How did you first get interested in multisport?
I ran my first marathon back in law school as a way to get back in shape. It had been a few years since I had walked away from swimming, and I thought it would be a one-time thing to shed some pounds. Instead I got hooked on running. Around that time, I started taking spin classes and then started getting out on the road some with my first road bike. I realized that if I dragged myself to the pool again, a triathlon might be fun to try. My very first race was Philly in 2010, which was converted to a duathlon because someone had unfortunately drowned the day before during the sprint tri. I vowed never to do another run/bike/run (props to those of you who do), but got sucked into swim/bike/run and haven’t looked back.
Which sport do you enjoy the most?
When it comes to racing, I love the swim. Having swum competitively, I usually am out of the water towards the front of the pack. As you other swimmers know, the remainder of the race is then spent pondering if and when the strong cyclists and runners will catch you. In terms of training, though, I love getting outside for a long weekend ride or run. Those are the sessions that fuel me and keep me coming back for more.
Any embarrassing stories you'd like to share?
At this point, I’ve come to realize that we all have our share of bodily function stories that would be deeply humiliating in any other setting. And most of the team knows about the little Mexican women shoving ice down my shorts during my first Ironman Cozumel experience. But my most embarrassing moment in triathlon that I’ve had was when I was mysteriously DQ’ed at Tri Yas in Abu Dhabi. I was there with the whole Competitor Group crew (who had paid for the trip), and we all thought I had podiumed. Instead, I was summarily disqualified with no explanation given. To this day I’m still a little mortified (and confused) by the whole thing.
What is your most triumphant moment during a multisport event?
Hands down it was the feeling of heading down the chute at my first Ironman. It was a beautiful day in Madison, Wisconsin back in 2012. The family was there, and I was racing with one of my best college friends. Going into race day I honestly had no idea what a full Ironman would feel like – let alone if I’d be still standing to cross the finish line. I didn’t place pressure on myself, and I wasn’t stressed about other goals. That moment was just the simple joy of conquering something that seemed so unknown and so daunting. I will confess that a close runner-up is the first time I shaved my legs without cutting myself.
Tell us something that most people don't know about you.
This isn’t exactly a secret to those who know me, but I’m gay. (I’m also perpetually single…) In all seriousness, after struggling with being a gay athlete back in school, I think it’s super important for people to be out in sports. Even in a very supportive environment, which triathlon is (and thankfully this team absolutely is!), it can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable to be out and open as an athlete. Today, it’s becoming a lot easier for athletes to be out on and off the field, thanks to LGBT trailblazers in sport. Hopefully that progress continues.