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Home » What I Learned When I Conquered the World’s Toughest Triathlon: Minda Dentler (Transcript)

What I Learned When I Conquered the World’s Toughest Triathlon: Minda Dentler (Transcript)

Minda Dentler at TED Talks

Minda Dentler – TRANSCRIPT

It was October 13, 2012, a day that I will never forget. I was on my bike, pushing up what seemed like a never-ending barren hill.

And it wasn’t just any hill: it was a 15-mile climb up to a town called Hawi on the Big Island of Hawaii. And it wasn’t just any ride: it was at the Ironman World Championship. I can still feel my muscles burning.

I was struggling, tired and dehydrated, as I could feel the heat emanating from the asphalt, measuring almost 98 degrees. I was near the halfway point of the bike portion of one of the most prestigious, longest, single-day endurance race events in the world.

Every year, during my childhood, I watched this very race on TV in our family living room. I sat next to my dad on our 1970s-style orange and brown sofa, and I remember being in utter awe at how these athletes pushed themselves to their limit in this grueling race.

And just so you don’t get the wrong idea, my family members weren’t just spectators. They were incredibly athletic, and I always participated from the sidelines, cheering on my three siblings or handing out water at local races. I remember wanting so badly to be able to compete, but I couldn’t.

Even though I couldn’t play sports, I decided to be active in my community. I volunteered at the local hospital in high school. In college, I interned at the White House, studied abroad in Spain and backpacked through Europe all by myself with my leg braces and crutches.

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