Saturday, May 7, 2011

One more BIG Change!

In my last post I left one really big change off my list. After Kona last year I really began throwing around the idea of getting my pro license. I've had a tough year, but triathlon is a door that keeps opening doors for me. When people would ask if I was going to get my pro card I sincerely dismissed the idea. However, after Hawaii the list of "reasons to get my pro card" started to grow, while the list of "reasons not to get my pro card" lessened.  Although the wheels started turning in my brain months ago, there were some major road blocks that I first needed/wanted to overcome. In terms of athletic capability, the largest of these was to gain confidence on the bike! Having a strong swim and run simply won't cut it if I want to toe the line with the top women in the sport. It's one sport, not three!!! It's great to excel or specialize in one of the three, but in order to compete you can't have a real weakness.
In looking for a coach I wanted to find someone who could help me make the pro card decision. This is why Chris was such an amazing match for me. He's been there! He raced professionally, while also holding a demanding job. Triathlon was a component of his life, not his entire life...and he excelled at it! This is what I was after. I believe the only way to be your best is to race the best. Although I was excited about the opportunity to race at the professional ranks, I ultimately want to maintain perceptive. A professional triathlete's career, even if they're lucky/crazy talented, is extremely attorney's career-much longer. And fact is, I enjoy using this brain power that I paid so much for ;-) I enjoy being challenged...both intellectually and physically. Chris understands this "honest reality" I have with myself, but also believes I can really make something happen if I believe in myself!

Soooooo after NOLA we had a few talks. Immediately after the race I didn't feel like I proved (to myself) that I was ready. He did. I thought I should of been closer on the bike to the top pro's, he thought I was there. After a few days of digesting I agreed with him. I trained, prepared, and didn't taper similar to how a pro would prepare. Chris gave me a racing strategy that was pro minded...not amateur. I honestly didn't realize how different racing as an age group athlete was until he started pointing out these mental and physical differences. He was getting in my head, and in turn prepared me to BELIEVE! I'm there! I'm ready! I'm EXCITED to COMPETE with the best!
I can't wait to RACE! I had a ton of fun moving up among the amateur ranks, but I want to race! I don't want to wonder where I am in comparison to others, and feel like every race is a time trial format. I want to race! I want to see how fast I can go when I'm pushed to my limits by other amazing women! I will get my chance next weekend. Florida70.3 will be my first pro race.
I am so appreciative of everything Chris has done to help me get to this point...mentally, emotionally, and physically. His coaching reaches far beyond the training day...he keeps me in check, keeps everything in perspective, and reminds me that together we can do this! AND HAVE FUN!
To those who've supported me and helped me reach this decision, THANK YOU (you know who you are)!!! For those who continue to support me now that the journey appreciation is endless! (I have also finally joined the twitter bandwagon: if you want to follow me...ckgregory)
Ok, speaking of Coach Chris...time to get back to my IM St. G online spectating. He's killing it out there! Fastest amateur swim ( far!) and he's hanging right in there at the front with some young studs on the bike. Inspired??? Yes!


matt said...

Wow! So awesome! Congratulations, make "Del Man" proud! ;-)

Christi said...

That is so awesome and I am so excited for you! You will make a great working pro!

GoBigGreen said...

Congrats Caroline! Good luck in FLA!