Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tribute to Training Peaks Ambassador Applicant

The single greatest lesson of my athletic career was at the receiving end of utter failure to meet a goal.

I owe this humiliating lesson to an athlete that showed me what it means to be humble.

Ironman Rodney Buike.

Anyone that knows me has been introduced to my competitive streak. It's who I am, I am the best at everything I do. So it was only natural to enjoy friendly banter leading up to Ironman Muskoka 70.3. I was absolutely certain I would beat Rodney, so my training consisted of a plethora of my main passion - Mountain biking. I relied too much on my natural athletic ability.

Us at Muskoka 70.3
The race wasn't even close. I didn't stand a chance. Long Story short, he destroyed me by a solid hour. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my 70.3 experience but Rodney blew my mind.

Rodney showed me what it is to follow a sport-specific structured training plan. He stayed the course and commited himself to a routine that did amazing things for him. The best part - he didn't hesitate to share what he learned and help me find my way. He made me a believer, that all those monotoneous workouts will eventually lead to something great!

Rodney won with grace. At the end of the day we were no longer competitors, we were friends. He never once rubbed it in my face or had me eat my words. It was the exact opposite. He is a true professional, he never once told me I was doing something wrong but simply offered up advice on what worked for him. I took the best bits of advice and applied it to my new found training regiment.

Us at IM Lake Placid
This lesson in humility would fuel my desire to come back strong in time for our next encounter at  Ironman Lake Placid. I meticulously trained with a fervor like never before. When race week came, I realized - it was never about the race, it was about the journey. I would never have learned this life-altering lesson if it wasn't for Rodney's inspiration. My life would be significantly different had I not been dealt a tough lesson back in Muskoka. Rodney taught me that triathlon is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle.

Rodney's enthusiasm for sport has inspired a large part of our community to take up exercise. Wives, family, friends have been largely motivated by Rodney's dedication to a healthy lifestyle. His patience with newcomers is admirable, I think he can relate to the challenges faced by many of us since he has walked the path from overweight couch potatoe to an Ironman triathlete.

Community - Friendly FIRST century ride
for many of these athletes, including wives and a
Wheelchair athlete!
Most of all though it's his enthusiasm that shines. When he gets energized about something, it draws the rest of us in too. He knows how to sincerely communicate his passion and still remain fair.

He doesn't ask for much, but when he mentioned he was interested in getting on the Training Peaks Ambassador Team, then this was an easy blog post to write. His passion & zeal for training and engaging the community is something you want on your side. It only makes sense to have him as an Ambassador.

Our First Triathlon Ever.

Irregardless of whether his Training Peaks ambitions come to fruition, you can consider this a Thank-You to Rodney for all that he has done for the rest of us.

1 comment:

  1. John, thanks for your write up on Rodney for the TrainingPeaks Ambassador program. Best of luck with Mont Tremblant and the double!

    Happy Training!



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