Discover more from Athletic Aging
Real stories from real women kicking ass beyond age 50!
My Friends! We don't celebrate each other enough! So, with the help of my friends at Feisty Menopause, we reached out to YOU to share your stories. This is the sixth post of an ongoing series where we will be celebrating all you bad-ass women who, at age 50+, decided you were just getting started! Cheers! Carla
Tania comes to us from beautiful Melbourne Australia! Her story is one of the most inspiring ones yet! If battling the obstacles of a paralytic fear of failure and an Epstein-Barr viral infection were not enough, the COVID pandemic hitting right before her first Iron Man would have been enough to shatter anyone’s dreams. But not Tania’s! Keep reading about her story of conquering obstacles at every turn!
Tania grew up in a tiny country town in rural Australia. Since childhood, she had participated in a wide variety of sports, however, never excelled at anything. She never won a race or an event and thought of herself as quite “average”. But she was committed. With no access to a gym in the tiny town she grew up in, she requested a barbell set for her 15th birthday and bought a book about strength training.
During her 20s she participated in a few short fun runs and mini-triathlons. She had always dreamt of running a marathon, however, never thought she was athletic enough.
As she approached her 47th birthday, her mindset changed. Tania lost her father to a sudden heart attack when he was 47 years old. Now at the same age as when her father died, she became conscious of her mortality and that life, for some, can be very short. So she had better start doing the things she is dreaming of. So she decided to train for that marathon, and later an Iron Man!
But the paralytic fear of failure loomed heavy. Risking failure is something she had never done before, and this was only the beginning of the obstacles ahead. Tania had her very last menstrual cycle at the time she began her training. She felt terrible, was recovering poorly, and was feeling distressed. She was losing muscle and gaining weight at an alarming rate. But she continued to persevere. After an extensive evaluation, infection with the Epstein-Barr virus was suspected and she postponed the Iron Man twice because she did not feel ready.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. The lockdown conditions in Melbourne were strict, allowing outdoor exercise for only 1 hour per day within 5km from home. Pools were closed. The beach was too far away. She managed to train even under these difficult conditions, however just 2 weeks before her race, Melbourne locked down again. Determined not to postpone this race for a third time, she packed her gear, and headed to Queensland where she FINALLY was able to complete the Iron Man!
“As hard and challenging as both the marathon and Iron Man training was - I hate to admit (that) I did cry quite a lot during some of the really long sessions - it made me realize that I was capable of so much more than I ever imagined possible, regardless of my age.”
Unlike many women training for these events for the first time, Tania trained alone. However, she drew support from her family. During the times she felt like giving up, her children encouraged her to keep going, and knowing what a positive role model she was providing them was an added incentive.
When she is not training, Tania is an accredited Health Coach working via Zoom. She is passionate in her dedication of 30 years of personal training experience to help menopausal women thrive. Learn more by visiting her website at Beautiful Midlife. She also has a private Facebook group for menopausal women.
Tania’s morning routine includes WPI protein powder on top of porridge or yogurt. Protein intake is a priority as this is a struggle for her like it is for many mid-life women. She is also the mum of two busy teenagers and her third child, a kelpie!
Thank you, Tania for sharing your amazing story!