No One Else Can Define You

"But you're NOT a triathlete."

I've heard these words more than I can count. Each time, it feels like a punch to the gut. It's usually followed by some well-meaning advice.

"You aren't obsessed like they are."

"You're rounder than other triathletes."

"You ride a road bike."

"You haven't done enough races."

Blah. Blah. Blah.

The problem with most of these comments is that they come from people who have never seen me race. I typically finish strong and fast. I work my tail off while balancing life as a mom with three kids. Granted, many days I don't get to shower until after bedtime and there was a moment last week where a WHOLE BOX OF CHEERIOS ended up on the floor. But seriously, does that exclude me from calling myself a triathlete? 

Just in case you're wondering, this is what an entire box of Cheerios looks like on the floor. #momfail

A photo posted by Katey Carlson (@kateycarlson) on

Oh yeah... and the 70.3 (Half Ironman) that I did? It was one of the hardest ones in the country.... on a cold, rainy, windy day. 

But, you're right. I'm NOT a triathlete. 


It's so easy to sit and stew over potentially hurtful comments. But unless that stew will feed you, provide shelter for you or put gas in your car, it's not worth it. 

There will always be an abundance of people with loud opinions in your life. In fact, I am one of those people. I have this blog and you are reading it. Muahahahaha!! I'm in your mind!

But you need to select which voices help you become better as a person. 

Where are your priorities? 

What would help you most?

You do You. You decide what you want to be.  I started keeping track of the people that TRULY had my best interest at heart. The ones that were there when I needed and helped me be better in the ways that I WANTED to be better. The list is short. Like, super short. But I've always been a "Quality over Quantity" type of person.

For me, I want to be a A Healthy Fit Mom, an Awesome Wife, a Dependable Volunteer, a Trustworthy Friend and a Determined Triathlete. 

And that's that!

End Rant.

This week on Charity Miles, I've done runs for: Pencils of Promise, Stand Up 2 Cancer and the National Parks Foundation

Where should you start your Health journey?

I often hear this question: 

"Where do I start? Where do I go to get started?"

At this time, there are endless amounts of information available to a person. 

One simple Google search can produce enough confusion to keep your head spinning. 

Don't believe me? 

Exhibit A: Google ANY politician. 

Case closed. 

Health, Fitness and Nutrition is no different. One site will sing praises for a certain exercise while another screams of its dangers. 

So, what's the difference? 


YOU are the difference. 

If I were to use Michael Phelps schedule, it wouldn't work for several reasons. 

  • He's a tall dude. I'm an average height girl.

  • I have PCOS and have had 3 children AKA Sensitive Hormones. (I have no knowledge of Mr Phelps' hormonal health because, frankly, it's none of my business)

  • He's been training for the Olympics... I'm... not. Though I'm pretty sure that potty training is still pretty intense. 

I could go on but you get the point. 

We're ALL different and that's why it is difficult to find lasting results when we stick to "cookie cutter" plans.

So where do you start?

The Doctor.

Not THAT Doctor... though that wouldn't be a bad idea either. ;)

I'm serious, though. Everyone should go to a doctor and find some basic answers before approaching a gym, personal trainer or online guru. 

Through basic bloodwork and exams, a quality doctor will be able to tell you:

  • If you have any pre-existing conditions like

    • Heart Disease

    • Diabetes

    • Injuries

  • If your goals are realistic and healthy

  • If you need medication to help your body be healthy

  • They may even be able to direct you to a Registered Dietician to help you develop a food plan based on your special needs. 


So many people skip this step and it's frustrating for me. They spin their wheels but they are barking up the wrong trees. 

After you seek help from a doctor, it's important to keep your standards UP! 

Who do you think will help you get in shape while staying healthy and successful: that girl taking "Sweaty Selfies" in the gym bathroom or the Certified Personal Trainers?

Please don't say Sweaty Selfie Lady. 

Sweaty Selfie lady may have a rockin' body. But most of the time, she lacks the education to help you safely. 

I'm not saying that ALL Personal Trainers are amazing. That's a completely different blog post. I'm only saying that a Certified Trainer has access to the knowledge and education to help you move forward. 

To recap: 

First step, see a doctor and get clearance for an exercise program. 

Second, keep professional and find someone who knows HOW to help.