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The Importance of a Support Network

I am currently taking an Abnormal Psychology correspondence course from Texas State. I use the term ‘taking’ loosely. I started in January and I have 9 months to complete it. Sounds like a breeze, eh? All on my own, at my own pace. I have yet to take my mid-term. Seeing that I like to get things done efficiently and quickly, I am afraid this may be an exception. But, I’ll get it done, even if it is September.

Time schedule aside, something I have learned from this course is the importance of social networks in people’s lives. It is actually stated in my book that ‘the greater number and frequency of your social relationships and contacts, the longer you are likely to live’. May sound like common sense, but I found it interesting. In my opinion it is very healthy to ‘be alone’ at times, however we are social beings and I think the overall message in what I am studying is that a social support network in ones life is an integral part of overall well-being; whether we realize it or not.

That said, I wanted to just call attention to how important social support is in this crazy pursuit of triathlon. We all know that it is time-consuming, energy-sucking (that being physical, mental and emotional) and often times a focal point of our day, week, or even entire year; whether you are doing it to make a living or to achieve a personal goal you set out for yourself. I wanted to give a huge THANKS to those around me who have been essential to my long journey thus far…

1) Family: Notably being my mom and dad. I used to bitch and whine about swim practice when I was younger… “I don’t want to go!” to which my mom replied, “Then don’t go.” Of course, I went. My dad frequently asks questions like “So Kelly, where will we put your bike when we pick you up?” when the event is say a half-marathon. Not for lack of being supportive, but they are just extremely hands-off. My mom cannot go to church on any Sunday that I am racing because she is too nervous. Ever since I did my first swim race at age 4, to the current day at age 32, they have done nothing but support me; even when they (dad) did question what I was thinking at age 25 when I was spending *far* more than I was making (the ‘making’ was almost non-existent). This concept of ‘family’ has since grown, into my husband Derick and even his parent’s Fred and Donna. They attended Augusta 70.3 last year as well as Knoxville last weekend; they may be my new good luck charm! Derick has learned how to deal with a stubborn wife and even when I have questioned myself, he has stood by me in support yet that ideal ‘hands-off’ type of support. Oh yes; and he tells me when I need to take the day off, even though I don’t want to. And he is usually right.

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