Describe a goal or challenge in your past that required perseverance and determination to accomplish.

I’ve always been sensitive about my weight as long as I can remember. I was never the “super fat” kid, but I was never thin and people referred to me as “husky”. By 2009, I was 41 years old, about 5 ft 5 inches tall, and I weighed 225 lbs. Not that weight in and of itself is what matters, but I was 225 lbs of useless fat with no muscle. I was not healthy. I couldn’t walk up a flight of 5 stairs without running out of breath. If I moved too quickly I risked pulling a muscle.   I wanted to get in shape, but I didn’t have the time. I was miserable, not because I was fat, but because I was out of control and had no self-discipline.
I started going to the gym in June of ’09 after finishing nursing school and starting my new career as a registered nurse. I kept things pretty light at first. I lifted a little weights, rode the stationary bike 5-10 minutes each day, and started to feel better and lose a little of the fat. In January of ’10 a friend at work started talking about a triathlon.   A triathlon is where you swim, bike, and run a set distance. The more we talked the more I wanted to compete in one. I thought “If you’re ever going to get control of yourself you’re going to have to do something extreme like this.”
For the next year and a half, I became determined and I dove into it. I had never run over a mile in my life. I hadn’t swum in over 25 years. I had never ridden a road bike, and the last time I had ridden a bike of any sort had been about several years prior. But I made a commitment to myself that I would do a triathlon no matter what it took. I started training. I started swimming at the gym, I started biking, and I started running. It was hard. At one point during the first two weeks I woke up and couldn’t walk because my knees hurt so badly. I later found out I was pushing myself too hard.
In August of ’11 I did my first triathlon, a “sprint”...