In less than three weeks’ time I will be gearing up for the World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. To be honest, it feels like yesterday I made the move to Australia to work with coach Jamie Turner and the Wollongong Wizards. But it was back in January that this new chapter in my triathlon journey began. I was fortunate to spend January through May Down Under, learning how to track cycle, up-skilling my bike legs, and de-programming from the ‘clock’ and outside feedback in the water and on the run. I jumped head and heart first into Jamie’s program, which differs in structure and in intensity to what I had previously experienced. This transition is still an on-going process in our current training base of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country.
What hasn’t differed this year, however, is my willingness to invest in the pursuit for the highest level of achievement. Although I’d be lying if I said the pursuit this year has been easy. On the contrary, this year has proven to be one of the most challenging in my athletic journey: I’ve failed big–bigger than ever before on the world stage. But I’m learning through these big and fast failures, I fail forward. One of Jamie’s mantras that he shares regularly comes from the classic story of Rocky: “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Although progress might not shine through in consistent race results, the growth I’ve experienced this year as an athlete and as a person is invaluable. This seemingly invisible, underlying progress has made me technically, tactically, physiologically and psychologically a stronger competitor. There are certainly moments when I do echo Steinbeck, who wonders “why progress looks so much like destruction”. But I’m aware that it’s the next, unwritten chapter that leaves the lasting impression. Thus, for the next 3 weeks, I’ll continue to chip away at my weaknesses and improve my strengths. The progress will reveal itself as long as I keep writing the next chapter of my triathlon journey, all while remaining patient and persistent in the construction of the climax.
My story would be left unwritten without the support from my community, both near and far. Thank you, Team Psycho, E-Lyte Sport, USA Triathlon, NYAC, HED and Blueseventy for your contribution to my progress and success. It takes a team.