With this in mind, this is my thank you note to everybody who helped make my 2011 race season.
Well, first and foremost, I'd better thank my better half.
Without her support, this does not happen. I don't race; I don't train; I don't do a damned thing. It is her emotional support that allows me to push onward. Having the support system of somebody understanding why the alarm is set for 3:15 AM, and pushing you out the door with a kiss and a "be safe," helps in a way that I can't describe.
Not to mention her being OK with the relentless spending that this sport happens. "I'm out of nutrition again"/"I need more tubes"/"My wetsuit is f***ed"/anything else...
Without you, my dear, this doesn't work. Thank you for telling me to chase my dream, and for being along for the ride.
Two local coaches deserve a shout-out for helping make this all happen as well.
Doug provided my bike fit aboard Kermit, and got me comfortable on the bike throughout. He also provided countless tidbits of information on nutrition and cycling training as I worked my way through this season. He also checked in on me while enjoying my fluids (read as: lying on a table with an IV in my arm) at Rev3.
Kurt provided a couple of swim drills after seeing my swim, and I'll quote, "wondering what the hell your legs are doing." Without that, I don't think I come out of the water half as fresh as I did at Timberman this past weekend. He also gave tips as I was heading into Rev3. If only I could've listened to the whole "bike for show, run for dough" this weekend.
Gentlemen, I can only hope to gain half the knowledge that you guys have as I embark on earning my own USAT certification, and also hopefully sharing the wealth as you have. You guys didn't have to help, and you did. For that, my enthusiasm for the sport grows, and I am forever grateful.
What a resource you are.
There are two people that work on my bike: myself and Josh. Why? Well, without Josh's knowledge, I wouldn't be able to do work on the bike myself. And I suppose that speaks to the quality of his work.
He's the guy with the shop where you see him working on a bike. This speaks to the exact quality of his work; he's so confident and clean in his mechanic work that you can watch him. It's disconcerting when you go to a bike shop, and the mechanic location is in the basement, or out back; out of sight, out of mind. Instead, it's at the forefront of his location.
Plus, he was able to pull fresh wheels for Rev3 for me super fast, was honest, gives me feedback, etc. I'm so happy to be a customer of his. Josh, thanks for everything.
You guys did not have to take a flier on me.
A guy with no multisport experience; a guy who had no idea what on Earth he was getting himself into. Yet you guys saw something in me to put me onto the team. You've provided a platform for some of my blog posts. I'm grateful for the experience in learning from fellow team members throughout the training experience.
Ton--an absolute pleasure to meet you at Rev3. And I definitely desire to continue working with you as Sports Bistro continues its evolution. It's been a hell of a ride so far.
I have never been wowed by a race before. And you both did it. Amazing organizations, wonderful volunteers, fantastic competitors.
Speaking of which...
All of my fellow athletes
It is an absolutely overwhelming experience to feel the sense of camaraderie that I've only felt in a pack of triathletes. The "good luck, boys!" at the swim start. The "can I borrow X?" "Sure of course!" the morning of a race in transition. The "COME ON!" during the run. The "have a good race! Cheers, you too!" while passing on the bike. The inspiration of seeing the pros coming in from the bike while you're heading out for your loop.
Without all of you, there's no way I'd be where I am today.
Each and every one of you.
To all my friends and family that have yet to be mentioned: you may have looked at me like I was crazy. You may have wondered why it is I do what it is I do. As I've said before, I have no better way to honor all of you than to race hard and be committed to it. My success is as much yours as it is mine. I can't do this without you guys pushing, or being there for me, or coming over and hanging out.
To all of you: thank you.