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Gina Paige, 366th Force Support Squadron Marketing Department private organization monitor, poses for a photo with her medal after crossing the finish line of the fourth Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. The triathlon included a 300-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run starting and ending at CJ Strike Reservoir. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Paige/Released)

Gina Paige, 366th Force Support Squadron Marketing Department private organization monitor, poses for a photo with her medal after crossing the finish line of the fourth Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. The triathlon included a 300-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run starting and ending at CJ Strike Reservoir. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Paige/Released)

A participant completes the swimming portion of the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. In conjunction with swimming, participants also competed in cycling and running events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

A participant completes the swimming portion of the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. In conjunction with swimming, participants also competed in cycling and running events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Veronica Ballek, 2nd place in the women’s category, begins the 12.4-mile bike ride during the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. The beginner triathlon appealed to all fitness levels and allowed participants to compete as individuals or as a team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Veronica Ballek, 2nd place in the women’s category, begins the 12.4-mile bike ride during the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. The beginner triathlon appealed to all fitness levels and allowed participants to compete as individuals or as a team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Maj. Kenneth Shinn, 366th Component Maintenance Squadron commander and 1st place recipient in the male category, completes a 12.4-mile bike ride during the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. The competition included a 300-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Maj. Kenneth Shinn, 366th Component Maintenance Squadron commander and 1st place recipient in the male category, completes a 12.4-mile bike ride during the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. The competition included a 300-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

A participant rides toward the conclusion of the cycling portion of the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. In conjunction with cycling, participants also competed in swimming and running events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

A participant rides toward the conclusion of the cycling portion of the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. In conjunction with cycling, participants also competed in swimming and running events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Dallas Croft begins a 3.1-mile semi-cross country run during the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. During the competition, participants completed a swimming, cycling and running challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Dallas Croft begins a 3.1-mile semi-cross country run during the 4th Annual iTri at Strike Dam, Idaho, June 21, 2014. During the competition, participants completed a swimming, cycling and running challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Participants in the 4th Annual iTri celebrate as they cross the finish line, June 21, 2014, at Strike Dam, Idaho. The competition includes a 300-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile semi-cross country run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Participants in the 4th Annual iTri celebrate as they cross the finish line, June 21, 2014, at Strike Dam, Idaho. The competition includes a 300-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile semi-cross country run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu/Released)

Strike Dam, Idaho -- I slowly step in to the frigid water as the Idaho winds cause goosebumps on my skin. After a month of training for my first triathlon, I stand there on race day nervous and unsure if my training prepared me for this. The starting pistol goes off and I have no choice but to push forward and take on the challenge.

I've never been the "skinny girl" or a fast runner, but after having my daughter, I knew it was time for me to become a positive role model and show her that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I started working out and living a healthier lifestyle three months ago and have since lost 18 pounds. As I started pulling clothes out of my "skinny " bin I kept getting more and more motivated to continue my journey.

I was working out at the base gym and saw the poster for the 4th Annual iTri, and after talking to coworkers and friends, I decided I was ready for the challenge. I was all smiles signing-up until they handed me a waiver to sign ... injury, death and emergency contact. I somberly drove home unsure of what I just signed up to do, was this really a good idea? Thank goodness for Google, it helped me calm my nerves.

The month prior flew by as I trained six days a week swimming, running and biking. There were days I loved it and days I hated it, but as the weeks grew to single digits I felt prepared and excited. The day arrived and I was a bundle of nerves as I placed my bike on the rack and started setting up my equipment. As I looked around I felt out of place until a competitor next to me said, "don't worry it's my first too."

As we dived in to the water, I lost my breath; it was so cold it shocked my body. A few strokes in and my adrenaline took over and before I knew it the 300 meters was over and I was on my bike enjoying the beautiful scenery of Idaho. There were moments I just wanted to turn around and be done, but as other competitors passed me they cheered me on and kept me going.

12.4 miles later and with sore buttocks, I hopped off the bike to finish the last leg of the race, the 3.1 mile run. It may have been at a snail's pace, but soon I climbed up the final hill to see the finish line. As I crossed the line I saw my husband, daughter and friends who came to support me and the amount of pride and accomplishment I felt was overwhelming.

While the day now feels like a blur and I've used enough muscle cream to buy stock, I am still amazed at my accomplishment and can't believe I did it. Even though this challenge may be done, I look forward to more events that the base fitness center has to offer.