Monday, July 18, 2011

Finley Frenzy: A.E. Finley Youth Triathlon

Mark your calendar for the 2011 Finley Frenzy, the A.E. Finley YMCA's Youth Triathlon on August 21.

Reagan at 2010 Finley Frenzy
Nine-year-old Reagan Leandro decided the summer of 2010 was going to be about more than movies, silly bands and friends. She set her goal to train for the Finley Frenzy, Finley’s youth triathlon.
Her mother, Jennifer, was excited about Reagan taking the initiative to create her own healthy lifestyle. Reagan even convinced her dad, Scott, to bring her to the Finley Y every Saturday morning to prepare for the race.

“I didn’t think she would actually go through with it until we were on our family vacation this summer,” said Jennifer. “Instead of playing in the pool, she was swimming laps,” Jennifer said.

Reagan began her training by concentrating on the two portions of the triathlon that she felt would be the most difficult: swimming and running. A slow, steady training schedule of running in her neighborhood and swimming laps at the Finley pool, and whenever she could get into the water, helped build her confidence. In addition to the physical training, Reagan made healthy eating choices to support her goal of finishing. Fruits and vegetables were the order of the day!

When Sunday morning, Aug. 22 came, Reagan was nervous, yet determined to finish the race. Volunteers welcomed her to the triathlon, and directed her in line with the other some 200 participants in the swimming portion. The nerves faded and Reagan told her dad, “I can finish this.”

By then, Reagan’s hard work had paid off in other areas of her life. At soccer, she played with more energy and her new found confidence could be seen on the field. She even decided that for Christmas, she wanted a new bike, “one with gears”, so she can start work on next year’s (2011) Frenzy. When she finished the final portion – the run – she crossed the finish line and received her medal with a great big smile!

Reagan was happy to have the opportunity to take responsibility for her own actions and accomplish something that she never thought possible. Now she can incorporate her eating and workout habits into a long-range strategy for healthy living and carry over her newfound confidence into other areas that affect her life. Congratulations to her and all our other Finley participants for a job well done!

The Finley Frenzy is just one example of how the YMCA strengthens community through youth development and healthy living. We’re looking forward to another wonderful race in 2011!

To find out more about this year's 7th Annual Finley Frenzy or to sign up contact: Caitlin Palczuk.

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