After a modest start a couple years ago, my tri-coaching business had been getting some traction. I’d started with only a couple of athletes. Friends, really, that let me coach them – I didn’t even charge them. I had some success and, over time and via word-of-mouth, added more athletes. Soon I had a good stable of triathletes that were getting good results and seeing some great performance gains.
This year I had athletes set amazing personal best times at races. I had others place on the podium in their age-group for the first time. Some had overall race wins. I was getting such a kick out of seeing these results, and seeing the impact it had on the individuals themselves.
I wanted to do this full time.
Recently, my wife and I were talking about our careers. Retirement. How we want to live our lives. We half joked that we weren’t going to be retiring anytime soon, and if we were going to be working until we were 70 we should be doing work that we love to do – work that inspires us. My wife recently started her own consulting company and was thriving. Working with clients that she wanted to work with. Working with like-minded people.
We agreed that we both needed to pursue careers that ensured we were happy over the long haul. But equally as important was the question of where did we want to do this? Cost of living mattered in this equation, and we had the flexibility to move anywhere. The locale also needed to ensure that we lived a lifestyle that we truly enjoyed as well as still being readily accessible to clients. Immediately our wheels went into motion and options were discussed.
As I started building my new soon-to-be business plan, I had so many questions. I’d been working with a great mentor to help me progress in my triathlon coaching, and I knew that speaking with him would give me the insight and guidance that I needed.
Justin Trolle had been a presenter at my USA Triathlon coaching clinic a couple of years ago. He’s a USA Triathlon Level 3 coach and has worked with elite athletes all over the world. I had initially reached out to him about 18 months ago with some training questions. He was generous with his time and was incredibly helpful. He told me how he has a program to mentor up and coming coaches – I jumped on board. I gained experience by flying out to Colorado Springs to join him for coaching weekends – watching him work with his elite and pro athletes. I gleaned as much information as I could. My approach to coaching my athletes began to change. Training methodologies improved. They became more strategic, with more intensity where it mattered. Athlete improvements became more pronounced.
I reached out to Justin and told him of my plans, and that I was looking for some advice on how to best approach this. I wanted to not only look for ways to move my coaching career forward, but if possible I wanted to help him as well. He’s been so generous with his time that anything I could do to assist him in my endeavor would be the least I could do. After listening to me, Justin said something that rendered me speechless. He asked me to join his coaching staff at Vanguard Endurance. I was floored.
The chance to work with elite athletes? Not right away, of course, but eventually? And to work with an elite level coach who works with professional athletes as well as Olympians? What a massive opportunity. How could I not jump at this?
This is also a huge opportunity for my athletes. As I grow and expand my knowledge and abilities, so too do your potential gains and ability to become better triathletes. And those athletes that are beyond the age-group category, welcome to the elite training-ground of VanguardEndurance.
In less than a month’s time we’ll be moving to Colorado Springs. My wife, JL, has been nothing but supportive of this adventure. She’s amazing – she jumped on board immediately. A couple trips to Colorado Springs to meet people and get the lay of the land, and she was in. No way I could have done this without her.