It Takes A Village

The saying “It takes a village…” can apply to sport and fitness just as much as anything else.  When I think of my multisport pursuits, yes, I end up slogging out a lot of miles on my own in the pool, on my bike, and running, but I am super fortunate to have a great network of others I can call on when I want a training partner or mentor.  Let me tell you about a few of them.

Some of my peeps, at the start of our annual
Snow to Surf relay race.

My friend Corinne.  Not only is she an absolutely incredible swimmer (an understatement, she held the swim course record at IM Canada for awhile!) and never minds giving me pointers whenever I want.  I learned to be way more efficient sighting in open water thanks to her tips.  And – she is pretty much game for anything, anytime!  A ride, a swim, a road trip, a double century, an adventure – she is in, always!

Catherine, my mountain biking partner.  She and I started mtn biking at the same time, and spent a lot of hours on the trails of Tzouhalem crashing, riding off the trails, laughing, some crying (ok, mostly me), more laughing, more crashing.  Catherine has turned into a way better mtn biker than I did (that whole consistency thing really pays off…) and she’s responsible for some grand adventures on two wheels.

Janet, on the water.  She taught me to surf years back.  I still remember practicing pop-ups in the sand while camping on the west coast here on the island.  She understands my love of the water, and how even just sitting out on a board waiting for waves can be fun.  She is a true outdoorswoman and someone I can look up to and learn from.

Kirsty.  I like to think I followed in her footsteps, as our first IM times (several years apart) were exactly the same.  She went on to take almost 5 hours off that time, while I’ve only shaved off 2.  Guess I have some more following to do!  She’s been a great friend through long training discussions and has even written a lot of training plans for me.

Wendy, the superstar.  She’s a multiple Canadian cyclocross champion, and there’s no one better for a lesson on the trails, words of wisdom, and teaching the flying mount from a pro.  Or just dinner and a movie!  Some of the best, simplest training advice comes from Wendy: “Big ring in spring”.  Simple, understandable, executable.  Perfect!  (Or “parfait” as she and I would say).

Jason.  Patience and never-ending support.  Whatever I want to do, he’s there.  He’ll ride or run or swim or SUP with me when I want him to.  He’ll pull me around on his wheel when I need him to.  He’ll point out trails for Catherine and I to ride (or to avoid) when we’re ready to.  He’ll buy new tires when my bike needs them.  He’ll talk gear whenever I want.  He’ll plan races with me whenever and pretty much always.  He’ll go the wrong direction on a new trail so don’t leave the navigating to him.

That's not a complete list of people, by any means.  I was thinking about the meaningful peeps in fitness to me, as my friend Tanya (founder of GOTRIbal) has just created an app just for that, called Activebudz (for more info, click here!) – to find training partners, mentors, mentees… whatever you’re looking for in your athletic pursuits.  I’m super lucky to be surrounded by knowledgeable, adventurous, talented and hilarious peeps, but what about those looking for an amazing network?  Download Activebudz and build your own village!  If you already have a village, then add to it – the more the merrier!

Link to download: Activebudz for iPhone

On Activebudz’ home page, it says this: “Surround yourself with people who challenge you, support and believe in you and, no matter in work, family or health, you will always succeed.”  I’ve highlighted some peeps who do that for me.  Yeah, I could do triathlon (etc) without this awesome posse.  But I wouldn’t want to!  And I wouldn’t be the same athlete and know much of what I know without them.  It truly does take a village to raise an athlete, and that village is a fun, fulfilling place to be!


  1. Awesome post! Love my Activebudz!

  2. Man, I always wish I had a village.

    1. You can be in my village! We can be virtual training pals, and when I'm down in Windsor in July (Full Vineman aqua bike) we could get together for reals...

      Also, download Activebudz; I'm sure there's lots of swimbikerun peeps in your neck of the woods!

  3. Aww thanks babe. I wish our lives overlapped more often. Let's make a resolution to spend more time together in 2014!