Then I literally SCREWED up a bad-ass lifestyle of being a pro snowboarder. How? I lost my belief, my self-confidence and let my mind destroy a freaking cool life.
But, it taught me a valuable life lesson and I wouldnt be here right now, with a truly awesome business showing mostly age group athletes how they can get their goals. Even those super lofty ones.
In late 2000 I broke my back- the week before an X-Games in Australia which I was meant to be competing at in the Big Air event. That was the start of a plague of injuries and my eventual out from the sport. It wasnt the injuries why I quit.. it was all in my head.
My last time on snow was early 2002 and then my wife (fiancée at the time) said she was bored with going to the gym and running on a treadmill. She wanted to join a run squad and run a marathon. (It was 12 years till she ran a marathon
by itself. She has ran 23 of them off the bike with a PB 3:03).
So we started using the googleplex and searched run squads. Charlotte thought they looked full of old geezers, so we kept looking and this triathlon thing kept popping up. I remembered watching Welchy (Greg Welch) win the Hawaiian Ironman in 94 and thinking one day, Id have to do that.
We found the BRATS, which is a triathlon club from iconic Bondi Beach. We got ourselves a coach and we were going to just do some sprint distance triathlons.
I had to sell a ton of snowboard gear to pay for the all the triathlon gear we needed.
Problem was- the group and coach we joined was very much geared towards Ironman and it was bloody infectious. In October 2002 we did our first Triathlon- the Kurnell Sprint series, then we signed up for Canberra Half Ironman (learnt some valuable lessons here and figured the carb-loading stuff was bogus) in December and qualified for Ironman Australia (yes back then you had to qualify to do Ironman) the following April.
We fell hook, line and sinker for triathlon but especially the long stuff. I had high aspirations for that first Ironman (come on, Im a male with a healthy ego and LOVE competition), but I made SO many mistakes and that was even before I got to the race. Charlotte on the other hand just did her thing, pretty much trumped our whole group and qualified for the Hawaiian Ironman. (she didnt even know what it was).
I love to read, so I immersed myself in triathlon, training, nutrition, so we could have a better shot of being good. I wanted to learn from the mistakes. I wanted to eventually get to Hawaii- I was a long way off.
I did my level 1 triathlon coaching accreditation- not to become a coach, but to learn more. I was pretty disappointed in that course.
Back to the mistakes
Best thing that ever happened.
I started learning from many sources, applying, making more mistakes and many failures, but it was through this experiential learning, I stumbled onto training methods I would have never been aware of. These mistakes and failures have helped me come up with training systems that allow me to accelerate performances and not destroy health.
Using these training systems, Ive been able to go from a first time Ironman split of 11:27 and take that down to an 8:57 and put an age group title to my name. I have gone under 9 hours twice now.