Some say that life is not about fighting, but about flowing and adapting. In the middle of this pandemic, and the different restrictions that have come with it, a very unique athlete has risen and is building her way to become one of the toughest in the field, Leah Therese. Not only she has faced the same adversity as we all have by not being able to swim, run or ride as she might love to, but she has also found the obstacle of having 2 injuries, one of which required a surgery.
Despite her obstacles, she signs up every day to Strength and Conditioning, gets on her bike or wind trainer and runs on a gradual build rehab program from Davey Black Tri’s Performance Coach Steve. While she cannot train at the duration or intensity that she is used to, she still gets her daily dose of exercise to help her stay focussed and motivated. Her courage and strong mentality have become a reference for the rest of the athletes and coaches.
In our 5 minutes together, we had the opportunity to talk with Leah and hear what drives this adrenaline seeking, highly motivated, cat-loving, Triathlete.
NESTOR: The first question is very straightforward; what motivates you to compete and participate in Triathlons?
LEAH: To be honest I’m just a bit of an adrenaline junkie! I love the feeling you get from pushing yourself to your absolute limits. I think races are a great way to break down your mental barriers and see that you are truly capable of anything as long as you believe you can do it (corny I know, but true). I don’t think that is necessarily reserved for competitions though. I’m not a super competitive person, I like to do well but I measure my success on my own version of “well”. So for me everyday training is just as exciting, because in reality the toughest parts can be just getting to race day!
NESTOR: So how did you get into this sport? What transforms an everyday person into a Triathlete? How did you get hooked into the sport?
LEAH: Honestly, it kind of just came out of nothing! I had been pondering doing some kind of athletic event but wasn’t feeling very inspired by fun runs as a real challenge. I had obviously heard of triathlons but thought they were more or less reserved for people who were a bit crazy (I have since realised I was 100% right). I got talking to someone who was a bit out of my usual friendship group and we became friends. They mentioned they had done a triathlon with work and were thinking of doing another one. To be honest I looked at them and thought to myself “Well if they can do it, I can do it” and I did my first sprint distance 5 weeks later! I trained solely in the gym so the race was the first time I had ever ridden a real road bike. It was way too small, but it did the job and by the finish line I was hooked and immediately planning my next race.
NESTOR: Finally, the last question goes directly to the current situation we are in. How is life in lockdown? What is it like to follow a triathlon training plan and what have you learned from this sport?
LEAH: I count myself very lucky despite everything that is going on. Becoming involved in triathlon and being accountable to a coach and team mates dramatically changed my lifestyle. Had this pandemic happened before this change I don’t know that I would be dealing with it so well! Coming off two injuries over the past 4 months, and one that required surgery has been tough, but having the time to slow down and reassess has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve had time to set goals and intentions for the future and I’m excited for the next chapter post Covid. But for now I’m just going with the flow, letting the universe do it’s thing!
NESTOR: Thank you Leah for your time. We love your relaxed nature and adrenaline junkie attitude and we know that with your commitment and determination you will get past these injury setbacks ready to beat her own personal best times.
Making the most from any situation, no matter how bad things might seem, is an ability that not every athlete possesses. A sport such as Triathlon, with the need to train for 3 sports in one, highlights every aspect of work, rest and play in life. The benefit of being able to adapt to a balanced training plan, and adapt again to working through life’s hurdles and injury, highlights the incredible mental strength that can be built in an athlete such as Leah.