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Woman who weighed 190kg gets off couch, nails triathlon

Michelle Goodwin, with her daughter Izabella, in triathlon mode.
Michelle Goodwin, with her daughter Izabella, in triathlon mode. Contributed

TIPPING the scales at 190kg, Biloela's Michelle Goodwin always dreamed of doing a triathlon.

And on February 23, she made that dream a reality.

"Something I always wanted to do, but never thought would ever be possible," Michelle said.

"It is something I have always watched on TV and I used to weigh 190kg, so I used to sit in the lounge room chair and think, 'Wouldn't that be wonderful?'"

Michelle and her friend, Tricia McNee, took part in the Biloela Bushrangers short course, which included a 300 metre swim, 10km bike ride and a 3km run.

"For a start, we were just going to do the mini, but then (Tricia) and I said, 'Nah, we have to push ourselves'," she said.

"I heard there was a triathlon and I had just started walking again because we had a bit of a crappy year last year.

"I was walking with Tricia one day and I said 'let's do a triathlon' and she said 'no, no, no' but then said 'oh, I'll see' and it just went from there.

"We only trained for three weeks before the triathlon. The week before, I hadn't ridden a bike in 10 years. 

Michelle Goodwin before her weight loss.
Michelle Goodwin before her weight loss.

"So I got my dad's bike out of the shed and out we went. We got on the bikes and start riding.

"Then we got in the pool and started doing Swim Fit with Nikki at the pool or just going to the pool in the mornings; then we were walking and running in the mornings and it just went from there.

"At one stage we were just like, 'Are we stupid or what?'.

"I said to my husband, 'Don't expect anything afterwards on Sunday, I will just be on the couch'.

"But I ended up doing stuff all day - you were just on an adrenaline rush."

Michelle said it took a lot of mental strength to get through the event.

"I believe if your head wants to do it, your body will just follow. If you think you are going to stop, then you will stop, but if you keep going, your body will do whatever your mind tells it to," she said.

"And for the swim you can use flippers or even a kickboard. They even said if you are halfway through the bike and can't finish it, you can stop.

"That wasn't in my plan, but it is good to have the option. And you don't have to run the whole way, you can walk.

"You are only racing yourself, but anyone can do it - even if you think you can't run.

"You just run from this pole to that pole, then the week after you go to the next pole - next thing you know, you are running the whole lot.

"You just have to get out of bed and start. The hardest part is starting."

Topics:  biloela editors picks fitness health triathlon weight loss


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