I have had a week to soak in my experience at Collegiate Nationals this year, and regardless of the place in which I crossed the finish line, this last race experience with my CU Buffaloes was unforgettable. For the first time since I arrived in Boulder four years ago, I was able to find some consistency in my training, only missing two sessions since February leading into nationals. I felt myself finally relax and really enjoy the friendships I have not only on the tri team but also within the engineering school, which kept me from taking myself too seriously as I have in the past. Going to class is soooo much better when you know you will be sitting with your friends. Like triathlon, I made this a fun social gathering, even though thermodynamics isn't always my topic of choice to discuss in gatherings :-p Thank you Shawn Sprinkle, Tyler Smyth, Brian Atkinson, Niki Barney, Thomas Lund, Mitch Klein, and Henry Knutzen for always making me laugh. Remember that time we made a drill powered bike? That was pretty cool I think.
|From the left: Tyler, me, Shawn, and Henry|
I had a different approach with my training this time around. Don't get me wrong, I worked my butt off, but I really made an effort to enjoy the hard sessions and to work with my teammates. On days when I woke up tired, I would sleep in and move my morning sessions to the afternoon. My focus was on quality not quantity.
There were countless number of practices when I simply wasn't feeling it, was overwhelmed with school or life stress, and on these days I allowed my teammates to pull me through. Senior Design, which is a year-long project in which you work with industry along with my other classes, made this year busier than expected; however, with meticulous planning, meal prepping every Sunday, discipline with trying to get adequate nutrition and sleep, I somehow made it happen while maintaining a social life. My friends are a huge part of my life, and they have really helped me get through times when I maybe felt overwhelmed the past couple of months. Kasia Rasker, thank you for being my best friend in the world, and for always being there for me no matter what. I seriously talk to you more than I talk to my family!
|My girls from left: Sara, me, Skyler, Kasia|
|This pic says it all :)|
|me and my freshies: Ryan Sotebeer, Heidi Stimac|
|Me and Kelly Cosmo on the run|
|Me and Scarlet Kaplan before the Olympic Distance race start|
Through this experience I was reminded of how strong the human body, the mind, and the spirit is. I watched this video the other week from the US Navy Seals about the 40% Rule. The 40% rule says that at that moment when you think you have nothing left, you are only 40% spent, and therefore have 60% left in the tank. Through my experiences, I am learning that this is true.
|Mixed team relay= shear pain!|
|Mixed team relay|
Yes our team won, and yes I won an individual national championship, but it is not only the result that will be remembered; it is these past four years of the grind through engineering school and training, days when I suffered and cried because I wanted to give up or was beyond exhaustion, the team camaraderie and some of the best training sessions with the CU Tri Team, and all the amazing lifelong friendships I am blessed to have made on this journey.
|Me and Coach Dave Sheanin|
|CU Boulder coaches (From left): Leigh Dodd, Brad Seng, Dave Sheanin, Henry Winterbottom. I love you guys!!!|
Huge thank you to my parents for flying out to watch me and for helping me prepare for back to back racing, the rest of my family (Alexa, Caroline, Dani, Julia), the amazing coaches here at CU Boulder (Brad Seng, Dave Sheanin, Leigh Dodd, Henry Winterbottom), Ken Axford, my classmates, the CU Mechanical Engineering Department, my teammates, and my dear friends. Love you all and can't wait to experience this next chapter together! CU Boulder- Graduating Class of 2016!!!
|Buff for life|