Here's a bit of my story. I have been active, if not fit and healthy, most of my life. A high school athlete who 'fell off the wagon' a bit in my late teens and early 20s. At 23, I doscovered, much to my surprise, that I loved running. Even though waitressing (my pay-for-university job) was doing a number on my knees, I kept at it. But had a mental block for running any farther than 5-6 km. And never raced. I ran to be by myself, and liked it that way. I also worked out at the gym on a semi-regular basis.
I had a child in my late 30s and stayed fit and active throughout the pregnancy, cycling to work throughout and running up until about 7 months. When it became too difficult, I started swimming instead, something I hadn't done since I was a child. I enjoyed it, but not as much as running, which I got back to as as I could. I lost the baby weight quickly, but was pretty flabby, especially around the middle. And when toddlerhood arrived, everything fell apart. My son doesn't sleep, and pretty much never sits still. No longer content to be in a jogging stroller, my running pretty much stopped. Which meant that my exercise stopped too. Fast forward a year or two and I had gained ~12 lbs, was in horrible shape, and even worse, was having serious health issues. One year it was chronic (as in almost daily) migraines, the next, it was suspicious lymph nodes.
Thankfully, everything was 'fine', as in, no tumors or other scary things, but it was a wake-up call. As a mother, I need to look after myself. I owe it to my child. As an older mother, it's especially important, and even harder. After the migraines, I resolved to work out regularly and resumed my running. But I got busy (and stressed out) at work again, the weather turned grey and rainy, as it is often is where I live, and my knees couldn't handle running 3-4x a week, so I stopped. A few months later a new scare happened (my lymph nodes) and this one stuck.
My husband had gotten into cycling (due to his old knees), something I wasn't really interested in. But, I rememberd how much I had enjoyed swimming while pregnant and figured I could combine limited running with swimming and a joint activity - cycling. That was February 2013. I raced my first sprint in June 2013 (the Qualicum Beach Triathlon). I finished feeling great and immediately wanted to race again. I was hooked. That is the story of how I became a triathlete, and the rest is here.