Meet Triathlete: Rhiannon Berry
Secondary English teacher
Triathlons to complete this season:
Binghamton University Triathlon Relay (bike leg)
A native of North Syracuse, I spent the majority of my life heavily involved with school, athletics, and music in the Cicero-North Syracuse school district. My love for basketball led me to a collegiate basketball career beginning at a two year school in Kansas and back home to LeMoyne College to complete my final two seasons. My basketball career was filled with highs and lows, including a severely torn hip injury I sustained my freshman year that went undiagnosed until my senior season. The struggle through an injury-ridden career caused me to let go of my original plan to be a graduate-assistant basketball coach at a university while completing my masters degree and pursue my graduate studies at Syracuse University as a secondary English education teacher. Graduating in December of 2009, I was hired by Liverpool Central Schools as a secondary English teacher to begin the 2010 academic school year where I continue to teach today. In addition to being a teacher, I have participated in local co-ed basketball leagues, co-ed indoor and outdoor soccer leagues, and run in local 5ks. I only recently became involved with the triathlon community, beginning my first training season in December 2011 through Fleet Feet.
Why I decided to sign up for a triathlon: As a former collegiate athlete, I found myself struggling to find the motivation to consistently exercise once I graduated from LeMoyne college. Since I was five, I had always been involved with some team of some sort that required my staying active. Although I stayed active in recreational leagues and races, I found myself missing something. I knew I had to find a more consistent competition, something to push me to be better and to hold myself more accountable. My coworker and now teammate/fellow coach, Sarah Bettinger, had participated in last year's Fleet Feet triathlon program. I watched her transform physically and emotionally into a woman I have come to admire. She and friends of mine also involved with triathlons nagged
(yes, nagged) at me for a year to sign up. "You'd love it," they said. There was one distinct problem: I did not know how to swim, and between my well-acknowledged lack of experience with the water combined with a lifelong relationship with asthma, I always responded the same way: "You could not pay me enough to do this." I was terrified of the water, and that kind of torture in no way sounded appealing to me. But, one day before signups for Fleet Feet's Winter triathlon session closed down, I finally gave in. It is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made.