Welcome to my training and racing blog, where you can find out more about my journey with Ironman racing and the motivation that keeps me going. If this is your first visit - Start Here - and thank you for visiting. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


After finishing my lengthy first blog it occured to me that there are many people who deserve some words of thanks for helping me to get back on my feet:

Eric Williams - A good friend who was also my landlord at the time of my accident. Eric immediately recognized the gravity of my situation and knew that I had a lot to worry about during my recovery. He knew I would be out of work for a long time and that on top of the physical and mental burdens, I would also be facing some serious financial difficulties. From the beginning he told me I could continue living there rent free until I was back on my feet and able to pay him back. This was a huge weight off of my shoulders and I'll never forget his generosity. He is truly a man who will not turn his back on a friend in need and for that I will always be grateful.

Ray and Tiffany Ochoa - My first racing sponsors. Tiffany had been in a car accident and injured her back a few years before my accident (she referred me to my orthopedic doctor). One of the hardest things for her was the fact that she was not able to take her kids (Aubreanna, Brooke and Jack) to the beach while she recovered and that has always been a favorite place for the Ochoa family. They had always been such good friends to me that I never even thought twice about helping out. Any time they wanted to go the beach and hang out I'd come spend the day with Tiff and help out with the kids, not because I had to...I wanted to. They are great kids and I love them like family. After Tiff recovered, and just days before my first half ironman in oceanside, they gave me one of the most generous gifts I have ever received...my first triathlon bike. I never expected anything in return for helping, I really did it just because I enjoyed spending time with them. I was speechless, I still don't really even know how to thank them, I figure that the best thing for me to do is continue racing as hard as I can as a show of thanks and respect to the Ochoa family.
Isn't she pretty? It's still the bike I race on and even though we don't see each other as often as I'd like, I think of them every time I ride it.

Dava, Phil and Scott - My tried and true riding pals. You already know about Scott, but Phil and Dava are two friends who will always ride with me if I need company. These three guys were there from the moment of my accident (Scott was literally, he lives around the corner from the accident site and saw me on the ground on his way home. He stayed with me until the ambulance came and called my family to let them know what was happening. His help was appreciated more than he'll ever know). They never once tried to tell me I couldn't or shouldn't do the things I was attempting and were always there to encourage me when I needed it. We still ride on a regular basis and I will always count on them to keep me grounded.

Brad and Kristina at b Project - After my physical therapy, Brad was the strength and conditioning coach I went to to keep my back strong enough to race the ironman. He and Kristina have always encouraged me to keep going and never give up, despite my injury. I have spent more hours than I can count grunting, sweating, and sometimes crying from the pain that are Brad's workout sessions. These two never treated me like I was broken, much the opposite. The things that I've gone through under their guidance have given me a confidence that I will never lose. I'm happy to say that I'm currently training with Brad and Kristina again, and their training will no doubt help carry me to Kona some day, I just hope they make the trip to see me race. Stay tuned for some photos of me training at b Project.

Amanda Benedict - My lawyer throughout this whole ordeal. Much as Eric allowed me to recover without the worry of becoming homeless in the process, Amanda took care of all the legal issues so I could spend my time and energy recovering. She is honest and extremely hard working and did her best to make sure I was taken care of properly. I never once had to talk to the insurance companies, and every concern of mine was treated like it was the most important part of her day, even though I know she had a full plate on her table. She is a cyclist and triathlete herself (ironman finisher....go Amanda!!) so she understood that just recovering was not enough for me. She made sure that I had everything I needed to get where I am now, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Amanda!

My family - I absolutely, positively would not be where I am now without the love and support of my family. My brother Andrew was one of the first people by my side in the hospital and was there for me whenever I needed him. When I couldn't even sit up on my own, he was there to lift me up and get me whatever I needed. The two of us have a special bond, and even though we still bicker and fight as brothers often do, I know he will always have my back and I will always have his. My sisters, while they weren't living close by at the time, were still present in spirit and that is always a comfort. Last, and most certainly not least...my mom and dad are the best. There was never a moment's doubt about where I was going to spend my recovery time. They canceled a pre-planned vacation and set up the spare bedroom with everything I needed to be comfortable. I had three meals a day brought to me in bed and I was never without someone to keep me company. I would never be where I am without them and I love them for it.

I know there are people I have left out, because there are more people than I can count who helped me, whether directly or simply with thoughts and prayers that I recover quickly. To all those who sent me wishes of strength and encouragement, who came and hung out when I couldn't get out of bed, who never told me I couldn't do what I had set out to do and who challenged me to achieve where others thought it was impossible - THANK YOU - it is because of you that I get up early to go to the pool, it's your encouragement that gets me out the door when I don't want to run, and its your support that gets me through the loooooooong, painful hours on the bike. I would never be where I am if I had to do it alone - you all share a part of what I have achieved and I only hope you will be there for the great things to come!!!

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