Why did you get into triathlons?
I got into triathlon 13 years ago by accident! It began as a way to lose weight after having a baby and became a lifestyle very quickly. My first triathlon was scheduled to be the 2004 Danskin in Denver Colorado, so I joined a triathlon class at my local gym and became part of my very first triathlon crew! It was that group experience that really got me hooked. It felt so awesome to go and meet up with my people to train. It was new to all of us, so it was an encouraging, supportive environment. It didn’t really matter where people were finishing it was more like a big celebration that people were finishing! Before I knew it we were signing up for races together. I ended up doing 2 triathlons before the Danskin…and it didn’t stop for almost 10 years. I am proud to say that I remain close friends with several of the people from that class. We still support each other in racing and other endeavors we have taken on in our lives since.
What triathlon experience do you have?
I have traveled the world racing and supporting others through their triathlon journeys. I have been a coach, an athlete, a spectator, and support crew. It’s all good in my book. I have swam in pre-hurricane ocean conditions, braved the waters of Alcatraz a few times, and I've done a solo rim to rim to rim run in the Grand Canyon. Ironman Canada was my first and only Ironman race.
What do you think is the secret to triathlon success?
For me the secret sauce is being connected to myself. It’s about being around people who dig me for me and not the result of my performance. Exercise for me is about finding my personal best and my personal version of strong. I really need to stay connected to my own personal intentions because when I don’t get caught up in my times, my placing, or my position in the pack I flow and stay connected to the joy of self -discovery.
What is your approach to working with athletes? I believe there are two aspects of being a coach, the first is the physiological aspect-the building of a training program utilizing all of what we know about our athlete's physical conditioning, the science behind training, and our own experiences. Think heart rate, power, time spent training and racing, and physical conditioning (endurance). The second aspect is being a mentor. Think healing, finding our purpose and our path, learning about our style, knowing what makes us unique, and designing our season and training goals and adventures from this place of "who we really are". I began recognizing the need for rest and rejuvenation and self connection with athletes when I began practicing massage 10 years ago, so I started tracking athlete recovery and levels of satisfaction with race results and their seasons and longevity in the sport. What I found is, one, folks who approached triathlon from this place of awareness were happier with their results, even when they didn't achieve goals they were working for and that they stayed in the sport longer. And two, that I LOVE focusing on self care and emotional integration with atheltes. Building a season together with an athlete that fits their style, their gifts, their talents, and their unique vision and how they see the world lights me up; It brings me no greater joy to see an athlete find their version of fast, of strong, and of success in this sport and have that zest for life permeate their whole life. I see people as uncharted islands, and I believe the most important aspect of being a coach is guiding people to trust their intuition and instincts and to just be there to witness the mapping of their island. Based on my experiences over the years, I find when people are having fun and learning about themselves they get tapped into the magic of who they really are!
How have triathlons enhanced your life?
Oh my goodness! In so many ways, but the things that stand out to me most and bring a sense of happiness to my heart would be that triathlon showed me what I am capable of. Another make my heart sing thing is that I love the community of kick ass people in my life! And I love traveling! Triathlon brought that into my awareness...I love experiencing new places, new races, and new people...and warm weather.