On a beautiful September morning, with the sun rising in the eastern sky and the moon setting in the western sky, 2 women from Killingworth, CT empowered themselves.  Charlene Torello and Cherie Toman trained extremely hard this summer and completed the Madison Triathlon on September 9th.  If you are not familiar with the sport of triathlon, this particular event requires participants to swim a half mile in Long Island Sound, bike 13 miles and then RUN 3.1 miles.  It is an accomplishment like no other for a first timer!

This day came to be because early last winter, I threw Charlene and Cherie the idea of doing a triathlon.  Having done a couple myself, a few lifetimes ago, I know how empowering it is to train and then complete one.  I offered to train them and at first they fought me.  "Are you nuts!", "I could never do one of those!", "I'm not THAT crazy!"  But eventually, they both decided, independently, to take me up on the offer.  They spent the summer of 2006 swimming, biking and running a huge amount of miles to get ready for this race.  Life threw barriers in front of them at every turn, but they pressed on with firm determination.

You can well imagine the stress levels waking up that Saturday morning.  (Did they even sleep that night?)  There were over 500 people racing that day and arriving at the race site at 5:45am was overwhelming, to say the least.  But Charlene and Cherie both rose to the occasion, jumped into the 69 degree water at the 7am start and finished with tears and smiles of triumph on their faces.  The feeling of crossing the finish line is one that no coach or trainer can adequately prepare someone for.  It is a moment of joy and pain and accomplishment all wrapped up in one. I am certain that feeling will drive them to continue trying new experiences in their life.  I am more certain that this was a day they will never forget.

Congratulations to both Charlene and Cherie for taking on this challenge and having the courage and determination to finish what they started.  September 9, 2006 will always be remembered as a glorious day for all 3 of us! 

Read about what this experience meant to Charlene Torello

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