All through my life, my family has been competitive.

My dad was really the worst. It didn’t matter if it was playing a card game or a kickball game in the backyard, he was the best at talking trash and wanted to win.

My parents were both into exercise and fitness.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has played softball and is on really competitive teams that travel all around the U.S. playing in national tournaments.

My mom was always a runner and competed in half-marathons and ran the Chicago marathon.

Both my parents set the example of exercise and competition as a part of daily life.

My brother, Todd Koleszar, also does triathlons and is training for Ironman Louisville.

He and I talk every day, and while I’m not fast enough to keep up with him, we are in constant competition.

While I’m down here in Dallas visiting my brother, we have done some workouts together.

It’s been a really great time. But I’d be lying if I said there was no competition between us.

Just recently we rode intervals around White Rock Lake, near where Todd lives.

He is a lot faster than me on the bike, but I did my best to push as hard as I could to stay behind him on the intervals. I couldn’t keep up with him through the first three tries, but finally through the last interval I pushed hard enough to ride the entire four minutes right behind him.

It’s that fun unspoken competition that helps me improve.

While training at home, I’ve recently begun using Strava. Strava is a program/app that uses your data from runs and rides and allows you to compare your data to your friends.

There are segments on rides called “King or Queen of the Mountain” when you ride hills or certain segments.

My friends and I have been keeping track of where all of the different segments are, and you can tell when we are getting close to one.

Everyone kind of quiets down and starts to get mentally ready. As soon as we get there, we all take off.

We ride as hard and fast as we can to try to beat each other or set “personal records.”

I’ve really been improving my cycling and am “Queen of the Mountain” on three or four different Strava segments. It’s also fun to compete with the guys.

I am starting to be a little competition for them, and now I’m working really hard to beat them. All of this competition is really just second nature to me but is really helpful in pushing myself harder to improve for Ironman Louisville.

Stacey Parisi is a Seymour native and resident. Her columns will appear regularly in The Tribune as she trains to compete in Ironman Louisville 2015. Send comments to jmorey@tribtown.com.