I've been traveling to Cleveland once a year now for a bunch of years now. I'll be honest, I'm never excited about heading to Cleveland in February. Besides the fact that even if it's not, it always seems colder there then here in CT, and it's just always grey there. Throw that on top of a busy winter and being gone from the family through a weekend and maybe it's somewhat understandable why my motivation is always on the lower side to board that short flight westward. There are definitely a few things though that I really look forward to and that will keep me heading back there for as long as they will have me back there; The Forsters - I count Angela and Scott as two of my true friends - You know, the friends you will give an arm or leg for. I don't get to see these two enough so any opportunity is one taken. The other reason I will always head out to Cleveland (again, as long as I'm invited!) is the people. The athletes that attend these camps, I have yet to meet one that really drives me nuts. They are very genuine, outgoing people and make every trip very memorable. I was hoping this would be the case this year. I knew that there would be some returnees like Bruno and Batman - two guys that have a ton of potential in triathlon and also have their values, in my opinion, in the right place. These two guys are a blast, but I cant kiss their asses anymore in case they are reading this. I need to keep them on their toes. My man Jeff J. who is a loyal incredible athlete looking for some motivation to decide on what to do this season was also back. When I heard that Tina was signed up again, I was pleased. She has a way of subconsciously making things comforting, I'm betting not just for me, but for everyone. Maryprimrose (that's her name!) was back again, without her husband for the first time, and she actually seemed a bit nervous, but again, it was great to see a familiar face. Also returning was Ben, Amy, Denise, Ray (who's turning 50 this year on May 1st, the same day as IM St. George in which he's participating - very cool), and also British Bob murphy who is returning after a couple of years hiatus and who just has the right attitude period. There were a bunch of new comers (we had 22 athletes participate!).
I arrived Thursday night and spent some quality time with Angela, Scott and their son Wesley. The camp officially began Friday morning and I knew that once it began, time would be very sparse until I was sitting on that plane home on Sunday.
We met everyone at a restaurant Friday morning for a quick "meet and greet" before a short drive over to some great trails for a 2 hr run. yes, we were kicking off this camp with a 2 hr trail run in the snow. Everyone looked quite nervous. When you sign up for a tri camp, you are always nervous I guess. The attendees are questioning where there fitness is at and where they fit in with the other athletes. Ange and I - our main first job at these camps are to eliminate the egos and show everyone that we could care less about abilities. We are looking for attitude and energy, that's it. We split into two groups quickly, I paced the first group, and Ange the second. Jay and I talked quite a bit while Ray listened silently. Jay lives right near these trails and trains in them all the time yet that didn't stop us from getting a bit lost. In fact, at one point, all the Ohio athletes were following the directions from the guy from CT. Jay and Kenny O are on par for their navigation skills. You know what though? It didn't matter. It was in the upper 30's (shorts weather for me), peaceful, and beautiful in the trails! So why not just run? We ran a bit longer than two hours and regrouped with Ange's group at the parking area, then we all headed over to a pool to swim. We worked on form and did some drills and put and then did some fun relays. British Bob tried skipping out of the swim session by taking a spill in the kiddy pool, but I was onto him.
A quick bite and then we met at Kyles great gym named Euphoria for bike fitting and an indoor bike session. Scooter and I made some major changes to just about everyones bike fit (man were there some horrendous positions) while Ange led the indoor ride and Liz kept us all entertained. This was Liz's first camp and I may have to higher her for entertainment for all the camps. She's like a cheerleader on amphetamines but not in an annoying way - rather in a way that makes those around her better. Her presence at this camp was very much appreciated by myself and I think I can also speak for Angela here. She was/is just fun to be around.
So not a bad first day of camp in Cleveland in February! I'll post more tomorrow.