With A Little Help From My Friends, Drew Hunthausen, Blind Inspirational Speaker

What happens when a group of visually impaired athletes get together in Colorado Springs for a 4-day intensive triathlon training camp? The answer is “quite a lot” and that continues to grow as I fully digest all that I learned while at the Olympic training center.

The first morning started out early with a ride over to a nearby college to use the track for some hard-core running training. This was the first time my guide, Rick, and I had ever run together, so it was great to have a couple of extremely knowledgeable coaches on hand to give us tips and tricks. Running is my weakest area of the three triathlon disciplines, and I’m always a little nervous when I run for the first time with a new guide. Questions raged through my brain, “what if I fall? What if he’s not as good as my other guides? What if we don’t flow well together?”.  Luckily these feelings and fears were totally unfounded. Lap after lap was covered as Rick and I steadily improved our running form as well as our times. It gave me confidence to know that I was working with and learning from some of the best, and that no matter how hard it was, and no matter how sore I got, I was improving.

After lunch we got right back to the training with an intense swim work out. Rick and I swam together with a tether connected by swim belts. This system allows us to swim next to each other and self-correct my direction by feeling the tension on the tether. Since this was only the second time Rick and I swam together, it took a little bit of time to get our rhythm down. With some coaching and suggestions from the swim instructors, we soon were swimming comfortably side by side. Over the next couple of days, we steadily improved the way we worked together in the water, and I’m so grateful for all the instruction and critique I received.

The first day we biked together we were rained on in the process. The second day was hill training, and despite it being tough, it was my favorite. Rick and I were already comfortable with each other on the bike before the camp, and the hill training solidified our skills. We mastered the hills as well as got comfortable pedaling while standing up, giving us much more power for the steep inclines. I can’t emphasize or repeat myself enough, as to how important it is to have a coach, someone who can look at what you are doing and what you are not doing from a totally unique perspective. Often this is just what is needed to take you to that next level whether in triathlons, business, or life in general.

Friends, what are you training for in your own life? What steps are you taking to achieve that next level and improve yourself at work, in school, or in life? Are you journeying it alone, or do you have the help and support of the people who can guide you to be even greater? None of us can do it alone, and I want to encourage you to find a coach, find that person who will push you to better yourself and ensure that the best is yet to come.     

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