Life is not a solo journey…
The best laid plans will fail without consistent input from friends and family. You may feel like you are smarter, stronger, more capable and that others are often nothing more than distractions. I am confident that my life at this point would not as meaningful without my community. Taking this into consideration, I wanted to share a reunion with my triathlon teammates and fortunately it occurs every year!
Now, my community is a group of highly accomplished professionals and super successful triathletes. Your community could be your church small group, neighbors that live nearby or even fellow alumni from an alma mater. The primary purpose of community is consistent interaction. Life is a roller coaster and you won’t always feel like giving. Chances are in those moments, there will be others in your community that pick up your slack. Other times, you will be called upon to provide that needed encouragement. Community is a collection of caring individuals that compose a greater good for all involved.
I headed into our annual training camp/sponsorship weekend completely drained. I had spent the better part of the previous 5 weeks on the road and I was exhausted. As a matter of fact, if it were on any other occasion I would have elected to bypass the trip, BUT….
I knew the encouragement my teammates would (and did) bring would be just what I needed. I arrived on Thursday night after a 5 hour flight delay to a group of familiar faces. As soon as I checked in I felt an immediate sense of gratification. We shared our experiences from the 2014 season as we enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by our nutrition sponsor, Skratch Labs! My body was still on CST, despite the actual PST I was now living in. My watch said midnight and my body felt every bit of it. I was ready for bed..
The next morning the alarm went off painfully early but I was eager to hit the pool for a team workout. We arrived at the University of Arizona team pool for a brief update from our BlueSeventy rep, John. John gave us a look at all the exciting new products that would release in 2015. After a 15 minute presentation, it was time to swim. The air was cool and the water just warm up to actually swim. We started and the atmosphere was electric! There were 50 athletes all crammed into 10 swimming lanes…it was a blast!
Swimming is tolerable alone, but in community is nothing short of exhilarating! We swam each morning at the same pool and in the same conditions..I loved it even despite the super early hour!
After our swims each morning, we had the tremendous pleasure of interacting with one another as well as our rockstar cast of sponsors. I already mentioned the generosity of Scratch Labs in providing us with our super tasty meals. Our main sponsor Timex was present to educate us on the newest products to hit the market. The flagship product and the priority for 2015 is most certainly the Timex One +. This watch is both beautiful and highly intelligent. I would highly encourage you to give this demo a view!
In addition to Timex, we had the pleasure of hearing from Stages Cycling who manufactures an incredible power meter. Ryan Ives was on hand to present us with the latest news from Shimano, the best components company in the endurance industry! Cat-eye was on hand to present their line of innovative cycling computers…after all, metrics matter tremendously! By the end of the first afternoon my head was spinning but I was filled with enthusiasm.
We had a short break before dinner where the 2014 awards would be presented, so a smaller group of us made our way back to the University of Arizona to hit the student center for a workout. My mind was about to explode from the earlier sessions so it felt amazing to sweat! We met back at the front to return to our hotel. 30 minutes later we were all seated and in the company of one another listening to our fearless leaders, Tristan Brown and Barry Siff who were MC’ing the ceremony. The awards ceremony is always my favorite part of training camp and this year was no exception. The best part about our Timex community is the dynamic nature of our collective stories. On this particular night we had the honor of hearing from superstar athlete Ellen Hart Pena. I’ll just let you check out her story for yourself as my words cannot do her the service she deserves. Dave Orlowski and Tristan Brown were inducted into the Timex Sports Hall of Fame. Richie Cunningham and Lisa Roberts took home the honors for male and female professionals triathletes of the year and Daniel Bretscher walked away with the coveted “Rookie of the Year” after crushing the Ironman Wisconsin course record. And the phenom, Pierre-Marc Doyon winning Age Group athlete of the year. I can honestly say that I am the biggest fan of my teammates this world has ever seen! Once again, a credit to the power of community…
So by the end of day 2, I was right back in my groove remembering exactly why I love this sport so much! Days 3 and 4 were more of the same with updates from most of our sponsors:
I am amazed by the opportunities for endless inspiration that comes by association with my community. I am so incredibly blessed to be a part of such a phenomenal community. I am convinced that the best part about me is the company that I keep. My relationships built in this community over the last 5 years are priceless. The value I place on these people goes far beyond what my words can express. By no means, does my account here provide adequate service to the gratitude I hold for this group.
Bottom line, I am better both as an athlete and human being because of my exposure to this community. So the next time you are feeling invincible and that life is better “on your own” remember this simple thought…
Life is a mountain range: you are either in a valley, coming out of one or heading into one.
Without my Timex Multisport Family and generous host of sponsors I would be mediocre at best….