If there has one thing I have learned to be true during my 28 years on this planet, it is indeed that as Charles Swindoll said, "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." Some lessons you have to learn the hard way, but those events can be an excellent catalyst for change. And I am ready for a change. Thus, I am excited to announce that I will be joining The Triathlon Squad coached by elite coach Paulo Sousa and based in Poway just outside of San Diego, California.
The end of the 2016 season was a hard pill to swallow with incredibly disappointing performances at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Being lapped out of the race was something that had never happened to me previously and far below my expectations. The frustration was two-fold. First, a lack of clear explanation for such an outlier performance in the swim, which then had exponential repercussions on the draft-legal bike portion of the race. Second, while the rule that you must stop the race immediately once lapped by the leaders makes complete sense from a safety perspective (you cannot have bikers and runners on the same course), not being allowed to cross the finish line of the Olympic Games was very disappointing and embarrassing. I was not there to be a tourist.
With these types of results, doubts of whether I am capable of competing at this level began to circle in my head. Moreover, I began to question if I would perhaps be happier in a different profession. As for nearly every elite athlete, there is that difficult moment of knowing when and how to ‘retire’. But upon further reflection, I realized I still have a deep desire to push my limits in triathlon and see how much better I can get. Why? Because I believe I still have a large margin of progression in the three disciplines; I am still relatively inexperienced in the sport having started in 2012; and above all, I still love competing in and training for triathlons. It also occurred to me that I am not afraid of a reconversion, and if forced (by a career-ending injury for example) to quit triathlon tomorrow, I would be disappointed, but I know I would reorient to the next challenge. Therefore, I am not just doing triathlons by lack of other options, but by choice. However, if I am choosing to be a pro-triathlete, I am going to go to the best high-performance environment I can find adapted to my specific needs and weaknesses.
Thus, after some time to digest, properly analyze and search the whole world round, I realized above all I wanted:
Finally, as always, thank you for reading. The continued support and messages of encouragement of those around me gives me energy for this next chapter in my career.