The New Adventure
It’s a new year and with that comes new goals, new opportunities and new adventures. For me personally, it’s going to be a massive year. I’m due to become a dad at the end of May and from everyone I have asked, the consensus is that I have no idea what I am in for until I’m in it! I’m really excited for this new opportunity and I know it’s going to be one heck of an adventure!!
Early into 2016, with some inspiration from my friend Steph, I became fully self employed and never looked back. It was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made and with that now comes new opportunity. New opportunity to build both my triathlon coaching business and my accounting practice. I have big ideas on how I plan to build both and with that comes a lot of hard work. I think the reason we see so many successful business people attracted to triathlon, Ironman in particular, is that the key ingredients for success are very similar. What I have learned through sport has made me a better business person and vice versa.
With the new opportunities I am taking on, naturally something has to give. After a lot of thought I have decided to let my Pro card expire. In all honesty it wasn’t a tough decision. What I have learned the last two seasons racing pro is that in order to get more competitive, I need more time to develop, I need more time to train, but more importantly I need a lot more time for recovery and to keep life relatively stress free. Already being 32, wanting to stay married and with a baby on the way it doesn’t feel all that realistic.
The reality is that it takes a long time to develop into a world class athlete. I’ve been doing the sport since 2011 which is a relatively short time. Most of the athletes at the top have been doing this for a very long time. We see the odd anomaly come along like Lionel Sanders or Jesse Thomas, but both still had strong running backgrounds to build off which translated to a very strong bike for both of them. There are definitely others that just worked very hard at it for a long time. I have always found a lot of inspiration in what Trevor Wurtele has done. His speech after winning Ironman Canada in 2013 inspired me to give racing Pro a go. Looking at his results over the years, it seems to me as though he’s consistently kept his head down and just done the work. The year he had in 2016 blew me away, it’s crazy seeing the calibre of athlete he’s become.
I know I could continue racing Pro and continue to see gains but I’m just not content with that. If I’m racing Pro, I want to be all in and holding myself to a higher standard. That means training to that level, racing frequently, racing well and working towards getting to the podium. There’s also much more to being a true professional than just being fast, things like being a good role model, being a great ambassador for sponsors and races, engaging with other triathletes to educate and entertain, helping grow the sport. The awesome thing is, as an elite amateur athlete I can still continue to do most of these things. I can continue to train hard to develop as an athlete and there is still so much more I want to accomplish in this sport. I can continue to be a great role model for athletes in my community, be an awesome ambassador for my sponsors and help share my experience and knowledge with others. I just know with the amount of things I have on my plate it will be very difficult to excel at the professional level the way I see fit.
Jenna’s biggest concern for me is that I am giving up on a dream. I know I have vocalized the dream of winning an Ironman one day but it’s certainly not what compels me to do the sport. I train and race the way I do as I am working towards a better self. I love going through the process of setting a goal at the beginning of a season, laying out the plan and seeing if I can execute it 6-10 months down the road. I love the lifestyle that goes with triathlon and the people in it.
The only things changing for me this year are my racing category and the dream goal. I’ll be back in the 30-34 AG, I’m sure I will be welcomed back with open arms! The dream goal is to stand on top of the podium in Kona in October and win some age group races along the way. That in itself will keep me very hungry. I raced Kona in 2014 as an amateur, I had a poor swim, a great bike which put me first off the bike, but ultimately I finished 14th. I’m a stronger, faster athlete now but the caliber of athletes on the Big Island is insane. Add a newborn little dude to the mix and it should be a crazy year. Looking forward to sharing the new journey with all of you!