• Laura Cozik

Back to the Beginning

Updated: Aug 18, 2018

How’s that sound of music song go... “let’s go back to the very beginning. A very good place to start...”

It’s been ten years since I finished my first triathlon. A journey and an experience that changed my life. My reasons for getting involved back then were very different than choosing the Team Lipstick beginner program today. In 2008, I was single and living in New York. I was an avid spin class junkie and I had grown up swimming and doing other team sports. I was not a runner. I hated running. I was overweight and struggled with body image, and no matter how many times I tried, when I made weight loss my goal, I never achieved it. I remember getting on the scale one day after back-to-back spin classes

Big Team Lipstick Kiss
Coach Sara as a beginner in 2008

and seeing a higher number! Discouraged and annoyed, I got off the scale and swore I would do a triathlon. It involved two things I felt comfortable doing - swimming and biking - so I knew I could suffer through the third leg. I began telling everyone I knew that I was going to do a triathlon, so that I could not back down from it. 

I was a regular in Laura’s Wednesday morning spin class and when she told me that she was starting a beginner team, I signed up and got my best friend on board as well. I showed up for all of the bike sessions, I swam all the time, and found every possible excuse to skip the runs. I don’t like doing things I’m not good at. 

At our first race ever, with our team of 25 women, I was second out of the swim. On the bike course I was passed only by our fastest cyclist, and then on the run, I was passed by nearly every single one of my teammates ... I had work to do. 

A week later Laura gave me one of the 5 coveted spots she had been given for the Nations Triathlon in Washington DC, so I immediately had an opportunity to improve. And I did!

Having Laura give me that spot was a vote of confidence that helped me believe I could achieve bigger goals.  I forced myself to the runs, and started listening to the incredible advice from all of the outstanding coaches. I even started to enjoy myself. 

Pre-race Nations Tri in Washington, DC 2008
Laura and Sara with Ivana at the Nations Tri in 2008

Over the next several years, Team Lipstick would bring bigger and more amazing challenges. While running a marathon had never interested me, I have finished 7. While I said that I would never do an Ironman, I’ve finished 2. Team Lipstick taught me to love my body, to believe in myself, and that anything is possible with the right community to support you.

The day Laura offered me a coaching position as the Head Coach for the signature Team Lipstick Beginner Program, I was over the moon! I was now going to get a chance to invest in other women and experience their finish lines with them. Next to becoming a mom - this is the best gig I’ve ever had. 

On the becoming a mom thing... Wow! I know we were made to do this, but I tell everyone: Ironman is easy compared to pregnancy and childbirth. I have my amazing son, and I’d do it all over and again and again for him, but I would take Ironman training over childbirth any day!

Coach Sara and her little man after a Saturday ride in London
Post-ride with her little one, looking at the Thames

A year on from having my baby - I am just three pounds over my ideal race weight (thank you breastfeeding!) but my body is not what it was. I don’t mind it much as I know the power that is in my legs has taken me to the most phenomenal mountain top experiences. I know that my spirit and mind can focus and push my body to do amazing, and FUN things!


At just over my race weight and having only exercised a couple times a week with no real goal, I thought about signing up for another Ironman - my favorite of all the races - but it’s not practical for me or my family; and my body isn’t ready for it. I can’t sneeze without crossing my legs! So...

I’m going back to the beginning. Back to the beginner program that changed my life ten years ago. I’m being coached again by the same woman - Laura - who has believed in me, encouraged me, and taken me all over the world with her to do incredible things. And I’m going back to my amazing community of Team Lipstick women who inspire and motivate me every single day. We have shared our joys, sorrows, accomplishments, annoyances, coping strategies, and more. From tips and tricks to keeping chlorine from ruining your hair to getting my pelvic floor to behave (or at least laugh with me when it doesn’t) I know I have the unwavering support of Team Lipstick. 

Training starts Monday. 

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