My career was accidental, short and sweet starting in 2004 and finishing in 2009 so that I could start a family. I completed my first triathlon in 2002 at age 29, at a time when I needed something more in my life. My husband, Kristian had persuaded me to try triathlon instead of training for a straight marathon. We signed up with the Bondi Triathlon Club together. We were total newbies, had no idea what we were doing, but we were hooked! My lofty goals that first year were to complete some sprint triathlons- nothing more!
6 months into this new found sport, I came second in my age group at Ironman Australia and qualified for the Ironman World Championships.
As an age group athlete I found quick success and unbelievably within 2 years I was in my first Professional Ironman race. Still so new to the sport my career was an experiment in trial and error.
I found Ironman addictive and challenging but also a distance that suited me. I completed 23 Ironman races all around the world, and earned a wealth of experience along the way.
I trained under various philosophies that shaped my career and beliefs on training methodology, experiencing first hand the good bad and the ugly! In my final years of racing I was coached by Kristian for whom I was a fantastic guinea pig! Our coach/athlete/husband/wife relationship worked surprisingly well! And made my success extremely rewarding for the both of us.
Triathlon totally changed my life in that I went from someone who lacked self confidence, was devastatingly shy, felt lost and like Id achieved nothing in life to someone who achieved something to be proud of. My triathlon career was a journey of transformation for which I am so grateful.
My win in Busselton, Western Australia in 2007 in a record setting 9.00.55 was probably my career highlight. Yes missing the 9 hour barrier by a slim 55 seconds! But honestly at the time that was not at all on my radar. Winning my first Ironman was mind blowing. IMWA was my favourite race. I raced there 6 years in a row, placing on the podium 4 times. I progressed on that course from a 9.40 something in 2004 and 5th place, to 9 hours and my very first and extremely rewarding win in 2007. IMWA made me become the athlete physically capable of winning. But most important it made me work constantly on my ability to believe.
My best finish in Hawaii at the World Champs was, at the time frustrating, one step off the stage and the money, 11th in 9:41 in 2008. But in hindsight, quite an achievement for someone who had come so far!
My Ironman China win on my birthday in 2009 was perhaps my greatest achievement in terms of overcoming the adversity of the day, 40+ degrees c, combined with being in my best ever shape and having a winning attitude. My run was definitely a great example of flow state fuelled by determination.
8 years out of competition for motherhood, I now have a son who has gone off to school. Its time to give back and start a new chapter as a coach. Maybe motherhood and a sense of community does that to you? I am really enjoying looking at triathlon from the other side and helping to guide those who want to embark on the amazing journey it is. I am truly lucky to have Kristian beside me to continually guide and mentor me on this exciting journey.
I want to make sure my athletes are positively impacted by this incredible sport and that it adds to their lives for the betterment of them and their families. Its about chasing personal goals by improving daily habits and achieving a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
I love coaching anyone who has an open mind and a willingness to do things differently! To be able to impact someones life positively is an amazing feeling!
You can learn more about me here http://www.innervoice.life/charlotte-paul and connect with me personally via charlotte [at] tricepecific.com
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