So I’ve been asked to write about my “athletic” side and I can’t help but giggle a little because if you’d asked my parents to describe me growing up, anything even remotely sounding like “athlete” (even mathlete) never would’ve made the list. When I ran my first half marathon in 2007, my mom was super worried that I might suffer a heart attack and die during the race, despite my being a perfectly healthy 26 year old. As you may have guessed, the Cumplidos are not an athletic people. So, how’d this happen? Not gonna lie, part of my attraction to running and eventually triathlons was the fact that it was SO unexpected of me, but the more I think about it, it makes perfect sense. Having the discipline to train for a race is very similar to the discipline required to practice and excel at a musical instrument. This is a skill that we as musicians have known most of our lives so applying it to new field required little to no translation.
Races are also a competitive event and guess who loves competitions? This girl! However, let’s be real, as an amateur runner/triathlete, I’m not winning *anything*, it’s more so a competition of personal improvement- not unlike our respective musical journeys. Let’s face it, music is not something you really win at. Yes you can win a competition or win an audition but you’re being evaluated on subjective criteria and we’ve all had the experience when you feel like you did everything “right” and played your best and yet, you still didn’t get the win. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I find great personal and professional satisfaction from a successful performance. But…every once in a while, I need a clear cut win and that’s where racing comes in. It’s objective, scientific, and plays to my competitive heartstrings. If you follow a training plan (and stay healthy/injury free) you will most likely achieve your goal. Granted, my race goals are usually just to finish with a smile on my face but my competitive spirit will often kick in. I'll then make more ambitious goals; a faster time, a longer distance. I started running in 2006 when I joined The Phoenix Symphony and I quickly made friends with several runners in the orchestra. They showed me the ropes and before I knew it I was signed up for a 5k, 10k, and half marathon! Since then I’ve completed 5 marathons, 2 half Ironman triathlons, several half marathons, Olympic distance triathlons and countless shorter distance races. Do I love racing more than music? Absolutely not. I just find it to be the perfect complement to my artistic career resulting in a very healthy and much needed balance. Last November I reached my greatest athletic achievement and completed Ironman Arizona (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) with a finish time of 14 hours 19 minutes and 37 seconds but most importantly, with a giant smile on my face. WIN.