When I first expressed an interest in doing a triathlon I got LOTS of advice. Everything from how I should be running, and what I should be eating, to who I should be reading and what gear I should use. Having entered this sport at 39 years old, I didn't expect to be a top finisher; but when I decide to do something, I usually go all-in. So I (mostly) listened to the advice I was given and sought to surround myself with people who would help me be the best triathlete I can be.
So this post is about My Village: the people I have in my life that are nurturing, guiding, mentoring, and supporting me as I evolve into the triathlete I dream to be.
First, my husband, Kyle. Kyle is like the Village Manager of my Village. He does all of the hard work, makes sure the money is in place to pay all of the Village staff and then get's none of the credit. Kyle is my biggest supporter and has ALWAYS believed in me. He calls me his super-jocker, tells me I am a bike monster and that I am beautiful and smart. I never believed any of these things about myself before I met him. In addition to being my biggest supporter he is also my best friend.
My family: mom- Judy, & sisters- Cassie & Jill. It's hard to juggle family and training; and to say I am blessed that my family not only supports me but celebrates my journey is an understatement. They may also think I'm a little crazy, but they have since I was a child, so no surprise there.
My Coach- Carole Sharpless: a professional triathlete who is hardcore, yet sensitive, supportive and hilarious all rolled into one. She does not get frustrated with my mental crap (the negative committee that lives in my head), and has an uncanny ability to calm me down while pumping me up! Carole often tells me we have the same goal in mind- ME; sometimes only Carole has that goal in mind, but she is slowly leading me to believe that anything is possible.
My Personal Trainer- Dan Luif: Dan is one of the best trainers I have ever had. Despite not being a triathlete (though he could be) he is committed to helping me be the best triathlete I can be. Dan reviews my weekly training schedule and incorporates speed drills and strength training that focus on endurance, swimming, biking & running. Dan is also a nutrition guru and has helped me to recognize and incorporate nutrition as FUEL not just filler.
My Swim Coach- Monika Chiappetta. Introduced to Monika through my "Tri-inspiration," Jamie van Vuren, Monika is in for quite a challenge with me. I'm a total basket case in the water, though I do think I'm seeing progress every week. Thank God Monika is also a social worker. She's done as much therapy as she's done coaching.
My Team- Team Rev3. Being selected as an athlete for Team Rev3 was beyond my wildest dreams. Already, without having met any of my fellow teammates in-person, I have this huge network of supporters who have become like family. This includes the Rev3 staff who are so beloved by the returning team that we newbies can't help but fall in love.
The rest of my village is filled with people (athletes and non-athletes) that I consider friends and family.
Sharon Avendano Petrynek- my boxing trainer who became my BFF and started me on a journey of fitness and nutrition. Someday I'll get her to do a tri with me!
Paula Bush & Michelle Hill- my staff who regularly tell me "go to the gym, you'll be much more productive after you get your workout in".
Katy Vogel- my in-home masseuse & Kara Canga-Arguelles- my in-home acupuncturist (seriously, who's that lucky?)
Jamie van Vuren- who encouraged me to get in to this sport and is my inspiration.
Adrienne Skinner- a triathlete I met at a camp who quickly became one of my best friends.
Jenny Parker Harrison- another uber ahtlete and Tri-coach who has become a friend and great supporter- I am looking forward to many open water swims next summer with JPH!
And finally, all my friends and family who have supported and encouraged me; there are so many to mention- I apologize if I forget someone: Aaron Petrynek, Josh Fraccaro, Chad Carter, Shawn Brooking, Vania Marchetti, Kate Keegan, Kathy Cifuentes, Cathy Bonich, Tracy Balla, Craig Moseley, Cindy Hitzeman, Sarah Waldron.
From the bottom of my heart- THANK YOU all for being part of my village. I am beyond lucky and am truly humbled by all of your love, support and encouragement!