For two reasons I was very hesitant on starting this blog: 1. I don’t like to go into details about my life in social media and 2. I’m scared of the critics or judgements, but I guess thats something normal to feel, at least thats what I tell myself. I wanted to start this blog so you guys can get to know me a little better and know more about my background. I’m going to answer some of the questions I get asked the most on social media.
Swimming- I get asked a LOT “how can you swim so fast”?… I grew up being a swimmer, I swam ever since I could remember and all through high school and one year in college. I had big dreams, dreams that most people don’t have or don’t even think its possible to have. For me, everything was possible, I never once doubted myself that I couldn’t do anything. I wanted to go to the Olympics representing my country - Peru. I was a very talented swimmer, I will admit that. However, I worked really hard to get to where I was back then. I went to college to swim, I didn’t go to college to study. Swimming was my life. It was all I knew and all I wanted to do. Unfortunately, that dream ended after 1 year of being there. Long story short… I had an abusive coach which forced me to quit swimming. Even though he took my swimming career away from me, he gave me much more in life. He was a brilliant coach. Many of you might think “how you could say that after what he did to you?”. Well because after many years of being frustrated with him and disappointed in myself, I decided to take the positives from this experiences. He taught me how to be a better and stronger athlete. He taught me the real meaning of what dedication and discipline is. He gave me the confidence to believe that anything is possible and most importantly, he believed in me more than anybody did. So thank you Coach for making me the person I am now - a strong and confident athlete/woman.
My body and nutrition - My life wasn’t always “confidence and strength”. There was a time in my life were I was very weak, self conscious and unhappy with myself, specially with my body. The relationship I had with my body wasn’t a healthy one, I thought I was fat when I wasn’t. I wasn’t your typical skinny athlete, I had a swimmers body, broad shoulders & muscle, something that not many girls had 10 years ago. I never saw my body as something beautiful. Instead, I saw my body as something unattractive. However, once I changed my mindset and started loving myself, seeing the beautiful and the amazing qualities I had, everything else changed. My body changed. My mood changed. Elise Portugal changed. And that I have my amazing sister to thank for. She encourages me everyday to think positively, to love myself and to be kind to my body. I am a true believer that there is nothing more beautiful than a confident women who loves herself and her body, no matter what body type she has. This is one of the reasons why I always want to empower women to love their bodies, to not compare themselves to anyone else because everybody is beautiful in their own different way. Now at age 29, I feel better than ever, my body is in the best shape its ever been and I love it so much.
As for my “diet”, I don’t follow any fad diet, I eat healthy, I eat real food, I am a vegan triathlete and I feel great. However, I don’t deprive myself from anything, I drink wine, I eat chocolate, chips and hummus, pizza and I don’t feel bad about doing it anymore. My secret is - I tell myself everyday that I am beautiful, that my body is strong and fit, that I love it and most importantly, I stopped comparing myself to others, and guess what? I believe it. I believe all of those things. This being said, you need to believe it to become it. ( I’ll write another post on my nutrition).
Triathlon - I started doing triathlon in 2012. In 2013 I did my first Ironman (Brasil) and ever since then, I got hooked on the sport. I couldn’t stop training nor thinking about triathlon, it changed my life. I felt like my training had a purpose again, I could feel the adrenaline of racing, the excitement of accomplishing big goals and I loved every second of it. It reminded me back when I used to swim competitively. Triathlon is the reason why I ended up living here in Miami. I took some time off from work to come and train in Miami for Kona 2014. After a couple of weeks of living here, I realized how happy I was and how much I loved this place. Compared to where I grew up, this place was paradise for me. I knew that my heart was here but I was scared of making such a big decision, specially because I didn’t know anybody here and didn’t have a place to live. It was me, my bike, a suitcase and the biggest decision that changed my life - I decided to stay in Miami. Training in Miami compared to Peru was SO easy, motivating and fun. I could ride my bike outside safely, something that I could never do before. I started taking triathlon very seriously and thankfully having great results. After a very successful two years of racing, I decided to turn Pro. I wanted to give it a go and was extremely excited about it. Until I injured myself and everything changed. In January 2017 I got hip surgery and ever since I’ve been battling with this horrible injury. Sometimes life has a funny way of showing you and changing your path but what matters the most is it how you react to it. I now know and understand that everything happens for a reason. ( More to come on another post).
Tim - I get asked a lot “How did you and Tim meet?” Well the answer is, Instagram! Haha Yes! We started following each other on instagram, then we started commenting in each others pictures, then messaging each other though DM and then we got each others number and you know the drill… After 3 months of texting back and forth, I was like “Am I ever going to see you?” and luckily, Tim was coming to this side of the world to race 70.3 Santa Rosa in July 2016. So of course I booked a flight, registered for the race and went to California to meet him with my best friend “La Flaca”. I know this might sound cheesy, but as soon as I met Tim I knew he was the one for me. After spending an amazing weekend in San Francisco together, it was time to say goodbye. It was probably the hardest goodbye we have had to date, because we didn’t know when was the next time we would see each other. He was heading to Canada for Ironman Whistler and I was heading back home to Miami. I am the type of person that if I want something I’ll do everything I can to get it no matter the outcome (thats good and bad sometimes haha). I’m not scared of the risk, I rather have a life full of “Oh wells” than a life of “What ifs”. With that being said, I was in the middle of exams for my masters degree and Tim was in Whistler getting ready for his Ironman. I realized that I really wanted to be with him, so I booked a flight to go see him, failed my accounting exam but got myself an amazing partner in life. #noregrets. (And I ended up passing the course!). Ever since then, Tim and I have been together. We did the long distance relationship for a while and yes it was super hard but worth it. Thankfully Tim had just turned Pro so he was able to get a visa to come live in the states with me… and thats what you see now, us living in Miami and loving life together! ❤️
This is just a summary of some of the topics I will be talking further on in my blog. I called it Lucky #9 because as you can see in the picture and on my IG (portugale9), my lucky number is #9 and since this is my first post I wanted to make it special. I hope you guys like it & thanks for reading 😊💕