Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Meet our September Athlete Spotlight, Shelly Whidby! We love how Shelly does a variety of multi-sport events and keeps things fun—from super sprint triathlons to IRONMAN 70.3, relays, and trail runs. Shelly started as a swimmer at a young age and currently trains with Paragon's swim and run group practices.
Occupation: Architectural Programmer
How long have you been swimming, cycling, running, and/or doing triathlons? I have been swimming since elementary school and participated in track in middle school. I have always considered myself a jogger for exercise and fun, but never a runner. I joined the Paragon team last year and only began biking and jogging with a purpose at that time. I can honestly say I had not ridden a bike since high school until this past year. I did my first triathlon in April 2021 when I completed the Galveston 70.3.
What aspects of triathlon do you enjoy most? I really enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a race. There is also an amazing feeling of friendship, even though you may only know one person in the crowd, as you pass people on the route everyone is cheering for you. They do not care what position you are in or what lap of the run you are on, they just cheer and cheer and cheer. It may sound cliché, but it really encouraged me to finish my last two laps of the run at the Galveston Half.
What has been your favorite training or racing event, and why? That’s tough. I think my favorite racing event was the Spa Girl Tri Stacey and I did this year. Although, I really enjoyed the Cap Tex Tri I completed as a relay with April. April did all the hard work and I only had to swim, it was awesome! I also enjoy my early Friday morning lake swims with Emi. I am not a huge fan of swimming in dirty water, but it really is beautiful and calm on the lake early in the morning as the sun rises.
What is your favorite post-workout or race meal? Beer! Does beer count as a meal? This is something I always want after finishing a race.
What is one recent accomplishment you are proud of? I can honestly say I am very proud of finishing my first Ironman 70.3 this year. It was mentally tough, as I had initially trained for the race in November 2020, and four days before the race it was rescheduled. I do not know why, but that was really hard for me. I had a hard time staying with training and continuing on until the race finally happened in April 2021. I was extremely anxious about the race and not knowing whether or not I could finish, and when it was canceled, I had six more months to worry about finishing.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I honestly do not know. I would love to work part-time and have an opportunity to volunteer and spend more time enjoying my hobbies. Although, my childhood dream job was to be a meteorologist on TV.
What is something no one knows about you? Hmm. I am a pretty open book. I am definitely a control nut and have trouble delegating tasks to others at work and home. I definitely like things the way I like them!