When I was younger, I was always involved in recreational sports. I was a competition rock climber and toured with the Van’s Warped Tour and I was given entry to compete in the ’96 x-games in a sport in which we do not mention its name. I was the guy with bleached hair and piercings always pushing the edge of what I knew was possible.
It was a cold and rainy night. My wife was downstairs with my children. I was looking closely in the mirror. There it was staring me in the face. Receding hairline with some sprinkled grey hair.
All of the things that I accomplished, my children would not know about. They would not see the things their father was great at. And here I was, trying to figure out how to show them that their dad is still cool.
Then my wife was suckered into doing one of those weird 5k’s runs. I took the kids to see her and they were very excited to see her. And then later on, we saw the NBC World Championship coverage.
Suddenly, it seemed like everybody I would run into was associated with endurance sports of some kind. I was unplugged from the Matrix and brought into the world of champions.
This is when I knew what I could do. Triathlon could be one of those things that I could use to inspire my children, lead my family, and have a physical hobby which did not rely on other people to participate in. I decided that when I told my children, “You are capable of ANYTHING” they would look to me as the physical proof of that and know that I don’t just say those words, but I test them every day.
So here I am now. I love triathlons, I love the people, and I love being involved. I also love the smell of neoprene wetsuits early in the morning. I have worked my way up from Sprint distances through Olympic distances to completing my first 70.3 this year. I have no desire to do 140.6 courses at this time. My children are my priority and I personally feel that if *I* were to do the training for that, it would take my time away from my children and my family to do so. I am happy with the 70.3 distance and I will be here for a few years. Triathlon is a hobby for me, whereas my family is my priority.
I first volunteered with TriFreaks because they were one of those “chance” meetings that I stumbled onto. They helped me with a little 5K race. I helped them with one of their races in return. It ended up being more fun than racing itself! Sometimes the words from a spectator can turn your race around and I have had people thank me for keeping them going. It is encouraging. I am happy to be out there setting up transition areas and handing out T-shirts even for the event that I am racing in. I make sure to volunteer for a race or two throughout the season. I learn more about the sport when watching people and the TriFreaks discounts are awesome! This company puts on the most beautiful races in Washington and I really hope to see them grow and become a great asset to national athletes.
My kids love the triathlon environment and my wife really enjoys serving the athletes and the races. It is now a good fit.
So I am out in the races with you guys feeling the same pain and agony. I learn everything that I can about the sport and try to pass on as much as I can to you. You will probably find me helping out with answering questions about courses helping out with tips and advice, even if it compromises my Age Group ranking…and then during the race, you will probably pass me at some point during the bike leg. That wasn’t a joke. I am pretty serious.
Now quit reading this and get training! You’ve got a medal to earn!