“Triathlete Eyes Bigger Challenges”

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Lifestyle
Tags: , ,

I was very fortunate this past Tuesday to have received an opportunity to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame.  Who knew that Andy Warhol really understood what he was blathering on about back then?  My “fame”, you see, came with a recent article published about yours truly in the local Standard newspaper.

Click here to view the actual article.

It was very flattering indeed (not to mention a tad overwhelming and shocked at how large an article it was) and I’m more pleased that the picture didn’t make me look like some reject from a Richard Simmons ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies’  casting call.  The story was short and sweet as it was based on a short four minute interview, but it didn’t really expand on the details that I’d hoped they might.  No big deal, of course, it’s just a local newspaper and I’m no celebrity attention seeking-type anyway.  But I thought I could use this forum then as an opportunity to expand with those details as it is very important to me to recognize and give thanks where it is due.  I didn’t do this alone and I’d like to therefore acknowledge the parties directly responsible in assisting me to make this all happen – in no specific order, of course.  In fact, all I ever do is make the time, show up and do as I’m told.

1.  The article mentions that I learned how to breathe and allow me to calm down and focus when things began to get all ‘ouchie’  during both my training sessions and the races themselves.  This skill has proven invaluable this year, particularly in Cancun where the temperatures reached 95°  with 100%  humidity.  Let’s just say that all the good vibes and positive karma in the world isn’t going to help you if you can’t get the air into your lungs to make your muscles work.  Likewise, how effective will your training sessions be if you’re constantly sore or injured?  Yoga helped me with all this.  For this, I’d like to wholeheartedly thank Amanda, Andrea, Jackie, Angela, Catherine, Darlene, Diana, Ashley and all the other girls at Yoga by Sarah for being so patient, encouraging and supportive.  You girls were and continue to be my ‘secret weapon’ out on the race course.

2.  When I first started on this triathlon crazy train, I primarily tended to train on my own.  Maybe this was a throwback to my childhood aversion of team sports, maybe just my preference for some additional alone time, who knows?  But I’ve learned that you can only accomplish so much on your own.  Working out with a group provides that added push, while allowing you access to a wide range of amazing individuals for that constant support and motivation.  I found this in the TryForce group at the local YMCA, or the couple of clubs within the Y dedicated to half and full triathlons”  as referenced in the article.  Through this group I found certified coaches to help me develop everything from my swim stroke to my pedal stroke and all points in between.  From this group I gleaned all sorts of necessary tips and advise such as effective transition set-up, basic bicycle maintenance, specific running drills, nutritional strategies…all those things I never would have considered or even thought about on my own.  In essence, training with this group walked me around all those noobie pitfalls and landmines that I would have otherwise fallen straight into on race day.  Big thanks here to Coach Bill, Roberto, Devin and Karen, as well as all the other phenomenal members of this phenomenal group.  You are all the major reason why I love and grow in this sport.

Practicing what she preaches…

3.  Lord knows I’m still a rookie in this sport and would otherwise fall into every rookie pothole along the way if it wasn’t for my Coach.  I have mentioned Saskia before as part of my Team Tigerrabbit, but her involvement in my development goes beyond just writing me out a schedule to follow; far from actually.  How many other coaches push you through a long, hilly 25k  slog in minus zero snowstorms that would have most Yeti seeking refuge beside a cozy fireplace with a cuppa joe?  Right.  Then there was the whole Bike Box fiasco, and my panicky phone calls in the middle of the day when something didn’t feel right?  Oh, and she doesn’t take my shit either should I ever get whiney.  What her favorite line again…oh right!  “Yeah, yeah, yeah…get back out there.”   The good news is that there is usually a nice vegetarian dinner in it more me somewhere along the line.  And for this type of guidance, I am eternally grateful.

Doin’ that thang that she do so well.

4.  As might be expected all this training wear and tear takes it toll on your body.  Sure the yoga helps keep it all manageable, but it’s still not without its aches and pains.  Enter Jen, my soon-to-be-registered massage therapist.  I always thought of massage as a rather hoity-toity thing to do, but she has totally changed my perspective and I better understand the benefits that it brings to my conditioning, namely, it makes the ‘ouchies’  go away.  Jen will often visit my teeny-weeny little apartment with her table once a month to visit and spend some time kneading and massaging my sore body while listening to all those gripes, groans and complaints that Saskia doesn’t put up with.  So she has become a bit of a psychiatrist in that regard as well.  And all this for playing the role of guinea pig whenever she wants to practice some different release technique or something; hey, it’s all good with me as it ultimately just spells out added ‘relief’ for me anyway.  I am also happy to announce that Jen is currently acing all her tests and will soon be a position to be taking on regular clients…me being the first in line.  Thanks Jen!

At last years Resolution Run. Please forgive the pink bandana…

5.  Last, but certainly not least, is another important part of Team Tigerrabbit, Judy – my financial advisor and life coach who lets me see the bigger picture when it sometimes becomes a bit blurred.  After all, none of these race adventures – particularly Cancun – would be possible without the necessary financial planning and backing.  I have the financial sense of a retarded wombat at the best of times, so having someone looking at future sure does help.  Currently, besides planning for the upcoming Wales race, I’m in the process of purchasing my first home as my base of operations in 2012.  So that a huge burden that I’m not sure I would have been able to bear without her.  And to give you an idea what kind of person she is, the day before I left for Cancun there was a card and bunch of balloons waiting for me outside my door with the instructions to forget everything else and focus instead on what was really important:  “kicking ass”.  Yeah.  I know, right?

I could go on and one and on here, of course, as there are a lot of people who have played some part in my overall success story, but these were the big kudos that I feel were omitted from the article given space restrictions, etc.

Besides, what would they include in the follow up next September?

  1. Jen says:

    Awe. You’re the best Terry. This just made my night. YOU have been an amazing support for ME, and I am so thankful to you for that buddy.
    I’m so proud of how far you have come, and it has been an absolute honour working with you. 🙂

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