365 days ago…

It was about this time last year that we pulled in to this exact same camp spot for the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon.  “Redondavista E 24”.  My (Trevor) first race as a Pro, and Heather’s second time here.  Looking back on that moment, we’ve come a LONG way in such a short time.  365 days ago we had full time jobs, owned a condo, had two cats, had no sponsors other than a local run store in Victoria…but, we had a crazy desire to race and train full time.  Which we now do, in large part thanks to so many different events, awesome people, and lucky happenings…most of which are outlined below.

#1. Money.  This is the biggest problem for anyone wanting to commit full time to something they love.  In our case, long course triathlon.  The events that allowed us to get passed this barrier are both dipped in luck and hard work.
-Heather’s win at Ironman Coeur D’Alene: A decent prize purse wiped our debt clean.  We actually had green in our bank account.
-The incredibly lucky and timely sale of our Condo in Victoria.  We owned the Condo for two years, having strung together a down-payment with the help of my Mom.  Somehow I met a Realtor at the pool who really made the sale happen.  Any other Realtor, aside from this guy (thank you Joseph) would have dropped the ball once a couple legal complications came up.  We’d probably still be hanging on to that place in a tanking market.  The sale gave us a respectable profit, payed back my Mom and purchased the RV (which is also a crazy fluke…see below).
-The purchase of an RV.  Normally a decent RV would cost about $40K to $50K.  That’s for something nice so we knew that wouldn’t happen.  We had $20K to spend on our new home – the crap you can find for $20K was depressing.  My Dad, however, the crafty deal seeker that he is, found us a bank owned RV through a website called RepoDepot.  Exactly as it sounds, some poor sap couldn’t make his bank payments so they took back his RV and tried to simply reclaim what they lost.  Which amounted to $21,000 Canadian.  Sha-bam, we were the owners of a 2002, low mileage, lightly used Class C motorhome.  After moving in we found a dealer lot price tag in one of the cabinets…$56K.  Crazy Dumb Stinking Luck.
-We lived in the RV while still working full time so that we could save up enough cash to get us through the year.  Working full time, training hard, living in an RV…not easy to do but it padded our bank account enough to leave with peace of mind.  That and the sale of almost everything single thing we owned – and free storage of the rest (Heather’s books and sentimental randomness she can’t part with). Thanks a million to Heather’s parents for driving all the way from Kelowna to help with the move, and for continually cluttering their basement with our stuff.

#2. The people you meet.  Had we not come to Wildflower last year, we would most certainly not be where we are now.  The first person on our list of important people to have met was:
-Clint Lien.  He was working as a coach for the retired Peter Reid under the coaching outfit PRPP.  We idolized Peter Reid so tried our hardest to get in with them back in 2007.  I enjoyed coaching myself but Heather wanted someone to dish out the program – Clint and Peter were the guys to do it.  We made good friends with Clint and all decided to drive to Wildflower 2008 in a borrowed camper trailer for the week.  This trip really planted the seed of ‘yes, we can live out of an RV, provided we can train and race full time’.  As luck would have it our campsite was neighboring our future coach:
-Chuckie V. We owe Chuckie a lot.  After Heather’s top 5 performance last year at Wildflower he scored her the ‘in’ with AVIA by grabbing one of their jackets and telling her to wear it on the podium.  That didn’t exactly seal the deal, but I’m sure it helped.  It was a sponsor she most certainly deserved, but as most of you probably know, very hard to find.  From there we both managed to get on with AVIA and meet the awesome people who run the company:
-Julie Vieselmeyer, our main contact at AVIA helped get us set up with the company – shipping Heather’s first AVIA outfit to her days before her victory at IM Coeur D’Alene.  She also introduced us to Chance Regina, the marketing director for our new bike sponsor, Blue Competition Cycles, and Guy Crawford from Blue Seventy – Heather’s wetsuit and goggle sponsor.  As luck would have it, Blue was looking to get in to the triathlon market and had a skookum new bike coming out for 2009 – The Triad.  They flew us down to North Carolina for some fit sessions in the A2 wind tunnel, a week later we were on our new rides for IM Canada and my first sub 9 hr race at IM Arizona.

#3. The jobs we had.  Working full time and training to race against the best Pro athletes in the world is a daunting prospect.  We were both extremely lucky to have understanding employers and managers.  My job was a 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm deal, giving me time to train in the morning and allowing me to recover (sort of) in the evening.  Heather managed to snag quite a few 3 or 4 day weeks or work weird lab hours during important build ups, allowing her to put in some extra training time.  Neither of those would have been possible at most any other career type employment.  On top of that, Custom House Foreign Exchange agreed to help offset a few travel expenses for 2009.  Many thanks to Ian Taylor for making that happen – best of luck to Christopher and Nicolas this year.

So, 365 days later, we are on route to our dream, sitting in the exact same campsite…but with the dream that much closer.  Heather’s scored a bit of that dream with an Ironman win last year, but now we’re living the life that we dreamt of living – while pursuing the results that are, in essence, the dream we’re after.    The ball is in motion for sure – we’re training how we want, we’re training where we want, we’re training with the people we want, if the improvement keeps a rolling we’re sure to see the results we want.

Anyway, just a bit of reflection on how what we wanted to happen in our lives actually came to be.  We’ll now have to look towards next year and see if we can make those desires happen as well.  As “Bud” from Kill Bill II would say… ‘we’ll just have to see – won’t we.’

~ by trevorandheather on April 29, 2009.

6 Responses to “365 days ago…”

  1. That was a good read. What a great story… Just goes to show that you should never DQ yourself from a dream because there are a bunch of obstacles.

  2. Okay you folks, “you’re welcome” that we made it in the tanking market; and I am SOOO glad you’ve decided to come back to the clear Victoria lakes for a swim. It’s about time! Matheson is so warm that the fish are going to be frying in the water soon! And the JDF pool just isn’t the same without you, Trevor and Heather!
    Let me know when you’re coming into Victoria. We’ll get together for some Big Macs or maybe even Rebar if you can stomach all that rabbit food!
    Love and hugs, Joseph

  3. I loved reading that. Good luck at Wildflower guys.

  4. We are excited to be part of the journey. Thanks for beliving in a small up and coming bike company and we can’t wait to see what the view looks like at the end of the season and you are able to look back at an entire year of racing as a full time Pro.

  5. As they say, it’s not what you know…

    Keep meeting people; some of them are all right! For example, I met a nice couple named Linda and Wayne Danforth this weekend…what a hoot.


  6. Thanks for reading.

    Joseph, not sure why thought we’re coming back to Victoria…not the case. We were thinking of coming up to the Okanagan before Ironman Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. But, we’ve decided the best option is to stick around with Chuckie (Our coach) in Southern California. We’ll be in the Okanagan sometime in July, though.
    WF race reports coming soon. A respectable day – just not that super showing that we were hoping for. We’re saving that one for CDA. 🙂

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