We have been having quite the winter here in CT. Record snowfall, roofs caving in, ice everywhere, ... February is a time typically when many CT'ers escape the winter and head away on a little vacation. When I think of February vacation, I think of Cleveland. Actually, this may have been the first year of this camp where there was less snow on the ground and the temps were warmer in Cleveland than in CT - And the sun even popped out for part of a day!!
I flew direct out of Hartford on Thursday afternoon with no issues, arriving in Cleveland to be picked up by Scooter. We went straight from the airport to his ART guy who managed to work some nice cracks out of my back, neck and shoulders, even though I had no issues going on - but it always feels good to get realigned. Friday, the camp officially began bright and early east of Cleveland at a cross country ski center. The majority of the 18 campers had never skied before and their slips and falls did not disappoint. CC skiing is great cross training and Ange and I wanted to kick off this camp a bit different. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and how could you not? If you have never tried it, it's peaceful, great activity, and really beautiful in the snowy white woods. From skiing we went straight to the pool and did drill work, instruction, and a workout, then right to a spin session that I taught, then we had a USAT official who was attending the camp discuss the USAT and WTC rules and regulations where we learned about the WTC no nipple rule. So as long as you are wearing tassels, you're legal.
Saturday began with a strength/TRX session, then a swim session, then a track session w/ drill work and heart rate testing, then a bike fit session that took quite awhile since many of their old fits were atrocious, then a bike test on computrainers.
Sunday was a 45 minute trail run in the snow followed by a two hour indoor bike session led by yours truly, followed by another 45 minute run.
So it was a busy weekend activity wise, but here's what I always take away from this camp personally;
**The attendees of this camp are always extremely nice, genuine, good people. In the northeast, we get used to rudeness and a defensive, aggressive way of living that you really don't realize much of until you venture westward. I greatly appreciate their honest friendliness, as I'm sure most CT'ers would, yet for Cleveland, they probably don't realize how refreshing their attitude is until they come to NYC and get a taste of their opposites.
**I may not be great at much but I do believe that I have a natural sense of what people are capable of and what they can handle physically as well as emotionally. Combine this with the fact that I have been training, racing and coaching for a long time now and I've run over thirty tri-camps. This year for some reason, and at least right now anyways, I'm really appreciating the pure and simple things, like an athlete who gets excited about going for a simple run or ride, or one who learns they are capable of quite a bit more than they believed, or one who is not afraid to try a different approach than what they have typically been doing in the past. I feel that lately, many question to much what bike they are riding, what software package they are tracking their info on, should they be wearing supportive shoes or minimal shoes, should they be eating gluten free, carb restricted, ... Which gel works best for them, which power meter should they invest in, ... Listen, I love my gadgets and appreciate all this stuff, but it's all just fun. I've said it before that Nike's brilliant simplistic ad "just do it" is the motto to live by. I used the word restricted and maybe that's what I'm trying to express here? We are becoming too restricted instead of saying "you know what? Fuck it - I'm just going to put aside my inhibitions and overthinkings and walk the walk." Many at this camp were novice triathletes and pretty much everyone at this camp embraced this "just do it" attitude.
**Most of the stuff that we did at this camp, in temperatures in the teens in February, we would have never done on our own. Amazing what happens when you get a like-minded group together with a plan. At the end of the camp, I mentioned to all the campers that I was willing to bet there was no one east of the Mississippi that did what we did over the past three days.
Ange dropped me at the airport Sunday afternoon. I was actually looking forward to just chilling out on the flight and reading and relaxing after a very busy few days. I boarded the plane last (why get on so early and sit more?) to see an eight year old kid sitting in the seat next to me who yells "cool, I was hoping I didn't get stuck next to some old person!" He then proceeds to run his mouth for the next 1 hr and 45 minutes of my flight, talking loud, asking tons of questions, spilling food on me, fighting me for the armrest. Near the end of the flight, he says to me "mister, you may want to move, I think I'm gonna be sick" - as I fished for the barf bag for him, I was looking simultaneously for hidden cameras because this had to be a joke. I made it home though, just in time for kickoff.
This camp was just the motivation I needed to amp up the training a bit and cope with the remaining winter here, and hopefully all the attendees feel the same way. And yes, winter here will end soon.