Friday, January 4, 2013

2012: A Retrospective

Season numero uno in triathlon is officially over and it's been one heck of a ride. The seed was planted in 2008 by my good friend Michael Cochran who was training for Ironman New Zealand. I was swimming masters at USC at the time and we'd get together at the pool a couple times a week for supplemental training. He was doing straight 4ks in 82 degree water and I thought he was a nut. And would you believe he actually ended up completing that Ironman!! Who'd have thought these many years later I'd be doing the same?

The transition to the "real world" in 2010 found me spending a lot of time at the office and then winding down in front of the TV at home. After working through my debt I found myself with a modest pile of cash and decided I'd use it to get off my ass. I invested in a Cervelo P2 in mid-2011 and completed my first tri the next weekend. I'd never run more than a couple straight miles and had ~6 bike miles to my name: an out and back from my driveway to the end of the street where I was practicing my flying, shoeless mounts (self taught through YouTube). Like the total newb I was, I actually managed to wipe out over the course of those 6 miles and showed up to my race bruised and bloody.

2 months and a half-dozen races later, I had the good fortune of being assigned a new manager at the office. This guy was the real deal, an in-the-flesh, born and bred triathlete. He made it my personal OKR (objective key result) to finish a long distance triathlon and then led me to believe I wasn't so bad at this thing. Sure enough I started getting trophies/medals in the mail and learned I was podiuming in these darn things. Maybe I was on to something...

Rob then went on to complete 3 Iron-distance races (Switzerland, Henley, & Vineman) over the course of 5 weeks. Challenge Accepted. I spent hours dissecting the Ironman schedule and settled on Lanzarote: a beautiful race with a single-loop ride around the perimeter of a Canary island. And, allegedly, the hardest course on the circuit (woops!).

Then came one of the best decisions of my young tri career – meeting coach kevin coady and signing on to TriForce. I don't know what kevin saw in this unruly 22yo, but over the course of a year he managed to take me from a wreck of an athlete to a 9:49 and 9th place M24&U Ironman World Championship. He and Rob have become training partners, mentors, and above all else two really great friends that will always have a special place in my familia.

There is so much to be thankful for from 2012. A family who loves and supports me; a manager, director and CMO that encourage me; terrific athletes that bring the pain at every opportunity; a backyard that is in all respects the mecca for multisport athletes... I am reminded every day and without fail of how incredibly blessed I am.

I love this. I love training, I love racing, I love triathlon. I love the taste of crisp, race-morning air; the overwhelming anticipation as you tread water and the incredible jolt of the start canon... the rush of charging down the Kuakini highway, and the electricity that can only be found as you hammer through the final meters of an Ironman marathon. It is undeniable. I have found my passion and I want to make triathlon my life. Thankfully for this underdog, they say that champions are made, not born. So in 2013, I pledge to eat like a champion, sleep like a champion, train like a champion, stretch like a champion, rest like a champion, and race and become that champion.

I've already had to make very hard decisions to put myself in a position that I can only hope best positions me to achieve those goals.  I'm looking forward to a 2013 that's filled with love, positive energy and excellence in everything I do. Thank you for believing in me.


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