Shortly after my race at Santa Rosa, the man behind the tweets, my coach, sent a second tweet as shown below.
I felt the meaning as I had just had a pretty special race, and responded. I still want to acknowledge the people mentioned: Betty (@bettljanelle), Rebecca (@tripinkbecca), Stacy (@atltrigirl), Brent (@bpeas9), and Maria (@mariathrash). Each has been instrumental in my growth the past few years as a person and athlete, as well as to that special race performance.
Saturday, May 12 was (again) a special performance for me. I was chasing a race and a race feeling. It wasn’t perfect, but it was strong. And a race I am proud of, regardless of the outcome. And that race didn’t happen in a vacuum.
I’ve always trusted Matthew, my coach. And still our mutual trust has grown since I have started being coached by him. I love (why just use appreciate?) how he coaches me. I feel no pressure. And know when he asks, it’s time to, race. He asks because I can do. And I want to. Even if it seems scary. But the past couple of years it hasn’t been scary from a numbers point of view. I know he wouldn’t ask if I hadn’t done the work.
You can’t swim somewhere 3 days a week, spin 1-2 days a week, go to training camps, and train in an area where many train without getting to know people and creating friendships. I’ve been reaching out, or they reach out to me. We are talking, learning, building friendships, and trusting each other. Friendships have grown. They’ve each actively taken time to encourage me. And helped me gain the insight I need when racing. I can only hope I’ve encouraged or helped them in some small way, and not drawn them down. They do, after all, have their own athletes (all of those listed are coaches at Dynamo except Betty) and lives!
Two years ago, Rebecca and I stumbled upon a friendship – starting with an “would you like to ride?” Eventually things worked out and we got to ride together. And our friendship grew from there. Her insight, knowledge, and understanding has helped me in so many ways. She’s “that friend” where you wonder if she keeps me out of trouble or we find it together with our adventures. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. We can talk about anything. We are similar in many ways. But bring our own experiences and opinions to the friendship. Rebecca coaches not only adults, but has been building the Dynamo Youth Triathlon Program (link is here if your child is interested in starting triathlon) and because of this, has been coaching on weekends, and unable to ride long rides with me on weekends this year.
But, as luck would have it, Betty was also looking for a riding partner this winter/spring. Both of us are coached by Matthew, and so had similar rides often. Naturally, we started riding together. We rode in cold, rain, fog, cold, cold, and the occasional warm day (we had 2 from January to May). When we had to, we went indoors. Twice. And got it done. Betty is an extrovert. I’m…not. I’ve known Betty for years, but many times was tongue tied around her as any good introvert is when faced with someone who can speak with anyone easily. Well, that’s long gone! We’ve covered many, many miles and have covered many, many different topics along the way. To say Betty has helped me grow out of a comfort zone as a person and athlete is an understatement.
Maria’s had me and my swim stroke in her sights for years, but this feels especially since last July after I qualified for Kona for the first-time last year. She never accepts a reason for me not thinking, or for me over thinking, especially my swim, or cords. I’m still searching for that balance. And she keeps me moving to find it.
Brent and I started chatting based on a comment that I’ve fought insomnia for years. Turns out he has too. Therefore, we talk (err… text). And given that sleeping is influenced by just about everything in life, we’ve covered a lot of topics from sleep and things that disrupt sleep today and methods to improve sleep. It was a comment from him that got me to give up social media for a month. And it’s been a good thing. Somehow he turns many chats around and I learn a lesson about who and where I am. Not sure how he does it, but he does! It’s an incredible talent.
I’ve gotten to know Stacy over time. I feel connected to her: birds of a feather… I first met her at Muncie 70.3 in 2014 when she came up to introduce herself to me at the awards ceremony. The next year she grabbed my hand as we went to the swim start and told me to start at the front. Later, out on the run, she told me to keep running. I figured she knew something I didn’t, so I kept running, and probably even picked up my pace. That was the first time I broke 5 hours in a half iron man. Since then I have opened up to her fears and anxiety. Turns out, I am not alone in that stuff!
My circle of influence upon me has grown. And I trust all these people, friends, with my heart. And it is the energy from them, and trust that helps me find that special performance.