Five years ago, Tisa Cawthon crossed the finish line at the 2011
Triathlon at Pacific Grove shocked that she’d survived the demands of a
three-discipline race. “It was so tough that I wanted to do it again,
but come back prepared, “ she said. At 35-years-old, she set out to find
what she was lacking. What Cawthon probably didn’t realize is that she
started that race fully equipped with what most athletes are hoping to
eventually gain from the sport: mental fortitude. Cawthon may have
started that race with only one arm, but what she brought with her was a
tenacity gained in a life of adapting to her challenge.
17, Cawthon was involved in a near fatal car crash that resulted in the
paralysis of her left arm. For the next 15 years she would secure her
arm in a sling. For the next 15 years she would endure the chronic pain
that goes along with towing the weight of a no longer functioning arm.
For the next 15 years she would hide behind the comfortable acceptance
of appearing to others that she simply had had a minor fall. At 15
years, she realized her arm was physically and mentally holding her back
and that needed to change.
It’s only May, but 2016 has already become the year that I have
stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed my limits more than ever
before. So far, I’ve ridden farther and climbed more hills than I had
ever imagine possible. All this, however, doesn’t happen without the
help of some pretty stellar, intimidating (but also way awesome) women!
The results: the euphoric exhaustion of exhilarating downhill descents,
breathtaking views, new friendships, and overcoming a major personal
Add on to that list a photo shoot with #TeamBetty2016.
Having battled and overcome an eating disorder, I would never have
imagined myself willingly modeling in front of a camera. But
representing Betty Designs,
a team that embraces strong, healthy athletes, gave me the confidence
to step into the light and be proud of my own strong body.
While instinctively I would have chosen to wear the team leggings or a
long-sleeved jacket, I was instead photographed wearing the team bathing
suit. This may not sound particularly challenging or limit pushing for
the average athlete, but to me it was a meaningful victory. It terrified
me that people would see my body and judge it negatively. But standing
there in front of the camera wearing only a swimsuit proved to me and to
the world that this time I had won - not my eating disorder.
I have had a paralyzing fear of water my whole life. If it was bigger
than a bathtub I wouldn't go in it. I even had trouble watching
underwater scenes in movies and seeing the big tanks in aquariums. That
fear impacted my life. I started to run five years ago when I realized
that as I was getting older and wiser, I was also getting wider. I
actually enjoyed running and asked a friend of mind who was a triathlon
coach to work with me and help my improve my form so my back wouldn't
hurt as much. As one of his athletes, I had to meet the other coach in
his business so they could best determine who was better suited to help
me reach my goals.
By Patrick Roush, Team RWB Monterey Bay
I have loved the outdoors since childhood. Boy Scouts introduced me to many outdoor adventure sports, and helped prepare me for military service, for which I knew I was destined. In 2010, after nearly two years of training, I led an Infantry Platoon of the renowned “No Slack” Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, in combat in eastern Afghanistan. It was a very physically, mentally, and emotionally difficult deployment. An example of my unit’s experience was even captured in the documentary film “The Hornet’s Nest”.
The Triathlon at Pacific Grove is a race in the quaintest place. This is a race and a place to be excited about! Betsy Davis, co-owner of Tri-California Events, calls Pacific Grove home. She let us in on some of her favorites, in hopes that you find a favorite too...