What with the whirlwind of moving to DC right afterwards, I may have neglected to mention that I competed at USAT Age Group Nationals at the end of August. It wasn't my best race, but was a good learning and humbling experience. And even without the best race, I still qualified for Age Group Worlds, which will take place in London in September (on the Olympic course!).
Competing at Worlds would be great racing experience, but I really can't afford to go. So my mom generously offered to create a series of gourd art that she will sell as a fundraiser for my trip!
You can buy a gourd or make a donation here on my parents' website. Even if you're not looking to buy, you should still go check out my mom's gourds--they're pretty cool. :)
Here is the story (short version) of how I got into triathlon:
In May of 2011, I did my first triathlon. My mom convinced me to do it. We were practically the only two participants who didn’t wear wetsuits in the 68-degree lake—not because we were extra-tough—because we didn’t have them. I rode a borrowed bike and I was in terrible running shape, but the first thing I thought when I was finished was, “that was so fun.” The second thought? “I bet I could be pretty good at this!”
That’s where the wondering started. How good could I be at this crazy sport? After all, I have a strong running back ground, I was quite a fish as a child, and how could I not love to ride a bike?! Could I be a professional triathlete someday? Could I make a living as a pro? The difficult thing about the pondering was that, like with most things, you don’t know ‘till you try. So I decided to try.
The first thing I learned about trying to be a professional triathlete is that you have to “go pro” in action and mentality even before you actually get your elite license and have a shot at making money. Translation: In order to become a professional triathlete, I first have to live like I am one already. Part of the “pro mentality” was my recent move to Arlington, Virginia to work more closely with my coach. I would love to be able to support myself doing this sport that I love doing, and I think it is a realistic goal. However, I need some help during this in-between time.
Last year, I raced at the Age Group National Championship in Burlington, Vermont. There I qualified for the World Championship in London. I would like to once again get a chance to compete against the best amateur triathletes in the nation (this year in Milwaukee) and the world (in London)—a step towards someday getting the chance to compete against the best pro triathletes in the nation and world! However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities and gain valuable racing experience and credentials, I need some financial help.
My mom has been kind enough to offer her artwork up as a fundraiser to support me in my dream. She has used some artwork I created as a high schooler as an inspiration for her “London Series” of gourd art, the proceeds of which will go to support my racing this summer. You can also make a direct donation if you wish. Thanks for supporting me as I pursue this dream!