Here's what's going through my head. You can hear my actual interview on the website, but I was rambling rambling rambling and so nervous I was shaking and I have a horrible Cleveland accent (think Aflac Duck), so I'd rather just write. :) (TacBoy and The.Bigun also caught me off guard so my rambling and bad accent is also on their latest rockin' podcast! ha ha)
Goal: I want to focus on getting young people (middle and high school age) into triathlons.
- it is great for overall fitness
- it complements all other sports and is fantastic cross training
- it gives kids "something to do" that is healthy and NOT illegal or unproductive
- it can bring families together to train and set goals
- triathlon helps you realize how strong you are and what you are capable of--young people, like all of us, can sometimes use a reminder of this in the face of stresses they are dealing with
- Create a website/blog called "The Tri Zone" geared toward young triathletes. This can be a place to share information, training suggestions, race reports, etc. I'm pretty technologically stupid, so it might just be a blogspot thing for this year.
- Ultimately, I want this to be the foundation for a local club that any community can set up. Sometime in the near future I envision this being a "club in a box" that I can send to anyone interested in setting up their own TriZone locally. It's a relatively easy, local, grassroots-style club that I want to be easy for any parent to administer. Parents have enough going on already, so I don't want people to be intimidated by boatloads of work to get this going. Hopefully, the club can sort of "run itself" if the foundation is strong, and that's what I'd like to work toward.
- Pilot this in my community (Northeastern Ohio) this summer. See what works, and what needs improvement. Tweak it, and spread it to other communities next summer.
- I have picked a few races that we will focus on here: The CVAC Tin Man Sprint Triathlon, the Greater Cleveland Youth Triathlon, and the Huntington Beach Sprint Triathlon.
- Implement a "Battle of the Schools" to get area kids interested in competing in a triathlon, meeting other people, and pushing themselves to be their best while challenging themselves
What I've done so far:
- I am still in the planning stages here, but am getting some great support and help from my friends in my tri club!
- I am starting to contact area Athletic Directors and Principals about setting up some kind of an informal group to try the Battle of the Schools. Another friend on the Board of CTC with me is helping contact some east side schools (Kenston and Chagrin) and I'm going to work on three west side schools (Rocky River, Bay Village, and Fairview).
- I will contact all track and field, cross-country, and swim coaches in all 5 districts to drum up some of the obvious candidates, but I also want to open this to all kids because, as many of you out there know, quite a few people get into triathlon who NEVER did ANY of these sports in high school! (myself included--I never swam on my high school team--only club summer teams)
- The focus of the East Side Battle will be the CVAC Tin Man, the West Side Battle will be the Huntington Sprint, and the Greater Cleveland Youth Triathlon will be the culminating triathlon of the summers for all five schools.
- I'd also like to have some kind of picnic/recognition after the Greater Cleveland Triathlon is done to reward the kids for their hard work and celebrate with their families.
- I'm trying to figure out how to handle a weekly training session on the east side (far, far away from where I live) but know that it will be no problem for me to lead one on the west side.
- I need to also consider the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT logistics of safety and liability, so I plan on getting this in order ASAP.
- I need to consider the eligibility rules of the Ohio High School Athletic Association for any fall athletes who compete in these local races. The last thing I want to do is have a kid be ineligible to compete in a fall sport because they did a "formal" race after such and such date!
- My tri club just "stumbled upon" a local young triathlete who is doing her senior project on area triathlon clubs AND is on the JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM for USAT. Yeah. I plan on talking to her. A LOT.
- My awesome former Coach also has a contact at USAT who is on the committee for Youth in triathlon, so I'm planning on picking her brain a bit, too.
So that's what I've been up to! Oh, and getting ready for this AP test. And trying to train as much as I can. That's pretty much sucking up most of my life at the moment. And, of course, spending as much time as I can with this guy:
I'll keep you posted on the progress of this! I am really excited!