industry.