Aloha! I’m Denise, 42, originally from Chicago but have lived and worked in Hollywood and Tokyo. And I’ve been in Kailua, Hawaii since 1999. My husband and I will be doing Ride The Rockies for the first time this June.

Stuck at Sea Level

Training at sea level for a 5500’ start line? I’m freaked out more by RTR than I was of doing an Ironman!

In 2010 we both realized that we’d become a little “soft” around the middle and after watching the folks on The Biggest Loser complete a marathon, we both decided to start running. I quickly realized running wasn’t my forte so I challenged myself to finish a triathlon (I couldn’t swim and was afraid of the ocean!).

In the fall of 2010 I completed my first sprint triathlon on an aluminum hybrid bike. I went on to do sprint, olympic and half Ironman distance triathlons. In December of 2013 I completed my first full Ironman in Cozumel (On a better bike too!).

I’m a slow swimmer, an OK biker, and an even slower runner. But I did an Ironman. Why? Because it was a challenge. A lot of people think you need to be über fit and fast to do an Ironman; you don’t (although it helps!). You need to train smart, be consistent, and work hard. ANYONE can do it. I’m that “anyone.”

I’ll never be the first one to the finish line, but I’ll always try to capture the day in a different way: by photo, story, sound, or by smell. That’s what I find sticks with me long after the finish line is packed up and trucked away.