Well my life sure has changed quite a bit in the last 2 months.I started the year off back home in New Jersey where I attended the big going away party for my good friend Scott and his girlfriend Ria, as they were about to move to California. What a party it was! We sure will miss you two! Then it was off to Florida. I had committed to spending 3 months there to train over the winter in hopes of escaping the winter back home. Little did I know what was about to happen.
After taking my time on the drive, stopping in Washington D.C. with Scott and Ria and then spending a night in a ocean front hotel in Georgia, for only $60 I might add, I finally made to Sarasota, FL. I had taken 3 weeks off since my last race in November and then had several easy weeks after that but by the time I had arrived in FL I was starting to feel fit again.
After 2 weeks in FL, living with my good friends Tom, Christian, and Li, Li I was settling into quite a groove with my training while searching for a part time job. I was starting to get in some quality rides with my friend Heather Gollnick, getting worked out by Christine, and spending some quality time hanging with my old friend Josh. Then I got an e-mail from my friend Arland back in NJ. Arland is a professional triathlete and coach who was a member of the Philippine National Team. Arland had contacted Brett Sutton, arguable world’s greatest triathlon coach, on my behalf with the hopes that Brett might be interested in giving me a try out with his team, Team TBB, arguably world’s greatest triathlon team. Well, after several e-mails with Coach Sutton, I had booked a flight to the Philippines and was now planning my trip home to NJ. But first I had to make a stop. Heat Camp in Subic Bay, Philippines started the first week in February and Brett asked if I could get there by the 9th or 10th, which meant I was going to miss one of my best friend’s wedding, Patrick. So I decided I would drive from FL to Knoxville, TN to spend 5 days, which turned into 6 with Patrick and his soon to be bride Brooke. It was great being back in Knoxville, I have a special place in my heart for that town and every time I go back there I get all stirred up because a big part of me would love to live there again. It was great getting in some runs with my old teammates Patrick and E.B., riding in the mountains and doing a track workout on the UT track. Patrick and Brooke thank you so much for understand, I love you both and wish you all the best as you start your lives together!
So as I said, after 6 days I had 1 more leg of my trip to finish, the 11 hour drive up Route 81 back home. My stay at home was quick, only 3 nights. I had to do a lot of running around to do but I managed to get everything done and even managed to get in some good quality workouts before I left. We had a nice dinner at the beach house my last night, and finally I was packed and ready to go.
I had no idea what to expect, I wasn’t really nervous, more excited. The trip to the airport was hectic, Feeler and Jesse gave me a ride, and we got lost which wasn’t too bad but gave me another reminder of why I hate New York City, way to complicated of place for me. Thanks again guys!
I arrived in Manila some 26 hours after I left, with a quick stop in Tokyo where I enjoyed a few beers and met some really nice people at the airport bar. The first few days were very hot and humid and the time change was causing me to seem a bit spacey but after that I adjusted well. Everyone on the team was very welcoming and Doc seemed very excited that I had the balls to come to the Philippines.
So after 2 weeks I met with Alex and he and Doc officially invited me to the join the team. I can not thank them both enough for me giving me the opportunity to join their organization, I will not let you guys down!
I have been here a little over 3 weeks now and after a small bout with a stomach virus or something of that nature; I am starting to feel stronger than ever and really enjoying my time here. Everyone on the team is super nice and was so helpful to me as I got settled and tried to figure everything out, i.e. the training, grocery shopping, taxis, roads to ride, cooking, etc….
Brett and Alex are both very nice people with lots of heart and character. Brett does a great job of explaining sessions to us, how and why we are feeling certain ways, and really knows when to work us and when to rest us. He is good mix between 2 of my former coaches, Brian Shea and Coach Watts. He has a great sense of humor and I really believe he is the coach that will take me to the summit.
The Philippines is full of beautiful country side, gorgeous seas, and wonderful people. This place is having a big impact on me physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. Every day Subic Bay grows on me more and more and I am looking forward to coming here for more camps in the future.
When Sutto invited me to camp some 6 weeks ago I believed this could be an opportunity of a lifetime. Now a little over 3 weeks into camp I know that this is indeed an opportunity of a lifetime. This is going to be a long a process and I will be patient. I am here to listen and learn not argue or question Doc’s philosophies. I am approaching this journey much like someone might approach and attempt to climb Mt.Everest. I have made it to base camp and when I make atop a podium at a major Ironman, I will have reached the summit. Good Night from Subic Bay, Philippines!