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Our sport attracts a wealth of impressive age-group athletes with stories that remind us to keep moving when things get tough. Whether it’s bouncing back from a crash or helping others through triathlon, we’ll share some of our favorite stories here. Have your own story to tell? Email us at Shareyourstory@competitorgroup.com.
While riding home after a training ride in New York City’s Central Park, 32-year-old triathlete Isela Rosales flipped over her bike while trying to avoid a deliveryman who entered the bike lane unexpectedly. Luckily her helmet saved her from any head injuries, but she severely fractured her jaw and had to have it wired shut. For eight weeks, she was unable to speak and couldn’t eat anything but liquid nutrition through a straw.
After hitting an emotional and physical low point about three weeks in, “I made it my mission to create my own recipes of nutritional smoothies that would help re-build my strength and attempt to fuel my depleted body,” Rosales says. She started blending “real meal” smoothies out of desperation, including burgers, rotisserie chickens and even a Chipotle burrito bowl.
To aid in communication, Rosales created typed message cards with common phrases such as “Talk to me, I’m bored” and “Yes, I will get back on my bike!”
Following eight weeks of anxious waiting, Rosales had her jaw set free and got back on her bike the next morning. “Although I carefully watched other cyclists and runners to respond to any sudden movements, I felt a unique sense of liberation on this bike ride,” Rosales say. She decided to still race Vineman 70.3 the following weekend, and even without two months of training, she pulled off a 5:35 personal best.