overcome with the joy of accomplishment and a feeling of strength. After that, I was bit by the bug. I signed up for another triathlon the next year, and this time, I wanted to do better. I pushed myself in training, and I pushed myself at the race. The only fun part of the race this time was beating my husband in the swim, because the rest was all business. But hard work pays off. When I crossed the finish line, I shaved 20 minutes off my original time. I whooped and cheered with my friends and marveled at how far I had come. I have learned a lot about myself by doing triathlons. I learned that my limits will change over time, if I keep pushing them. I learned that setting a goal, and sticking to a training schedule, pays off in major improvements in ability, even if day to day I can’t see major gains. Once you start, sometimes you have moments of breakthrough, where you see yourself doing something you never have before. Other times, it feels like you’re going backwards, and you just have to keep at it and believe that it is worth the pain. I think any major change, whether physical, mental, or both, is a testament to the power of the human spirit—our ability to adapt, to grow, to persevere. We all need encouragement and camaraderie to keep going, but there’s really nothing like the reward of discovering something within you that you didn’t know was there.
Featured Phot s
Twin Isles Country Club A sandhill crane poses near an Audubon International sign at Twin Isles Country Club in Punta Gorda, Florida.
This is what Audubon International offers. Like a personal trainer, we can help anyone get in better environmental shape. You don’t have to change everything overnight. You just have to commit to the goal and be willing to take baby steps every day to get there. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve and how much you are already able to do. I often hear about how hard it seems to incorporate sustainability into an already complex management situation. Or, a prospective member will ask how far they have to go to get certified, apprehension clear in their voice. They’ll say, “We have so much to do to become sustainable!” But what seems like a daunting task gets easier once you start. Even small changes, when added up, make a huge difference and eventually, take you further than you thought possible.
Marriott’s MountainSide A moose drinks from a water feature at Marriott’s MountainSide, a resort in Park City, Utah. Share your photos! If you would like to see your photos featured here or on our Facebook page, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.