December 22, 2011

Reality Check: My New Found Focus

After finding out I got on the start list for our regional championships race in La Paz, Argentina, I was really excited to set up my 2012 schedule based around traveling the world to get Olympic points and climbing the ITU (International Triathlon Union) ranks in hopes of trying my hand at the 2012 Olympics. After I finished making travel arrangements for this incredibly complicated trip, I went on a run with my training partner (and mentor), two time Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty, and we had a long conversation about the situation. The workout began with me telling Bevan about the La Paz trip and my plans for the year, and ended with me having received a solid dose of “Papa Doc” reality. The long run of the week turned into a conversation about the long run of my career, and with this hard hitting truth I cancelled my trip to Argentina, modified my race schedule, and have reevaluated myself as a triathlete. Instead of flopping my way to the top, I will now be developing my way to the top.
When I originally made my plans for 2012 I was getting a little bit too excited about racing bigger races. I wanted to get to the top level as fast as I could. I looked at the races that would help me do that, and told myself “I’m ready, let’s do this!” without considering anything else. I have the backing of my amazing sponsors: Family Cycling Center, Run Revolution, BlueSeventy, Rudy Project, Santa Cruz Built, PowerBar, and recent addition the incredibly kind hearted Diaa Nour, who are giving me the opportunity to make Triathlon a career! But just because they are the best, doesn’t mean that I am the best – I have a long way to go!
Thus begins the reality. Bevan has a favorite quote that really stuck in my mind, he said “First you train to train, then you train to race, then you train to win” and he noted that I was skipping the train to train part and going straight into the train to race phase. I was getting ready to spend time, energy, money, and life to try and force myself to the top of the ranks instead of developing myself as a triathlete and letting the rise come naturally. He said “Don’t get me wrong, you’re a talented athlete, but you’re not mature enough in this sport to race at the highest level yet. 2016 Olympics is a legitimate goal, but you need to start right now in developing yourself at the level that fits your abilities”. I am only just now learning what type of training my body responds well to. I’m only just now learning what it’s like to travel across the world and race my best. I am only just now learning what it’s like to be a true triathlete... and this is just the beginning.
2016 is going to be the only thought on my mind for the next 4 years. I am going to train and make all my racing and life decisions on preparing myself for qualifying for that Olympic team. With a strong team of supporters behind me I’m confident this goal can become a reality. I’m really excited about this new approach of letting my rise to the top come naturally by learning and getting stronger one step at a time instead of skipping steps and forcing a wanted outcome.


  1. Thanks for a good read man, having someone like Bevan mentor and center you for success is amazing. With help like that, and your dedication 2016 is a very realistic outcome.

  2. Excellent post, Tommy. This sounds solid.