At 335 pounds, Sue Reynolds’ couldn’t walk a block, fit in a restaurant booth, or even tie her own shoes. After failing one diet after another, she tried to lose weight one more time, but this time she had a secret daydream - to finish a triathlon. That secret daydream gave purpose to her dieting and exercise, and she lost 200 pounds, finished her first triathlon (dead last), and fell in love with swim, bike and run. Along the way, she discovered an athlete and competitive spirit had been hiding inside her morbidly obese body. Three years after completing her first triathlon in last place, Sue finished sixth in the world (and first American) at the World Triathlon Championship! Sue embodies a spirit of hope and a belief that we all have the power to transform our lives and the world around us.
Outside of triathlon, Sue founded the American Student Achievement Institute, a non-profit organization that helps community leadership teams implement change for the purpose of helping young people, especially disadvantaged young people, succeed in life. She has received numerous state and national awards for her work in systemic change involving schools and communities.
Sue is the author of The Athlete Inside: The Transforming Power of Hope, Tenacity, and Faith. Sue hopes the book will inspire others to begin their own journeys - whatever those journeys may be. Sue also provides motivational speeches for associations, corporations, athletic, education, and faith-based events across the country.
NOTE: Sue is currently donating a portion of her speaking engagements fees to nonprofits that support the involvement of under-represented groups in sport.
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Anything is Possible: From Obesity to the World Triathlon Championship
At age 60 and 335 pounds, Sue Reynolds secretly daydreamed about participating in a triathlon. At the time, she couldn't even put on her own shoes! That daydream gave purpose to her dieting and exercise, and she ended up losing 200 pounds and discovering an athlete had been hiding inside her morbidly obese body. One year after starting her weight-loss journey, Sue entered her first triathlon and held up one finger in victory as she crossed the finish line – in last place. Three years later, Sue placed sixth in the world at the ITU Sprint World Triathlon Championship in Rotterdam. With candor and humor, Sue shares her inspirational story and helps us all understand that anything is possible!
Everyday Discipleship: Faith Journey from Obesity to the World Triathlon Championship
At age 60, Sue Reynolds lost over 200 pounds and transformed from a morbidly obese person to one of the top triathletes in the world, finishing sixth in the world at the ITU Sprint World Triathlon Championship. Sue shares her surprising spiritual journey as she discovers God reaching out to her through the kindness of others, the pleas of her son to talk about God as a family, and the intergenerational relationship she developed with her young Christian coach who quietly used triathlon as a foundation for discipleship. Sue shares how these relationships and the strength of her coach’s faith during his wife’s battle with cancer enabled her to hear God’s voice, and how we can all be God’s disciples in our everyday lives.