Back from Texas!
What a cool trip.
I arrived last week in Austin, where I had the pleasure of meeting with Phil Hills and Doug Ulman of LIVESTRONG. It was an amazing experience to be in the vortex of the yellow band HQ – a modern converted warehouse more akin to an art gallery than office space. Phil (Executive VP of Development) and Doug (CEO) talked cancer, fundraising, plant-strong nutrition, endurance sports and the ultra world. Sorry to disappoint you, but I did not get any inside info on Lance’s designs on Ironman. Then again, I didn’t ask:) This meeting alone was worth the trip and I am looking forward to finding some ways for us to collaborate on some projects. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that. After the meeting I was treated to a groovy tour by Livestrong staffers Colin Wallis and marketing guru Adam Butler. It was awesome.
Afterwards, I hooked up with Gold Medal Mel Stewart at one of Austin’s landmarks — the flagship Whole Foods. We caught up on swimming, the US Swimming Foundation, and life in general. Mel is a great guy and has done swimming a great service by not only raising money but through his devotion to promoting the sport through Swimnetwork and his vlogs & blogs Here’s a little ditty Mel threw together from the visit – enjoy!
The next day I was picked up bright and early by Romain Fournier— a Frenchman relocated to Austin — and we headed out to College Station for the Zen Triathlon Base Training and Nutrition Camp. I’ll dispense with the blow by blow, but suffice it to say that it was an amazing time to spend a few days with a group of people focusing on nothing other than training, nutrition and having fun. We worked out and swam at the nearby Texas A&M Natatorium, which is simply mind-blowing. The site of multiple national level meets including the NCAA Division I Championships & US Swimming Nationals, it is truly a world-class facility. I had the pleasure of doing stroke work / evaluations with the campers, which was great. The camp was hosted by famous Zen And The Art of Triathlon podcaster extraordinaire Brett Blankner and his lovely wife Emily (and their son Kai) and buttressed by the wisdom, experience and enthusiasm of NY based pro ironman triathlete John Hirsch and his girlfriend Christine Lynch (aka @holisticguru on Twitter) who were amazingly forthcoming and gracious with all of their training, racing and nutrition knowledge. Check the Zen Triathlon BLOG for copious blow by blow reports and videos from the camp.
As a group we ran trails, rode the central Texas prairies, ate, laughed and simply hung out. It was really fun and I think everyone left not only having learned a great deal, but enriched by the experience and new relationships. It was my first experience not just teaching at a camp but even participating in one and I left unable to wait for my next camp experience. I feel many more coming soon!
I will upload some pics and videos from the camp soon.
Anyway, I made it home safely to LA, greeted with torrential rainshowers. Back to work, implementing my goals for 2010!