Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The value of "team" to a triathlete

Triathlon may be largely an individual sport but there is plenty of value in being part of a triathlon team, club, or group, whether formalized or not. It can really enrich one's training and racing experience and expand one's connections to the larger community.

Teams can come in the form of an organized group. The Endurance Films Racing Team is one such team that I am very pleased to be a part of. What made me think about it as I write this was this post that popped up on Facebook from EF. It made me laugh as the transitions DVD really did help, but it was the fact that they noticed my transition times that I found funny!  But more so, it reminded me of the tremendous support network I am fortunate to have among my EF sponsors and teammates. They help me dig just a little deeper!

Last month I did a post on the EF blog called On Being an Endurance Films Racing Team Member. I wanted to address the obvious question of how can we really be a team if we are such a diverse group in so many ways especially geographically? But I assure you we are. If you are a triathlete who will be competing at Nationals this year and have the desire to share your triathlon experiences with others, I hope you will consider applying for the team.

Online tools can enable a sense of place or team as well. I've recently become a part of the USA Triathlon Mid-Atlantic Region Women's Commission and am doing some admin for the Facebook page this month. If you are a female triathlete in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C. or West Virginia, join us on Facebook! USAT is such a large organization but small subgroups like this can give us a great way to plug and and connect.

I also feel a kinship among the community of triathlete bloggers including those on TriCrowd. I've often said I wish I could have a real meet-up with fellow Tri-Crowd bloggers Marci, Dave, Joel, Meredith, Randy, Mauricio, and Scott (and TriCrowd founder Juan). While that may not happen any time soon, I did have a real-life meet up with fellow blogger and RD-in-training Anna (and her dad) of Anna's Adventures in Health at the Salem YMCA Sprint Triathlon!! (Hi, Anna!!)

Of course this writing would not be complete without a mention of two teams that are very important to me: the One-on-One Endurance team all training under the same great Coach Jim; and the Roanoke Tri Club that works hard and plays hard and has been kind enough to invite this girl from one town over to be a part of their fun. 

Prior to discovering triathlon, my world felt small, a bit lonely, and isolated. Having small kids, moving twice, and then sitting in front of a computer working through a PhD program can do that.  One of the greatest gifts of triathlon has been an expansion of my world far beyond the confines of work and family. I treasure the relationships that have come from the sport, and all the laughs and smiles that have resulted!

Search out some team and group opportunities (or start one) to amp up the triathlon fun!