Larissa Tambawala is not an athlete. By her own admission, the 38-year-old JLS broker, wife, and mother is not even close to being in shape. Which makes her story even more inspirational. A year ago she got the idea that she would train for the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike race, a 210-mile race that can be completed in either one or two days. She says her initial thought was “let’s do something unexpected and outside the box.”
“I was talking to Kathy Estey, my managing broker at Bellevue Main, about it and she said she would do it with me. So, I signed up for it,” she says.
Larissa admits she had a whole bunch of challenges with regard to putting in the time to train, and didn’t prepare for the terrain. The last 30 – 40 miles were hills, one after the other. It was a problem because she hadn’t trained for hills. Also, due to scheduling conflicts, she ended up riding solo. She completed the race in two days.
“I wasn’t trying to break any kind of records, I just wanted to finish. What I lacked in physical ability I made up for in tenacity. It was the first thing I’ve ever done in 38 years that really pushed me on every level imaginable. Quitting was not an option. I was offered rides and help, and even though I was sore and in pain, I said no. My affirmation was that I saw myself finishing and made a promise to myself, even though nobody expected it from me. This was an affirmation of strength and endurance. I needed this to prove to myself that I can really do anything.
Somebody asked me if I would do it again, and I said ‘yes in heartbeat!’ The moment we start to challenge ourselves at this level it seeps into every other aspect of our lives because our potential is completely unlimited.”