Courtney Qualls

Each day do a better job than you did the day before in one aspect or another. Be a better aunt, a better sister, a better friend, a better teacher, a better colleague, a better competitor, a better athlete.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a teacher, an aunt, a triathlete and a competitive cyclist.

2. What’s a typical day look like for you?

I get up at 3:30 or 4:15 and work out before school. I teach 8-4:30, after school I lead clubs and organizations at school, I usually work out again after 6 or I spend time with my niece, sister, dad or nephews 

3. What’s one life goal you’re currently pursuing outside of fitness?

Changing the world. I’m a teacher. It’s my goal each and every day to change the world and make a difference for each kid I can.

4. What does it mean to you to Compete Every Day?

Each day you have to strive to be better than the day before. Not just in fitness but in life. Each day be more kind. Each day make the world a better plan for someone else. Each day do a better job than you did the day before in one aspect or another. Be a better aunt, a better sister, a better friend, a better teacher, a better colleague, a better competitor, a better athlete. 

To compete every day means to strive to be the best at all you do. To compete every day means to fight for the life you want. To compete every day means to not have limits and never accept a “no” but to make stuff happen. To compete every day means to never give up. 

5. What is one obstacle you’re proud you’ve overcome?

This last September I competed at the ITU triathlon long distance World Championships. I had to qualify to get there. But that 4km swim scared the fire out of me…and there was a time limit. I swam every day for four months and every other day for months before that. When race day came, the swim was not wet suit legal. At first I panicked. If ever swam that far without a wet suit and I had banked on having it.

More so, the weather was horrible during the race. There were white caps on the water…in a lake! The swim was horrific! There were two different times that I thought I saw Jesus! But I didn’t give up! I kept digging as deep as I could. At one point after throwing up under water a race life guard on a kayak asked me if I wanted to have her pull me in.

I remember being so astounded thinking, ” me? Give up? Heck no!” I relied, “I would rather die than give up.” And I swam away. Each stroke meant so much more after that. Each stroke I reminded myself who I was and who I was doing this for. I was doing this for myself. I was representing my country. I had my name and Team USA on my back. I was representing my country. A strong country. I had to stay strong. 

I finished that swim. 

In time!!! Within the time limit. 

I have never been more proud of myself. 

I didn’t give up. 

Courtney’s don’t give up. 

I’ve never been more proud of myself.  I didn’t listen to that lady who was worried  about my throwing up underwater. I didn’t listen to the pain in my body. I listened to my body. And my determination finished that race. 

Later I found out that over 200 athletes (who qualified for that race just like me, who were not beginners) quit during that swim, many of them were Olympians. But not me. I don’t give up. I would rather die than give up. 

6. What/who do you compete for?

I compete for myself. I compete to become a better me. I compete to constantly stretch myself to find new strengths. I compete to become more alive each day than the day before. I compete to leave a legacy of who Courtney is so that others will be inspired not to give up. 

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