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Though she'll never pretend to be an elite competitor, Lynne Tapper '88 loves triathlons.
Actually, love might be an understatement.
When Tapper isn't busy working as a professional organizer for her business, Seize the Daze, or keeping up with her husband and two children, she's training or coaching other women to run, swim and bike. After she and her husband purchased a new home, they even remodeled it to better suit her training.
"Since we were doing the remodel anyway, you want to think about the things that make it convenient for you to do the things you love to do," Tapper told the Hartford Courant. "And this is what I love to do."
Tapper's home, located on Woodridge Lake in West Hartford, Conn., includes a spacious workout room, a garage complete with a rack for six bicycles, special key-codes so she can leave her keys home during workouts, and an exterior door for her first-floor bathroom (so she doesn't drip water through the house after a morning swim).
Tapper said her interest in athletics began at Connecticut College, where she was a member of
the rowing team.
"Rowing was an opportunity to try something different with others who were also new to the sport," said Tapper.
Tapper competed in a triathlon for the first time in 1993. A former marathon runner, she found it to be a very different kind of race – and difficult challenge – but she stuck with it.
Since beginning coaching five years ago, Tapper now owns Team Training New England, and she's already trained over 300 women.
"I love to coach novice women, because I really think it empowers them to become better mothers and wives," Tapper said.
Many of the women even go on to become her training partners. "It's become a contagious thing," she said.
In 2004, Tapper coached and coordinated her entire extended family – from her mother to her second cousin. Her cousin, Ellen Pulda '79, hadn't run in 20 years when she began her training but said that Tapper was "really supportive and inspirational."
"She taught us that you're never too old to start," said Pulda, who went on to do two more triathlons. "With perseverance and some effort, you can do anything."
Though coaching can get in the way of Tapper's own training, she would never give it up. It just means she might have to wake up earlier or run a little longer the next day.
"People tease me all the time for how much I work out," Tapper told the Courant. "I'm just wired that way. For most people, it's hard to work out. For me, it's hard not to work out."