I am doing Ride London & raising funds to help women and girls in their first triathlon
Hi! I'm Giovana. I was recently selected for my biggest challenge so far: RideLondon 2023, a 100-mile ride from London to Essex and back. Just thinking of it is overwhelming, but I know I can do hard things. And I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make more women know they can also do that. I have decided to use this incredible opportunity to raise funds for Fund Her Tri UK, so more women know they can also do hard things!
I was born in Brazil. In Piracicaba in the early 2000s, there was absolutely nothing that would put me on the route to a triathlon - nothing besides the swimming lessons my parents made me take (and which I hated back then!). But then I saw the cover story of a teen magazine: this rising star runway model that was a triathlete! She wasn't simply skinny, she was strong! I was inspired and wanted to try that feeling. But I didn't, I wish I had a community around me that would have pushed me to try, whilst it looked inspiring, it's just not something I challenged myself to do.
Fast forward more than a decade. I was working out consistently and I could feel myself getting stronger, healthier and even taking on new challenges, such as running. I started running when I moved to London; this was during lockdown and it was great to leave the house for the once-a-day exercise activity and get some fresh (and chilly) air and see my new city. By the end of 2021, my first year living in London, that thought I had as a teenager of doing triathlons crossed my mind again. After all, I had moved to a new country, recently divorced, I had no friends, no job and my whole life squeezed in two suitcases: something my teenage self probably never thought I could do, but there I was, proud of where I was and ready for the next challenge.
A few months before turning 32, I signed up for London Triathlon.
I trained for it very consistently for about 8 months - 6 days a week, two sessions a day. It was exhausting, but gave me the confidence that I could get to that finish line. In a mere 8 months, I got a new bike and learned how to cycle fast(-ish). I jumped in a pool to swim lengths for the first time in over 15 years and overcame my fear of open water swimming. I ran, and I ran a lot.
When I signed up for London Triathlon, I had only done a 5km event. But now I've completed 8 events in different sports and distances. Triathlon is now a big part of my life and one that I love, which I get to do a bit of every single day. It makes me feel strong, accomplished, committed, disciplined and happier.
We need to detach from the idea of doing sports to look a certain way (why do you think I wanted to do triathlon as a teenager after reading that a runway model did it?) and being open for all the possibilities that come with it. I've done sports most of my life, always with the goal of losing weight, so it was always a punishment.
Now, being able to do so many different things with my body actually makes me feel free. I wish more women could feel this way. I am pleased to be raising funds for Fund Her Tri UK, as they aim to bring more women into triathlon by breaking down the financial barriers in the sport.FHT UK donations are used to cover the entry fee to women, girls & non-binary attempting their first triathlon, like my younger self wanted to do. They also have partnered with coaches to offer training at no cost. As I attempt my biggest challenge of all, Ride London 100, I want to raise £500 for them.
Please follow my journey and consider supporting me and FHT UK with a donation.
Learn more about Fund Her Tri UK: www.fundhertriuk.org and have a look at their sponsored athletes in www.fundhertriuk.org/sponsoredathletes
Follow my training to RideLondon 2023 (and all the other events I will definitely be involved in until then), on G.I.Jogs (@g.i.jogs)