A little on the late side for this blog, well at least for the Team RWB Tri Camp. After returning back to Texas from South Beach Miami back in April I didn't even have time to unpack and I was headed out the door again. I headed down to Austin to help out and volunteer at the Team Red, White, and Blue Triathlon Camp. I was really looking forward to this opportunity to be able to give back to our Veterans and current military members that are wounded not just physically but mentally. The mission statement of Team Red, White, and Blue is to "enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity". Back in 2011 the morning after the IM World Championships I woke up with an email from Mike Erwin, the founder of Team RWB. He asked that I consider getting involved with the organization and becoming an athlete ambassador.
I did a lot of research before committing to the organization. I wanted to make sure it was something I was passionate about and something I believed in. I talked to a few friends that were involved and I sent Mike an email back letting him know I wanted to get involved and help out anyway I could. So here we are about 18 months later and I have been back in the states for about 6 months. When I was in Korea I did as much as I could but it was more less just reaching out to people and trying to spread the word about the organization. Now that I am back in the states I have got involved with our local chapter and I am seeing first hand how big of a difference this organization can make in peoples lives.
Now back to camp. So I arrived down in Austin early morning on Thursday and linked up with David Wenger of Durata Training for a bike fit (blog to come on that soon). Spent about 3 hours tweaking both the P3 and S5, and then went out and met up with Jeremy Brown for a ride on MOPAC Loop. That afternoon there was a BBQ and introductions with everyone that had already arrived.
Friday morning the camp officially started and each day was about the same. We had Jess Jacobs, Jess Meyers, Timothy O'Donnell, and Logan Franks there who are all pro triathletes. They would lead small groups of athletes. We had a few introductory clinics for each sport and then did some small amounts of training. The main focus of the camp was focusing on the little things as we had a lot of first time triathletes there and I think overall everyone enjoyed the clinics. There was not a lot of volume in terms of training but a lot of great bonding and sharing of knowledge going on.
I lucked out and was able to spend a good amount of time with Tim. We had to drive quite a bit from place to place and basically I was his personal taxi, no worries though just a small fee of having me pick his brain for knowledge the whole time. It was great to get his opinion about the whole going pro thing since South Beach was the weekend prior.
I had an amazing time down at camp and was glad to be able to help out some of our nations finest veterans. It was great to see first hand how effective sports and social activities are for those that are struggling with physical wounds and PTSD. An AMAZING experience that made me realize I am involved in an organization that has a great mission and is something I am even more passionate about now.
Shifting gears........................A few weeks back Air Force Sports made the announcement for the 2013 Triathlon Team. Looking at the list of guys and girls we are taking this year, I am excited to see what kind of damage we can do this year. Last year we were unable to defend the mens title, however our girls pulled off the 4th title in a row. With 2 "new" guys on the team, they are actually veterans of the team, but were not there last year, we are looking to have a solid team. I am excited to be on the team again this year and looking forward to Armed Forces Championships on June 1st in Pt Mugu, California. Going to be a busy 7 days, with CapTex on Memorial day down in Austin. Driving back up to Ft Worth, work on Tuesday, fly out to Cali on Wednesday and race Armed Forces on Saturday. Really looking forward to it and seeing how my body reacts to racing back to back like that.
Back in April I was notified that I received the USAT Military Sports Award and was an honorable mention. Robert Hilton from the Marine Corps won, congrats man on a great honor. Rob has beat me the last 2 years in Hawaii, and I am hoping he makes it back this year, hopefully the third time is a charm ;) I did not race 3 races that were USAT races last year so was not eligible for Age Group All American or Honorable Mention, looking to take a shot at All American honors this year.
As always thanks to everyone for all of the support. I couldn't do it without the amazing family and friends I am surrounded by and the great support of my sponsors. THANK YOU!
Here are some pictures from Camp:
Mike Durner (The US Paracycling Team Coach) and myself
Bike Skills Clinic out in a huge park
Logan, Scott, Jess, and myself at lunch
Carloline thought I was modeling and snapped a photo ;)
Practicing swim starts. We swam all weekend at Austin Pure Quarry, and it was awesome!
Austin Veolway for some loops
Jess and myself before my near death experience on the Austin Veloway, those corners can sneak up on you there.
A picture from last weekend, not at camp just out on a training ride. #WEARTHEEAGLE #ITSOURTURN #DRINKFRS ;)