Despite having Cerebral Palsy and being wheelchair dependent, I’ve always loved athletics and the grit of competition. When my “Angel” (Eric) from myTEAM TRIUMPH and I announced our goal to complete IRONMAN Wisconsin and my personal goal to walk across the finish line, it was a very surreal moment for me. I was proud and excited, but most of all scared. This was my chance to put myself out there, learn and grow as a person, and most importantly be a true competitor. To complete these goals, I needed the help of the YMCA. If Eric had to work, I had to work too…this was not going to be a ride-along for me. Andy Bischoff, YMCA Personal Trainer and myTEAM TRIUMPH Volunteer, was the perfect match for me. Andy and I developed a training plan and slowly, I began making progress. The work was not easy. There were days my muscles wouldn't fire. It was not laziness or fatigue, but a byproduct of having CP. Eric and Andy saw me at my worst, my best, and everywhere in between. They continued to believe in me. When I started this journey, I was only able to walk 15 consecutive steps and unable to use a walker. After months of hard work, we achieved our goal and I walked over a 1/4 mile across the finish line. I learned that the YMCA is a place to overcome barriers and become a better person. My confidence is soaring! Even though the race is over, the confidence I have gained is truly remarkable and something I will take with me for the rest of my life. I AM AN IRONMAN!