Monday, September 08, 2008

The Thrill of Seeing Others Succeed

This weekend marked the 3rd annual Innovative Fitness/Canuck Place Adventure Challenge. This race consisted of 2 courses: the short – 5km kayak, 20km mountain bike, 5km trail run and the moderate – 8km kayak, 32km mountain bike, 8km trail run.

At the end of last year’s event, I challenged my girlfriend to compete in this year’s challenge with me as a team of 2. Now, to make this clear - this is a girl who had never ridden a mountain bike (off the road), suffered from poor running biomechanics (because of her flat feet), and was not a fan of the kayak. There were many things going against her but she said yes – and so the training began. First order was to take care of her various nagging injuries – a tight illio-tibial band that caused most of her pain everytime she ran over 10minutes, shin splints and tight calves.

She decided to join Innovative Fitness 2x/week to build up her strength, posture and core, purchased orthotics to take care of her feet, religiously rolled and stretched, and consistently went to physio’s, massage therapists and chiropractors weekly.

The next order was to get comfortable on the bike, which took coming out to the training clinics to practice technical riding, training on her own on the road bike to develop the strength and stamina and pre-riding the course a few times. After enduring a huge mental and physical learning curve being off the road, she started to get comfortable with it and continued to get better.

The trail running was an issue in itself – anytime she ran downhill, the knees would start to hurt, anytime she ran over 30minutes, the shins started to go. Well after the continuous rehab training and staying positive that it would get better, she was able to get out in the trails more and the training began to increase.

By the time race day rolled around, she was ready to go. She had done an excellent job raising money for Canuck Place through communicating with family, co-workers and clients (who were all in shock of what she was doing). She also had learned and purchased all the required gear needed for an adventure race.

We raced in the short course division and had an amazing time. The kayak was beautifully scenic in the Indian Arm, the mountain bike was just like we had practiced and the trail run was performed injury free (although I am sure the adrenalin had a part to do with it as well!).

As I looked at her as we crossed the finish line, the biggest smile of happiness, accomplishment and victory overcame her as we had just won the short course division. This was the first time she had ever felt the taste of victory and made me so proud of her accomplishment and her never quit attitude.

This is a great example that anyone can achieve greatness – all it requires is the dedication, determination and tenacity.

I am very proud of you Can!

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