Since age 12 when I first saw a televised broadcast of Ironman, I have wanted to complete a triathlon  The athletes’ level of commitment to accomplish that type of event was very appealing to me, but over the years, I used my busy life and not having a bike as obstacles to training and completing my goal.  One thing has remained consistent over time, however, my desire to cross that triathlon finish line. 

In early 2010, I joined Team COCI to complete the Lone Star Olympic Triathlon.  They provided me a structure for successful training and gave me great motivation of knowing my team involvement was making an impact in the world.  They gave me a Reason2Race, supporting kids of Cherish Our Children International (COCI).

After joining the team, I found myself consistently doing what I needed to train (including waking up at 5am each morning!).  I was so happy that a dedication to my goal had surfaced, because my body was soon feeling good and performing well.  Luckily one of our coaches lent me his triathlon bike, leaving me free of excuses of not going for it.  With a fundraising goal in place, not only was I motivated to train, I found myself wanting to share how being on the team was stretching me farther than the finish line.  I was unsure of how to start that process, but the team leaders coached me on how to reach out effectively to my family, friends and employer, giving them the opportunity to help me realize my term triathlon goal.  

So, how did it turn out?  In April 2010 I completed my target Olympic Triathlon, raising over $1,400 for COCI! I even went on to do 3 more events and completed season by doing The Houston Olympic Triathlon, beating my finish time goal of under 3 hours! 

Doing that initial April event for the COCI kids changed my perspective on who I am and what I can accomplish.   Including the kids and my community in my racing efforts taught me that setting a personal goal and allowing others to support and encourage me makes a difference for me and for them.

Luckily COCI’s partner organization No More Victims, Inc. is Houston based, and I have gotten to see firsthand how my fundraising efforts make an impact.  I’ve met Kenneth, Laura and many other kids who have beaten the odds, graduating from high school and attending college instead of letting the fact that they have a parent in prison hold them back.  I have also learned that my efforts can provide resources like food, money for light bills, and educational supplies for some really deserving children who are a part COCI’s programs. 

Joining Team COCI has given me opportunities to grow in so many ways.  I have met dozens of people, increased my pride and confidence, and I know myself better, push past my limits, and get to experience myself as someone who can make great things happen – for me and others!    

Thank you Team COCI for providing me a Reason2Race! — Alex