Athlete of the Month
The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.
You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought. When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.
Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.
SMI is proud to sponsor this month's athlete who embodies the spirit of Team Sheeper. SMI is a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of overuse injuries, optimization of human function and enhancement of athletic performance.
May 2010 Athlete of the Month
"Great team player and impressive improvements this year!"
"Always positive, encouraging, and has a contagious laugh. Tackled WF long course with a smile; looking forward to seeing him have a strong year!"
"Chris has been making steady improvement on the bike and on the run, culminating in a strong showing at Wildflower Long Course last month. He was also out cheering on his team mates on Sunday on the Olympic distance course, which is just what you'd expect from Chris. "
- Fellow Teammates.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An astronaut. Although, some would say that I have achieved that goal, minus the space-suit.
Do you have a spouse or children or pets to tell us about?
I am very close to the cat that has me. His name is Oliver Pussycat. He has a lovely medium-to-long fluffy coat. He is a great tree-climber and fence-top runner! And he also has an awesome contemplative side. I even have a version of B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" that I made, inspired by Oliver
What other hobbies do you have?
My aim is to be a "quattrathlete" – with the fourth discipline being gardening! I grow sweet corn, raspberries, large blackberries, strawberries, asparagus, gooseberries, and broccoli. My goal for this season is to maintain my current plantings, plus do four successions of sweet corn – early, mid-season, late season, and another crop of early (matures fastest) for the late Fall.
How did you become involved with Team Sheeper?
I was looking for a way to focus on learning triathlon, without having to fund-raise or volunteer. I had no idea of the level of excellence attained by this team before I began to participate. I felt I'd stumbled upon a gem. So I decided to join and hope that some of it would rub off!
What is your athletic background?
I started tri with Team in Training. I am so grateful to the people in Team and Training who took the time to show me the all the basics. They did such a great job for me and so many others.
Going back into the time-machine: It was soccer until 10th grade when I figured I'd do better in x-country and track. I managed a 10:04 3200 meter at the Oakland County meet in Michigan back in 1986. It was bittersweet because, with my affinity for the void I alluded to above, I had miscounted my laps at the very end.
With about 200m to go I saw the winner finish and I realized this was the last lap! Not being very speedy in short distances I could not put out what I had left in that last 200m. To this day I remember looking over and seeing the winner cross the line and having that realization, as I had hoped to break 10 minutes.
I also ran (JV) my first year in college, managing a 36:00 10K at the end of winter in 1987, at a flat San Jose road race. I had trained a fair bit all winter at the Dish. In later training early that Spring season I fell off a (fortunately low) bridge when running at night, and was out for a few months from that.
By that time, it was time to focus more on my schoolwork. I maintained a focus on jogging until I was in a trade that was its own workout. Then when I came back to computer work at the end of 1998 I started jogging and some bicycling up again.
What motivates/inspires you?
Being healthy, and experiencing the outdoors. Doing tri is a great way for me to balance out the work I do, which is very sedentary and indoors. It is also a great way to experience the outdoors.
Nature gives us life, and we can respect and help it better if we get out in it and experience it. There are many examples, but I'll mention just one. Once Martin stopped on a climb up Old La Honda to go turn off a spigot that was leaking a fair bit of water, saving California some of that precious resource.
Also there are so many individuals on Team Sheeper who are inspiring. They manage to do so much in tri and the rest of life. It is impressive to "execute" on that much, with a high degree of sportsmanship. The people who were patient with me when I was just barely beginning also really inspire me.
Finally, I think everyone needs some special inspiration when things don't go quite right in a race or workout. Freshman year in college I was 10:13 at the 2-mile mark in a Fall x-country 5K JV mixed grass/dirt-path race over lightly rolling hills in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Later on in that race I got a dreaded side cramp that used to dog me in high-school, but that I thought I had beat.
Well I had to walk for a little while, and figured I would just DNF and have another race like it soon again when I'd have another chance. Then I got injured with the bridge as mentioned above, and that next 5K did not happen. If I'd finished that race, it still would have been my best 5K time. So because of that, now I try harder to finish.
What races are you planning for the remainder of this year, or the future, that you are gearing up for?
Ironman Arizona in November, and one more 70.3 that I have not found yet.
What is your favorite Tim Sheeper workout or memorable moment?
I like Thursday strength workouts, because it's such good groundwork. Definitely would not want to do that all the time, though.
My favorite memorable moment is when, before the Vegas tri ("Nationals") in 2008 when we were having the team dinner, Tim said in reference to me being kind of a backwards sort of newbie: "(smile) We'll see what he does tomorrow." Sure enough, I went the wrong way for a while during that race!
What is your favorite race?
Wildflower, because of the big tri scene there, and the nice natural area surrounding the event. It is also interesting to be at an event where there are a lot of people who are from the Central Coast area of California.
What would you choose as your last meal?
A giant Prime Rib, definitely rare; lightly steamed broccoli; Cabernet red wine; Pear Tart for dessert.