Some people grow up believing they’re not athletic and then in adulthood, something inside awakens and they find their passion.  

Deanna Jabs loved swimming but then she decided to add running and cycling and became a triathlete.

 “I was really not strong at anything but I met a group of people through swimming that were involved in triathlon,  very new to the sport in the 80’s and the sport appeal to me,” says Jabs.

Jabs began competing in triathlons in Manitoba and continued competing after moving to Alberta in the late 1990’s.

 In 2002, she was asked to start a triathlon for women and Jabs picked Strathmore because it had a new indoor pool.

The first Strathmore Women’s Triathlon was held in 2003 and the response convinced Jabs women wanted to participate; they just needed coaching.  Today she coaches women of all ages.

One of these athletes is Elizabeth Semenchuk, who was comfortable running and cycling, but not swimming.

“I could barely swim one lap when I first went to Deanne's class and she was worried and I was worried,” says Semenchuk.  “ She sent me some videos and she spent a little bit of extra time with me and I came every week and I got a membership at the "Y" and I swam outside of class as well and now I can swim two kilometres in open water.”

Jabs has been urging Wendy Shanks to try a triathlon for two years and this year she accepted the challenge

“She finally talked me into doing a sprint triathlon and I did one in Olds and I won my age group and  then I did one in Strathmore and I won my age group,” says Shanks.

For all she does helping women to believe in themselves, triathlete and coach Deanne Jabs is this week’s Inspiring Albertan.

With files from CTV’S Darrel Janz