Kendall came to F4L Triathlon Coaching in September 2014. Since then she has developed as person, a team mate, a friend and as a triathlete. In Kendall's own words, this is her story. I have originally come from a team sports background where I was used to chasing a ball around a field and generally coming away with injuries or at least bruises each week and showing them off as I hobbled around. As I got older, I found it challenging to get what I wanted out of team sports as it meant that I had to rely on a team of people who all had different priorities and I had to be careful as being injured just wasn't manageable anymore. I was initially introduced to triathlon as a corporate work/life balance initiative and so I gave it a go by starting as part of a team. After my very first sprint tri I decided that if I was going to be getting up at the crack of dawn (or before) on a Sunday I might as well do the whole thing as an individual. So the story begins.... I had juniors flying past me in the cycle leg whilst I cruised along on my $49.95 Kmart bike and my triathlon experience consisted of repetitive thoughts such as 'Am I dead yet,? if not please kill me now!' however, overall I fell in love with the satisfaction of completing something that gave me butterflies every time and being a part of a world where I was able to just go at my own pace and be happy. After a number of years of doing this, my 'training' consisted of a short 5km run most mornings, swimming a few times a week a max of 1km during a 'lunch break' and basically never cycling unless I went in a charity ride. I was maintaining my fitness but not really going anywhere, I had no idea what I was doing and combined with this I would go to the gym almost everyday and play occasional sports games which simply continued to ruin me with constant injury. I got to the point where I was game enough to enter an Olympic distance Triathlon then only to fall ill 2 days before and have to pull out. A couple of year later a work colleague somehow convinced me to do an Ironman. With no 'build up' to a long distance event like that what was I thinking? Was I crazy? The answer is 'yes', but the good kind of crazy because this is where everything in my world changed and my F4L Triathlon Coaching life began. I started researching what I should do for training, diet and preparation however I also continued playing sports. Then one night I badly injured myself from a game and started to seriously stress about not being able to do the Ironman in only 3 months time. I decided I needed professional help so I researched coaches and clubs. After a few phone calls I wasn't impressed, most coaches basically made it clear that it was their way or the highway and my training would have to fit their club schedule, they didn't really sound like they even wanted me to be a part of their 'crew'. Meanwhile, I was awaiting a return call from Paul Jones (whom I had researched via this website). His experience and attitude had impressed me and I hadn't even spoken to the guy yet. When I spoke to Paul it was like he was a 'yes' man, he immediately confirmed that he caters for his athletes individual needs and that he could help me to achieve whatever goals I had. Paul was positive, happy and encouraging, I was stoked! Paul and my teammates in my new F4L Triathlon family then went on to help me achieve what most Triathletes consider to be the mother of all Triathlons, the 'Ironman'. I did this with only 3 months training. I had no injuries (and still haven't had any nearly a year later - which is the longest period of my life so far). I passed work colleagues on the run who were cramping and looking grim whilst I carried on with a smile on my face and I came away wanting to do another one, I loved the experience so much. I have learnt so many things in this last year (or less than). A few of the most important things I personally think are now crucial for me and my fitness are: #1 Happiness #2 Positiveness #3 To shut-up and listen sometimes (that's for all of you that have to put up with me chattering away soo much) #4 Sticking to the plan Firstly, being happy with yourself and what are doing, where you have come from and how you manage in your day to day life is key. You should ensure you are doing what you want to do and then give yourself a pat on the back for doing it. Secondly, learning to be positive and I say 'learning' because it doesn't seem to be a natural human instinct from a general observation of society these days. We get so wrapped up in wanting to be something more and beating ourselves up about what we are not and complaining about things that aren't going well. What I have being learning (as taught by Paul) is to take a positive out of every situation and get rid of those energy wasting negative thoughts. For example take the negative thought; "Oh no I hate the swim leg there are sharks!" and turn it into "We are so lucky to be able to swim in such pristine waters with lifeguards watching out for us and the chances of getting killed on my way to work driving every morning are far greater than a shark attacking me during a short swim that I don't even need to let these thoughts consume me ever again'. So ever since I have tried to accept compliments, turn negatives into positives and just be happy that I am giving it a go. Thirdly, anyone who has met me know's I'm a chatterbox and that's because I'm happy and I love my F4L family, my friends and what I'm doing. Listening and learning from others is extremely important for growth so hopefully I'm getting a little better at that one. Lastly, but by no means the least important is respecting the time and effort that Paul has put into my individual plan and sticking to it. Having a plan changed my life, I work well when I have something or someone guiding me and checking in on me, Paul does this he actually cares about each and every one of us! I can see the improvements in my fitness but most importantly in the way in which I swim, cycle, run as well as think, live and breath Triathlon. Being patient and learning that it takes time and dedication to improve is key for me and being a part of the F4L Triathlon Coaching family has changed my life, I LOVE IT!
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