About Me

My name is Irina, but online I go by Ririnette. Hard to pronounce, I know, but Riri is now taken by someone named Rihanna, apparently she's pretty famous. I am a full time working mom, wife and wannabe triathlete. I graduated as a software engineer, but my passion is to manage people in the technical field, so after a few years in software development, project and product management, I finally settled into a Development Manager position. Yeah, I can be pretty bossy when I want to.
I was born in Romania, then emigrated to France and eventually to Canada. I hold a dual citizenship and speak fluently all three languages, which often mix up in my head and turn into Romfranglish for my embarrassment and the grammar nazis' delight. I write on this blog exactly as thoughts come into my mind, which explains the high-school level of storytelling and vocabulary. I tried growing up, but that didn't work very well. Literature has never been my favorite subject either, but I enjoy a good book whenever I have time to read. And no, 50 Shades of Grey did not make the cut, that book was really awfully written.

Speaking of books, the moment I finished reading "The Long Run" by Matt Long, my world turned upside down. All of a sudden, everything seemed possible. A marathon? Next on my list. An Ironman, bring it on! And that's what brought me where I am today. I want to swim, bike and run for health, to be a good role model for my kids, to show them that once you put your mind to accomplish something, you fight hard and conquer your fears, your inhibitions, your doubts. You become a better you, no matter how big the challenge is. I may not be the fastest and the strongest out there and most often you will find me in the middle of the pack, but I'm ok with it. At 40 years old my body can only take that much before it breaks. And the challenge is to keep it moving without reaching that breaking point.

My husband (often called here "hubbs" or Zin) has now joined me in these challenges (if you can't defeat them, join them) and he often trains with me and complains how slow I am. That keeps our marriage in balance, I suppose, and makes up for all the times that I'm bitchy and moody at home. It is said that all jokes are half true, but the fact is that he and my boys are my best cheerleaders, my supporters through all the times that I feel defeated or in pain, and often forgive me for not cleaning the house when it's a mess. In return, I sign them up for races and I challenge them to beat me because I know I could never be better than them at video games.

Hubbs has since completed a full marathon (after losing 100lb!), a half-ironman and many sprint and olympic distance triathlons and continues to amaze me with the dedication and continuous progress that he makes in his journey.

The Weight Issue

Before I had children, my weight was a pretty steady 125lb, which for my height of 5'3", it is considered normal. I was rather active, playing volleyball and doing taekwon-do a few days a week, even competing internationally. Then I had my two sons in 1999 and 2001, after which my weight started fluctuating between 145-160lb. In 2005 I got depressed, stopped exercising and everything went downhill from there, four years later I reached 183lb, my highest ever. I started suffering from sleep apnea and I was constantly sleep deprived and exhausted, I even slept with a CPAP machine for a year. I was in a circle of despair and suffered from horrible self-esteem issues. People didn't really see how heavy I was because my weight seems to be pretty well distributed, or maybe they were just trying to be "nice" to me. In 2009 I decided that medication and therapy were too expensive, so I started running and tracking my weight.

Making serious changes in my eating habits and becoming active again was the key. Three years later, I finally managed to lose 50lb and returned to my healthy and happy self.

Below are pictures at my worst and best times. Fitness has become our lifestyle and we continue enjoying racing and pushing one limit at a time.

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