Taking the plunge – Olga Kulyna

With the biggest triathlon event of the season for WITC just over a week away (in Nieporet), first time triathlete Olga Kulyna from Ukraine talks about what inspired her to make the transition from running to triathlon.

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Taking the plunge by Olga Kulyna
or why the hell I’m doing a triathlon next week!!

Olga picking up the most improved runner of 2013 at last year's awards

Olga picking up the most improved runner of 2013 at last year’s awards after some very impressive running performances

When I first joined WITC about 2 years ago I only did it for the sake of running and of course for the company of all these wonderful people. Somehow triathlon didn’t appeal to me at all. At that time I didn’t know much about the sport and it all looked too complicated to me – there was too much equipment and it was simply boring. Oh, and I should probably mention I couldn’t swim, to say the least, couldn’t even float without two “makarony” (water noodles) and a life jacket :) A few people still remember those times and once in a while will drop in a sarcastic question like: how’s your swimming, Olga? Believe me, it is really embarrassing to be almost 30 and not to be able to swim a simple froggy style :)

And then in February last year I decided to give it a try and joined the club’s swimming program. Just to learn how to swim. The possibility of once entering a race didn’t even cross my mind. That was until a student of mine lent me a book he got for Christmas called “A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS” a biography of Chrissie Wellington – the toughest woman on earth. It impressed me so much that I immediately knew I had to try :)

Then there were WITC bike rides to triathlon events to support the club members where I could sense this amazing atmosphere of competition, months, years of hard work and sacrifice, feelings of accomplishment… there is something more about these people than about just runners, or just swimmers etc. It’s hard to define, something very noble.

So the event is in about a week. I still haven’t managed to overcome my fear of water, and I do realize I might panic and just quit the last moment and it will be over. Let’s see how it turns out and whether there will be a second part of this story :)

Olga (right) getting some swimming tips from Cristina - picture courtesy of Darek Sikorski

Olga (right) getting some swimming tips from Cristina (left) – picture courtesy of Darek Sikorski

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Thanks for sharing Olga, I’m sure you’ll do great next weekend and we’re all looking forward to hearing about your experience of the race :)

 

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