Team B*REAL Blog

Helping Ordinary People Become Extraordinary Athletes

Unleashing the Extraordinary in Regular People: The Story of Team B*REAL

From Lonely to Inspired: Finding My Voice and Purpose

Fitting in was never easy for me. I have been involved in teams and clubs since I was a young girl. I got along with everyone, but still felt alone. I saw others sharing inside jokes and making plans outside of the group. I really wanted to have those connections, too. High school was probably the worst for me. On top of normal challenges of life as a teenage girl, it seemed nobody wanted to be friends with the short, fat, smart, Jewish kid in the band. It was awful to feel left out. 

With loving support from my parents I learned important lessons from those experiences. I learned that judgment is hurtful. I learned the importance of compassion. I learned to be happy being me. I learned that your REAL friends will love you for who you are, not what you look like. I taught myself to be happy being me and decided to always focus on showing up with confidence no matter how nervous I felt.

At age 40 I did my first triathlon. I thought I found my community. The atmosphere was energetic and the people were friendly. I gravitated towards athletes like me – the later in life, back of the pack, “regular” people who were there for the challenge of each new adventure. But I still went by myself and came home by myself.

Building a Team Where Everyone Belongs: The Birth of Team B*REAL

At some point my friends began saying I was an inspiration. I didn’t feel like anything special but my superpower to help other women feel confident about themselves began to shine. I ignored negative comments about being too loud or talking too much and I began using my voice to cheer for others and advocate for all the unseen athletes. I got certified as a triathlon and swim coach. A few close friends trusted me to train them.

One day during a long training swim in the fall of 2021, I had an idea. What if I created a team? A team where “regular” people can celebrate being extraordinary athletes, whatever that means to them. A team where everyone is accepted regardless of size, color, identity, age or ability. A community with access to resources and an experienced coach without breaking the bank. 

I noticed that it was hard for people like me who didn’t look or perform like the top athletes to feel like we belong. I knew that I wasn’t the only one looking for a safe space to show up as myself. That little idea turned into a vision and developed into Team B*REAL – a family of endurance athletes where every body is accepted.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Athletes: What Makes Us Unique

We are a group of ordinary people who are having fun testing our own limits. We are swimmers, cyclists, runners, triathletes. Some have children or grandchildren. Some have been athletes since high school and others are starting in their 40s and beyond! Some want to compete and others are happy to cross some finish lines. 

We are extraordinary athletes, not because we are setting records or reaching podiums, although sometimes that happens. We are extraordinary athletes because we show up everyday to do our personal best and cheer each other on. We are all “underdogs” in a way, overcoming adversity to complete the unthinkable. We inspire each other and build confidence in a family-like environment based on love and acceptance without judgment.

Beyond the Finish Line: My Ongoing Journey

Watching these REAL athletes come out of their shell to follow their heart and celebrate  extraordinary achievements they never imagined were possible validates my purpose. These are the REAL people who change the world with their grit, determination and desire. I am driven to help them realize their potential and worth, to show them that any regular person can do extraordinary things with self-belief.

One thing that hasn’t changed is my personal connection with the athletes. Connecting on a personal level to celebrate achievements and share struggles helps us all to be proud and enhance our confidence. I have learned that success is not just about money, but making a difference in people’s lives, inspiring them to be their authentic self and achieve their own goals.

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