Wife, Mother and Professional Triathlete

Posted on in Kids + Family, Sports + Training by Liz Lyles

Thanks for joining me on my inaugural Nature’s Bakery blog.  I feel very blessed right now to be living my life to the fullest as a mom to Luke (4) and Emma (2), as a wife to my loving husband, Chip, and as a professional triathlete Champion. People who have known me during my 34 years have often commented about how competitive I am. To some extent, they’re right but I think quite often they miss the point. I do love to compete, but not necessarily against others. For me it is more about setting high standards and pushing myself to achieve major goals or to beat those standards I’ve set for myself. In other words if I set a goal for a competition to achieve a podium finish for a particular event, it’s not because I want to beat everyone but the top two or three in the race, it’s because I want to know I can perform with the best. I set equally high standards as a wife and as a mother. I simply want to be the best I can be.

Hiking at Galena

So I guess it’s only natural that I’m looking forward to making this blog as good as it can be. To me, good in this context means that it will be fun to visit here, sometimes entertaining and interesting, but also informative … for all of us. So I’ll create my blog posts with pretty much the same focus through which I live my life—the things I’m most passionate about.

At the moment it seems my passions are peaking everywhere. I’m excited about my marriage and my family on one hand and I’m excited about my recent success as a professional triathlete on the other. To place first in my first professional Ironman competition was a thrill beyond description.

Maybe it is because so many great things are happening that I sometimes I feel like a crumb in a gold fish bowl. There just seem to be endless conflicting demands picking away at my time. It often seems like all these demands are unified with one purpose:  to keep me from spending quality time doing the things that are most important in my life.

In future articles I’ll write about how I cope with all these demands and look forward to hearing your reactions and getting suggestions from you about your coping mechanisms. I’ll write about the important lessons I’ve learned after realizing that you can’t postpone race day. When the big day comes, you’d better be ready or you’ll lose. Losing in my field means you’re out of the money—not a great way to succeed as a professional. I’ll write about how carrying that mindset over to other aspects of my life has helped immensely.

Donner Lake Triathlon

My work experience as an engineer has caused me to think about a lot of things in a more structured and organized way than many. I put a lot of emphasis on the logic of cause and effect. For example, if I want my body to perform at peak levels, then I must make sure I do all that is necessary to cause that to occur. So I make sure that I understand the effects of different foods, supplements and drink that I ingest during training, during events, and afterward when recovering. This is why I have become so committed to Nature’s Bakery. Not only are their corporate values in line with mine, their product standards are in keeping with the high standards of performance I set for myself. So I’ll talk a lot about Nature’s Bakery and their products because I believe in them and because these products are causal factors in my being able to maintain my health and nutritional balance, my lifestyle, and a result, my performance. They help my family stay healthy and keep us all on a nutritional foundation that is challenging to maintain in today’s frenetic world.

I’m also looking forward to writing about the importance of family. Motherhood is both special gift and a sacred trust. And so is marriage. Many today put themselves in the position of trading off marriage and family for career. I can’t imagine a career in any field, let alone as a professional athlete, without my husband at my side. But he’d say the same thing about his career and me. After eleven years of marriage we continue to grow in our understanding of our dedication to each other. It is an exciting journey that I’d like to share with you. And now with Luke and Emma, every day is such an exciting day of discovery and new meanings in life that I go to bed each night in eager anticipation of what tomorrow will bring.

Swimming with the kids

My vision for this blog is to stimulate thinking on various levels, from the idealistic, values-driven notions that shape our ideas and our passions to the more pragmatic, day-to-day issues that determine what our day will be like as we trudge through the daily grind. For example, I’m looking forward to doing a piece about why family is so immensely important to me as a triathlete. But I also want to write an article offering tips for mothers who want to train more rigorously. Topics like how to manage a daily training routine and get the kids where they need to be. I want to examine these ideas from the different perspectives of wife, mother and professional athlete. If my hunch is correct, we’ll find these perspectives to not be mutually exclusive.

But perhaps most important is my overall goal. I hope that the ideas, suggestions, tips, thoughts and musings that I bring forth on these pages will stimulate your thinking in a way that will help lead you to a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.

Ironman Wisconsin Champion




Liz Lyles

Liz Lyles is a mother, a wife, and a professional Ironman Triathlete.

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