By Rural Girl:
You know about the contest. You know about the prizes. You know the fine print.
If you're like me, you find yourself asking, "what is the catch?" This is too good to be true. Let me be the first to say, "it is too good to be true!" I have been exactly in your position. In the short time it took me to decide whether or not to apply when it was my time around, I quickly realized I had absolutely nothing to lose and so much to gain.
What I wanted to provide in this brief review are a few of the intangibles that I have experienced since becoming a member of Team Evotri.
1) Knowledge. The training, equipment, and nutrition involved with triathlon can be daunting. I came to the team with 2 years of tri experience and little-to-no other athletic background to back it up. Things like a CycleOps power meter were mere blips on my radar screen. I had read about them but had no idea what benefit such a tool could be to a beginner like myself. Another example was the thought of an actual coach. That used to make me laugh. I felt like only really "good" athletes had a coach. Ha! Little did I know that it is people just like me who benefit most from a coach. A compact crank and gear ratios? What are those? Well, now I know. And the list could go on. Had I been out there on my own, I probably would have figured it out but it would have taken a lot longer and been a lot more painful of a process!
2) Places and Races. Where have I been and what have I done? I have been able to experience places and races I know I never would have had it not been for my involvement with the team. I've been to Boulder, CO for a bike fitting! Crazy, eh? I've experienced Temecula, CA for a training camp with Floyd Landis, Melanie McQuaid and CycleOps. I'll never forget the beautiful countryside, orange groves, fallen avocados lining the roadways and killer bike rides. I've been to Benton Harbor, MI for the Steelhead 70.3 race. That was the first time I looked at a lake (Lake Michigan) and felt a bit afraid! I went to Clearwater, FL to participate in the 70.3 World Championship race. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find myself there! Last year we traveled as a team to New Orleans to race the inaugural New Orleans 70.3. A long van ride and an awesome weekend in an historic house with my teammates made for some great stories!
3) People I've Met. Because I've had the chance to get around, I've met a lot of folks. Notice I say met! I'm pretty quiet until I get to know someone. So, really, these are people with whom I have had the opportunity to shake hands and not much else! However, had I not been hooked up with the team this would not have been possible. Here goes: Floyd Landis, Allen Lim, Melanie McQuaid, Tyler Stewart, Desiree Ficker, Jessi Stensland, TJ Tollakson, Linsey Corbin, Heather Gollnick, Robby Ventura, Becky Lavelle, and Chris McDonald.
4) Friends. My teammates are my friends. We are all so different. We span the age range from 40's to 20's. We are in different life stages; singles to married parents with infants on up to college-bound young adults. We live scattered about the states and even outside of the states. We are also different in speed and long-term athletic goals, but there are a few obvious things we have in step, and those are our appreciation and love for triathlon. Looking back on these past years, I am proud to say these people are my friends.
5) Personal Growth. All of the above things can probably be summarized under the heading of personal growth. I am not the same person that I was before becoming involved with Team Evotri. I am more well-rounded. I'm a bit more of a risk taker and willing to step outside of myself to think about what may be possible. Yes, I've pushed myself to more levels of physical pain than I ever thought possible. But, that comes with the territory. On the flip side, I've also derived more personal satisfaction from accomplishments born out of this perseverance, hard work, and belief in myself.
That about does it. Now it's your turn. Get moving on the video footage and show us what you're all about! We'll be waiting!