So here I am, start of my first season as a Pro triathlete. It took a hell of a lot of work to get here, years of which predated any thought of triathlon. Although still a long way from my first race of 2014 I already have many people to thank.
I’m blown away by the support I have received with this venture from friends both old and new, the over whelming positive response from people about my decision to move on from cycling and try something new. If there even is a defined career path in to Pro middle/long distance tri then packing in your current career and picking up two new sports at the age of 30 is not it and the process has not been doubt free on my part. Making the leap and then sticking with it is helped so much when everyone around me is convinced it is the right decision and that I can do it.
What I am aiming for isn’t achieved ‘against the odds’, in fact as with so much in sport (and life) even with everything stacked in your favour it can still be very difficult to achieve your goals. My idea of stacking the deck and getting the odds in my favour is surrounding myself with the best team of people to support me mentally, physically and materially.
That team starts with the people who have been with me and supporting me in so many ways for so many years; my partner (who has been telling me to try triathlon for quite some time) and family. Also, my friends who didn't raise an eye brow or suggest that I consider a day job or make back up plans. They know the way I do things and don’t criticise me for it, in the words of Will Smith ‘there’s no reason to have a plan B because it detracts from plan A’.
Then we get to the new people that I have met through triathlon and the excitement and enthusiasm they have brought with them. The age group guys who have guided me in my first year, the established coaches and trainers whose show of faith in taking me on has boosted my confidence (this may concern some people).
Most visibly there are my 2014 sponsors without whom I’d not be on the start line as prepared and well equipped as I will be. Covering everything from gels to bikes they’re giving me the kind of essential support without which I’d really be working against the odds. And all of this without the sense of pressure that can so easily come hand in hand with these arrangements.
So thanks for your support, demonstrations of faith and guidance. I take to the start line knowing I am representing you all, and that in itself is a great motivational boost.
Hi, I'm Ali. I like riding bikes and coaching people to achieve their athletic goals. I've been coaching for more than 10 years now and have never failed to make an athlete faster (I can't quite believe this myself either). I used to race bikes, triathlon and in 2014 I broke 9 vertebrae and my skull. Follow my journey here and on Twitter.