Bio

I didn’t used to think of myself as athletic.  I grew up in California, with a father who loved and coached football and baseball, and two younger brothers who were good at baseball and soccer.  I was the oldest and the only girl, and though I tried my hand at tee-ball (got stuck in the outfield where no tee-baller can even hit the ball…bor-ring), city league basketball (so embarrassing), tennis (ever heard of the “Exhibition Team…yeah, they don’t even count); and when I hit our family dog in the head while playing catch in the driveway with my brothers, I was just about to throw in the towel on sports.

So in a last-ditch effort to find myself a sport, I tried the city swim team.  Thank the Lord I apparently had a gift for moving myself through the water, and I excelled in the pool beginning at age 11.  Finally I was enjoying a sport because I was good at it!  By the time I graduated high school, I was a little burnt-out on swimming so I took up cross-country running and track at the local community college I attended.  I was fortunate to have a wonderful coach who taught me so much about the sport of running, and truly to love it.  I made it to the State Meet two years in a row, then I moved on to a University:  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  There I delved into studying but during one quarter with a light load of classes, I decided to try out the club Triathlon Team.  I distinctly remember thinking:  ”Well, I can swim, I can run pretty good; who can’t ride a bike?”  So I bought myself a winner at a garage sale: $50.  Yeah, baby.

I was totally intimidated by the cool-looking triathletes and all their fancy gear, so I never went to any team practices except for swimming where I knew I could hang.  My first team race was the infamous Wildflower, in 2002.  I was the one without the wetsuit, flat-bed pedals, and a really tacky helmet.  I started the race telling myself, “I never have to do this again.  Just finish today.”  But I grinned from ear to ear during the entire bike portion, ran my heart out, and came in 9th overall woman, 2nd in Collegiate – just behind the #1 girl on our team who was all of a sudden not particularly fond of me.  Whatever; I was in love.  With this new 3-sport sport.  Not bad for a girl who hit a dog in the head with a baseball (don’t worry, she was okay).

I continued with Olympic distance triathlons till 2005 when I had moved to Boulder and decided to try out a longer race with some friends.  Lo and behold I won my age group and qualified for Kona.  What??!!  Honestly I didn’t think I wanted to do it at the time, but realized the gift I was being offered:  the opportunity to challenge myself in ways I hadn’t ever done, possibly even imagined, and to do it alongside legendary athletes.  I accepted, and my Ironman road began.  Since 2005, I have competed in 13 Ironman distance races, winning overall female at the Vineman in northern California two years in a row (2008 and 2009), and then again in 2014, setting the female course record.  I absolutely love this distance and all the challenges it brings.  I was honored and excited to compete as a professional triathlete from 2011 through 2014, under the guidance of my experienced coach Curt Chesney of Boulder.  Fortunately, I upgraded my bike, my helmet, and my pedals.  And I do have a few wetsuits as well.  (phew!)

Besides triathlon, I have a wonderful career as the Director of a Wellness Center (fitness, etc) within Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder, CO, which I absolutely love.  I have about 250 “grandparents” there who are some of my biggest fans, and I try to keep them on their toes and staying fit and active each and every day.

Another love of mine is baking.  Ironic, right?  This girl loves her sugar, flour, butter, and eggs.  It’s a good thing she likes to exercise…

Living in Boulder has been such a privilege, as I’ve met so many others who excel at my sport and have pushed me and made this whole thing a lot more fun.  Every once and a while I also like to get up above the Boulder Bubble and go off into the mountains to ride, run, and just breathe in this beautiful place called Colorado.

 

 

(Bio written May 2011; updated January 2016.)