On January 14th my life transformed as I moved in to the Olympic Training Center. I was lucky enough to be invited by USA Triathlon as one of six Collegiate Recruits to live and train in Colorado Springs for six to nine months. I remember receiving an email from USAT late last fall indicating that they were working on obtaining space for new residents, and that I could potentially earn a spot. At that point, I didn’t quite realize that this was a life changing opportunity in the works. It wasn’t until December 10th when I received word that I had a bed waiting for me at the training center. I had one month to pack up my life in Albuquerque and move 400 miles north to pursue a life as a professional triathlete and an Olympic hopeful.
My first month as a resident athlete at the OTC has passed, and every morning I wake up still in awe that I earned my way here. I eat my meals surround by the likes of Alan Webb, Shalane Flanagan, and Lopez Lamong. I swim every morning in the same water as the US Paralympic Swim Team, and occasionally an athlete like Ryan Lochte shows up and humbles us all. I am not going to lie though, adjusting to a new lifestyle, a new home, and a whole new structure of training has been a challenge. The first 10 days were hit or miss, especially in the water. Luckily I have the attentive help of my coach Trista Francis working through the weekly challenges that arise in training.
In the last two weeks, I notice that I have begun to adapt to the environment and am seeing progress. I am thrilled with my work on the track, on the bike, and finally I am noticing improvement with form and speed in the water. I am so excited to start racing next month, and see where a winter of work places me in a race.
Photographer Paul Phillips came and took photos of the Collegiate Recruits, which were featured in an article in Triathlon Magazine: http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/02/photos/photos-usa-triathlons-collegiate-recruitment-program_70052
Follow the other Collegiate Recruits:
Chelsea Burns: www.cburns365.wordpress.com
Kyla Champan: www.kylachampman.com
Katie Hursey: www.katiehursey.blogspot.com
John O’niell: www.thattri.blogspot.com
Justin Roeder: www.justinroeder1.com