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.
October 2010 Athlete of the Month
"Jess gives the sun a run for its money with her positive attitude. Plus, she earned her tri bike the honest way, working very hard for something well-deserved. Not least, she put it all together for fantastic racing performances.!"
"...she's got such a great attitude and radiates positive energy. She's super fun to train with, and can make you smile even through tough workouts! "
"If you didn't know, she placed in the top 10 in her age-group at IM World Champs, which is a huge accomplisment in itself. She also has an infectious smile at every workout and she also had podium finishes at every single race she did this year. Congrats Jess! You're my hero."
- Fellow Teammates.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! When I was 12 I wanted to be an Olympic, then professional swimmer (because they make so much money, right?). Then I wanted to be a stay at home mom and maybe a teacher. After marrying a teacher I think being a stay at home mom went out the window, but I’d still like to get into teaching or coaching some day.
Do you have a spouse or children or pets to tell us about?
I have a very supportive, amazing husband, Mark. Not only has he been to almost all of my races – holding my stuff, talking to my parents for 11 hours, constantly listening to me drone on about what I could have done better and what my future training will be like - he’s the reason we are even in California. He’s my biggest fan and I couldn’t be where I am without him. Hopefully more Sheepers will get to meet him soon. He’ll be the tall, quiet guy with the loud wife.
What other hobbies do you have?
Can triathletes have other hobbies? When I have the extra time I love to hike or go camping. I also like the idea of scrapbooking and knitting, but haven’t actually picked up those as real hobbies yet. Maybe some day!
How did you become involved with Team Sheeper?
After IMAZ last year I finally realized I needed a new bike. Those of you who have seen the LeMond know what I’m talking about (especially since you told me every day you saw it that I needed a new bike). I interviewed to teach swimming lessons part time at Burgess to save up a little extra money for the new bike. They told me about the team when I interviewed and there was no way I was going to pass that up. Now I have the best team ever and a SWEET bike!
What is your athletic background?
I grew up swimming. That was pretty much my life all through middle school and high school. I tried to pick up cross country in high school, but my coach didn’t want me to miss running practice for swimming, so it was goodbye running. By the time I graduated high school I was sick of swimming the same times I had when I 15 so I picked up rowing in college. I was a mean lightweight!
What motivates/inspires you?
I am so inspired by everyone on our team. Everyone I know thinks I must be crazy for doing Ironmans. I realized when I joined the team that there are a lot of other people (doing ultra marathons, 100 mile mountain bikes, 100 mile team rides the week after an Ironman, racing across the country) that make me look pretty sane!
I am also motivated to improve. I don’t know how far I will be able to get in this sport, but it’s fun and exciting to keep pushing myself to see how much faster I can get. I am already beyond where I ever thought I’d be and hopefully I still have a long way to go!
What races are you planning for the remainder of this year, or the future, that you are gearing up for?
No more races this year, but so far in 2011 I have Oceanside 70.3 and IM St. George (only 22 and 26 weeks away, respectively). I’d like to add another half and full and I’m trying to convince my husband that we need to go back to Hawaii if I can qualify for Kona again. I really want to race as much as possible so it’s going to be a busy year!
What is your favorite Team Sheeper workout or memorable moment?
My favorite workout is definitely chase groups. I think I almost died the first time out, but I made it and realized I could work harder on the bike than I ever thought possible. It’s painful – but it’s the good kind of pain – where you know you’re getting better. Plus, after every Wednesday you create a new bond with whomever you were able to ride with that day.
I haven’t been with the team for that long, but already have so many good memories. I love the international trash talk and lightheartedness of such a competitive group. My favorite memory, though, has to be the first time we did the San Jose ride. I finished the day with such a fun, amazing group of riders. We got in over 80 miles and really pushed each other to ride strong at the end. Not to mention, after that day I felt like I had some really great new friends. This is not to be confused with the second San Jose ride where we got in 100 miles (exactly – with a couple laps around the parking lot to get over that 100 mile mark), but lost 2 riders in the field, had 7 flats, and took over 7 hours to finish. I look forward to some more of those long, grueling rides (minus the flats)!
What is your favorite race?
My favorite race seems to be whichever race I did last. I guess that means Kona is my current favorite. It was a long, hard day, but an amazing experience. It will definitely be tough to beat!
What would you choose as your last meal?
Maybe a better question (and shorter to answer) would be what wouldn’t I choose for my last meal?? I guess if pressed, I’d have to choose a full Thanksgiving dinner. Just to be clear, this would include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry jello salad, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. I made all of that last year – just for the hubby and me and I am already planning a repeat for this year. Anyone want to join us for Thanksgiving??