Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tucson Afterthoughts

Man, what's there to say?!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had reservations about going out this year. I had a very large group signed up for this camp. Part of the problem of offering multiple camps is that it gives the attendees lots of options. This is great for the attendees, but not great for those running a camp. In the last month before hosting this camp, seven athletes had to bow out due to legitimate conflicts. Many rolled their spot into one of the later camps I offer. So with a diminutive group, I pondered the worth of putting the Arizona camp on this year. I decided that even though from a business standpoint this camp would not make much sense, the group that I still had that wanted to attend would make it a plus. I have some very loyal, hard working, and extremely fun clients who have become close friends on this trip. They, along with the amazing area, made this such a worthwhile experience and one of the best camps to date. I know I say that about all of the camps, but honestly, they do just keep getting better.
When I put on my first camp back in May of 2000, I thought long and hard about what the athletes would truly want. First, there are a lot out there to choose from. I wanted to offer up what most would expect from a triathlon camp and then add the unexpected. Second, many of the attendees, if not all, are busy with families and careers, and for them to take vacation time and use it for themselves and put the cost into this is something that requires an extreme amount of thought and commitment. Most will at some point feel selfish about using funds and signing up for a triathlon camp. I wanted to make sure that at the end of the camp, they not only would never question the worth, but would carry a lot of energy and lessons with them back into their family and career lives. I wanted to be sure the accommodations are more than adequate, the courses are stunning, the training is precise so that they benefit and not get torn apart, that they are educated, that they get a lot of one on one time, and that they laugh. Laughter is a great sign of a successful venture. I'm not saying it's THE sign, but it is a great sign.
One night we ate dinner at our favorite Mexican place. There are quite a few camps and clinics going on in this hot area, and one of the more popular other camps came in to dine also. I witnessed our table laugh all through the meal, and even enjoy a beer or two after the hard days training, and their table sit quietly as though it were all business. Very different scenarios in which both can excel, but I love the fact that the attendees at my camp relax and have fun along with all the hard work.
I have been fortunate to train in some great areas around the country and Tucson is definitely one of my favorite spots. The city itself can be quite busy and crowded, but it is extremely bike friendly, and once you get just on the outskirts, the roads and trails are incredible. In particular, the Kitts Peak climb (that's with an "s" for you Jill), the Lemmon climb, the telephone line and the trails in Saguaro National Park East are now some of my absolute favorite places to train and should go on all endurance athletes must do lists.

The agenda we followed worked out perfect - it was the right volume and intensity to build your fitness and motivate you for the cold month ahead once you return home, yet not to much to fry you for the upcoming month(s). This camp is an excellent opportunity to test where you are with your winter build and to gain a lot of fitness quickly. Most importantly though, it's an opportunity to spend a week with great friends doing something that we all are passionate about and that's a rare opportunity that should be snatched when possible.
I'm more than glad I didn't cancel this camp and I will certainly be back in Tucson next March.
Thanks Brian and Jill - you two were a huge help and a lot of fun. I look forward to doing more tricamps with you in the future.
Thanks to the boys who attended - you guys made this trip more than fun and very memorable, even though Jeff and Gus may not have liked me to much after Kitt Peak. I hope to see you join me again next year.
To anyone that may be reading, think about attending a tricamp in the future (whether it's one of mine or some other). If you go into the right one with the right attitude, it could be an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself in one week than you may in a year.


mrpsam said...

I really liked reading about your camp, it made me excited about Lake Placid Camp. I'll have to think about doing the Arizona Camp next year -- the pictures are amazing and seeing that Cleveland, Ohio in March is the pitts, it may be just what will get me out of the winter blues. -- Mary

Eric said...

thanks Mary, it is an amazing area to train in. Lake Placid is going to be great.