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#MyTri: Using Triathlon to Cope With Loss

"Triathlon has been a motivating force in my life."

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The brand new #MyTri page is dedicated to reader stories and will be updated frequently with new tales. Got a story you’d like to see on #MyTri? Send to shareyourstory@competitorgroup.com. Andrew Smith, below, submitted his entry as part of our cover contest.

Andrew Smith
Age: 44
Location: Long Beach, N.Y.
In three words: Dedicated, excited, happy

Triathlon has been a motivating force in my life. I lost my sister and father in the same week in 2001. My sister lost a 13 year battle with cancer and was an inspiration to me. She was a college swimmer who was diagnosed in her junior year of college with breast cancer—she went on to fight that battle for 13 years. She was a two-time NYC marathon finisher and as the cancer was in her bones would still be out there with walker trying to work out. She inspires every workout I have. In 2007, my son Gavin was had bone cysts in his leg—we went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and ended up with same doctor as my sister. His cysts were thankfully benign but he had the surgery at Sloan where they put crushed coral reef in his leg—he is not nine and is a triathlete in the making. Lastly, in 2012 our home was destroyed by hurricane Sandy—running and swimming were my standbys throughout experience. I lost my car and would run five miles everyday to work on my destoyed house. My wife is a dedicated triathlete as well who has run for Fred’s Team—Sloan Kettering’s running team. I am a vice principal at Long Beach High School and try to inspire students to be the best they can at everything. That’s the short version of things that inspire me.