#MomsWhoTri: Healthy Moms Create Healthy Families
The YWCA Women’s Triathlon has been around for 10 years. Fitness instructor, mom of two and triathlete Brooke Darst Rice has been there since the very beginning.
“I was already doing triathlons regularly when YWCA started their Women’s Tri … and there was no way I was going to miss that — not one year, not one time,” she says.
Participating in All Nine Triathlons
Brooke has participated in all nine YWCA Women’s Triathlons and is grateful for the community she’s built with other women over the years. But after finding it difficult to juggle taking care of her body and preparing for triathlons as a mom, Brooke decided to do something about it. She asked the Women’s Tri organizers if she could give mothers a comfortable option during the event for breastfeeding and taking care of their children.
It started small, but by the second year of Brooke’s involvement, she had initiated a breastfeeding tent where mothers could come and go as they needed. For the past five years, she has dedicated her triathlon weekends to setting up and running this station, only taking a break to participate in the race herself.
Being one of the many #MomsWhoTri in the YWCA Women’s Triathlon is a rewarding experience for Brooke, as is watching her two boys grow up. She loves to see her kids navigate through their interests and try new things — and they’re always there supporting her at the finish line.
For Brooke, that Sunday in August is a huge high. Triathlon day starts the night before, when she gets the breastfeeding tent ready for mothers of all types — complete with nursing pillows, towels, magazines and journals to make all women feel comfortable. “I try to set everything up just right so the people in my community that need a little privacy and a little space feel honored in this designated area,” she says. “For me, it’s a high giving back to my community and the people that have supported me through the years.”
Giving Back to the Community
Being able to give back to the YWCA community and her fellow triathletes isn’t the only part of the weekend she likes. Brooke looks at the YWCA Women’s Triathlon as a way to refuel as a parent.
“Participating in the YWCA Women’s Triathlon makes me a better parent all year long because I then have the motivation to stay active regularly, and that gives my body health and my mind health and perspective,” she says. “The healthier I am and the more perspective I have, the greater we all are together. I think that’s something that can get lost in our day-to-day busyness of trying to take care of everyone else.”
To Brooke, the breastfeeding tent is just one way we can continue to support women and families through the YWCA Women’s Triathlon. It’s a weekend that she — along with 1,200 other women — won’t miss.
Send Us Your Stories!
For the next few weeks, we’re celebrating our #MomsWhoTri – mothers of all ages who are overcoming obstacles and working hard to compete in the #YWCAWomensTri. We want to hear your stories!
1. Email us a photo and your story (500 words or less) to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Post your story on social media, use the hashtag #MomsWhoTri and tag our YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon page to be featured.