I found out in October that I was accepted into the 19th Maccabiah Games! WOW was I excited! I thought to myself, July is just SO far away! The Maccabiah games are an international Jewish athletic event, held in Israel every four years, also known as the “Jewish Olympics.” This year there will more than 1,100 American athletes and about 8,500 athletes from 82 countries. I didn’t even know there were Jewish people in India, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, China, Japan, along with a few other surprising countries!
Since finding out I have thought about the games during every workout and it has really motivated me to train hard and give it my best daily. During the school year I woke up anywhere from 4:15 to 5:15 in the morning to train, and most days completed another workout after teaching all day.
My students thought I was pretty crazy, but my first period class got used to seeing the goggle lines on my face three times a week, and would always ask about my workouts and upcoming races. My 6th period class was pretty good at distracting me from my lesson by asking questions about my training and triathlons. I told them I could talk about it all day, and we had to get back to math! A few kids even made up a song about me to the tune of Gangnam Style. It went something like this “Ms. Dana style, swim, swim, swim, swim,swim, swim, bike, bike, bike, run, run, run run, run, Ms. Dana style. They even had hand motions!
I will be leaving in 2 days, on July 10th, and I can’t believe how time just flies! I am REALLY excited and feel well prepared. I have done 5 triathlons this season and gained more racing experience. I have been training hard since January and been extremely dedicated (didn’t miss any workouts). No matter what happens, I know there is nothing more I could have done! I need to remember everything I have learned and endured in my 2 years as a triathlete. I need to remain confident that I am prepared and ready! The trip will be an experience of a lifetime, and I will have the opportunity to meet other Jewish athletes from all over the world!
A huge shout out to my fiance Marc who has been SO incredible supportive throughout this journey! He let me keep my bike on the trainer in the living room of our 1 bedroom apartment, and dealt with my alarm going off hours before his! Thanks SO MUCH District Hardware- The Bike Shop for my awesome bike, helmet and continued encouragement! I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me! Thanks to Coach Debi for your advice and awesome workouts! Lastly, thanks to the Super Athletes (Sandra, Alberto, Guillermo and Annette) for being amazing training buddies and even better friends! I hope to make you all proud at the games!