This week on That Girl we are celebrating Tifini McGill, who just completed her first Ironman last weekend in Lake Placid, NY. What inspires us about Tifini is the fact that up until she signed up for this grueling–and hilly–race comprised of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run, she had only completed a sprint triathlon five years earlier. As she puts it, “People thought I was nuts.” But over the course of a year, Tifini stayed committed and proved to herself–and her doubters–that she was indeed worthy of calling herself an Ironman. Read on for her story and be inspired to do something big, even if people think you’re nuts!
Fernandina Beach, FL
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
I recently finished Ironman Lake Placid. I signed up for the Ironman because I needed a challenge. I had done half-marathons and marathons and wanted to do something that would be different than anything I had ever done. When I signed up I had only done one sprint triathlon five years prior. People thought I was nuts. There were some who didn’t think I would follow-through with the training and some didn’t believe I would finish at all. The only people who never wavered in their faith in me was my husband and a few close friends/family members; that was my motivation and my fuel to survive the training.
The Ironman was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. There were times during the race that I would just smile because I couldn’t believe that race day had actually come, I was already running and I had survived the year of training.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
I love the way exercise makes me feel. You can’t get the endorphin high from many other things like you can exercise–and sex (which is also exercise, I might add).
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
I can be lazy with the best of em’! I am a TV and movie junkie. My husband and I have so many shows on our Tivo, that we barely have enough time in a week to watch them all.
Favorite energizing meal:
I love spaghetti with meat sauce–and red wine.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
After a really long workout I grab some water and sit on the floor and stretch and then grab a snack.
What is your top kick-ass workout?
For sure the 120-mile bike ride getting ready for Lake Placid. When I thought about that number in my head, I didn’t think it was realistic for me to do the distance. But I rocked it
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
Hawaii. On our honeymoon we stayed in Maui and Oahu and went for hikes and ran along various trails and mountains. The scenery was amazing.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
If you train properly, you can truly do anything. And I never believed the 90% mental business, but it’s 100% true!
Also, you have to sacrifice a lot to train for a year. There were trips, outings and fun times with friends and family that I missed out on because I couldn’t miss a day or weekend of training. The feeling of crossing the finish line and hearing those six words: “Tifini McGill, you are an Ironman” was worth the blood, sweat and tears from training. I will forever be an Ironman. No one can ever take away my year of experiences and the fact that I learned that I can truly do the unimaginable if I really put my my mind, body and heart all in.
Photo: courtesy of Tifini McGill