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Big Vertical Bike Camp | Would You Rather…

The question was batted around at #bigverticalbikecamp: would you rather have a full time chef or a full time masseuse? My roomies both declared a chef. Our friends at dinner in fact also wished for their food to be prepared. Yet by the end of the trip, I decided that even though I do not travel all that frequently, the number of hours I’ve wasted searching for the best priced flights/ shortest connector/ lowest bike fees/ best airbnb has me wishing for a full time travel agent! (I’ll happily cook my meals and book my massages with the busiest-massage-therapist-in-Vancouver, Barb! cause she is so worth it.)

Every January, when I don’t feel especially fit, I pack my bike for B78 Coaching + Human Powered Racing’s annual training camp in Thousand Oaks, CA. It feels too early in the season and the fear of “not being ready” is what drives me to book my ticket regardless of my fitness. This year, the weather forecast had been looking especially sub-fabulous, yet we never seem to really trust the weather forecast….

Would you rather stay home where the schedule is predictable or head to LA where the weather is questionable?

We arrived to torrential downpour and a re-gigged scheduled pending the hourly rainfall warnings. Less than ideal when travelling with a bike and hoping to be climbing for hours every day; however, Coaches Jazzy + Mike really made the best of it. We had double run days, new trail days, awesome outdoor pool swim sessions and a couple of awesome rides. (Our room also had core o’clock dialled — Cogger brought the tunes and JoJo brought her six pack — the burn was real!)

Would you rather hang onto the wheel in front for deeeeeear life or give in to the burning sensation in your legs just for one hot second that has you dropped off the back of the pack and soft pedalling solo for the duration of the ride?*

Of course, you hang on! Grateful for the speedy boys + our local tour guide Andrew, not one moment on the bike was ever boring!

Would you rather take the 8AM or the 8PM flight home? 

Always fly home to sleep in your own bed, yet stay long enough to maximize every business hour! An extra day in the city meant for an awesome visit to our sponsor Coeur who got us properly race-ready (women run businesses: THE! BEST!) as well as a fully loaded afternoon running between meetings. I was the last person to board the last flight outta LAX en route to: home.

What this trip taught me, yet again, is that LA is a beautiful spot for beautiful riding — especially with speedy friends. It has reminded me that I might not be race-ready in January, yet I’m training-ready! It gave me excellent perspective that the training routine we have settled into at home, while it may appear monotonous to some, is in fact excellent. And mornings at Method are indeed (almost) as excellent at the mountains of Malibu. 

I’d say until next year…but the truth is, until next month cause I think we need a do-over of that camp! And 2018, we’re comin’ for ya! Big Love to Jazz, Mikey Neil + their rad crew that make this possible.

*Highlight of camp was my terrible sense of direction that had us miss nearly every turn and made for longer ride options. I’ll never cut a ride short. Yet the best part for 2018 is that not only do I know the routes, but I know the long way home too!

Going Pro

“Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming.

They’d rather show you the highlight of what they’ve become.” – Angela Duckworth, Author of GRIT

The internet is a funny thing; social media so easily allows us to share our lives under filters and misunderstood hashtags. Unfortunately, it has also created a platform that beats any form of high school gossip and allows news to travel and judgements to fly faster than you could ever write a note and pass it to a friend in between classes.

The proud and confident folks online seem to boast the ‘ttude of #ZFG – thank goodness! And then there are others that want to show you a piece of their heart yet fear the judgement. Because 140 characters used to be the lines at cocktail parties until instagram stories took over — and your selfie became a video, sprayed across the world wide web.  And all of this to be said — the good and the not so good — unequivocally the internet has indeed create a platform for news to be shared. #duh

It has created a safe place for this post from inner voice to go live. (I’d really appreciate it if you’d click that link cause I’m battling out head to head with the triathlon legend Jesse Thomas right now! Seriously. Please. Click it!) What you may not know about that post is that it was written the week leading up to Ironman Canada — and despite still feeling like a sausage in my tri suit, I had a deeper desire that went beyond the size of my quads — I was going to start that race to win that race. And that is indeed what happened. I share this because July 25th taught me a very sweet lesson in the fine line of falling hostage to self-doubt or flirting with self-belief.

Every day since then, I dance the same fine line — it comes up in business, in relationships, in sport — having radical courage to tell the truth, to apologize first, to stay relentlessly focused, to show up on purpose, 100% of the time. While self-doubt holds me back because the what if’s are big and usually come with a high price tag measured in a kick to the confidence, the self-belief alwaysalwaysalways says…GO FOR IT! Make the call! Jump in first! You’ll figure it out!

So with my dancing shoes on, flirting with possibility, I am so stoked to share that my pro card has arrived and 2017 will be the year that I have the sweet opportunity to race triathlon with the big girls — the speedy girls — with a P on our calves.

And I’m sharing this now — in the hours of becoming, when I still struggle with inner voices (#click!) that say women in our 30’s should be doing other things (note: we’ve got time for that!), that entrepreneurs needs to focus (btw: I’ll show you focus!) or that let’s be honest, I’m the underdog who is still a lil husky! I’m sharing this because I’m so grateful to have a new radical line up of sponsors that have said “we want to support you for being you!” – Thank you! Because I am the girl who once ran a 4:30 marathon and who has never been to the olympics for steeple chase, btw. I’m sharing this because I am the most perfect example of a very ordinary human who has relentlessly flirted with getting better…and every darn day has been so worth it.

As we get ready to cross the finish line of 2016, I hope you too will flirt with what could be possible…as an underdog or the top dog….just be the best dog!

Here’s to the hours and hours still remaining to become what once, not that long ago, was indeed but a wild, crazy dream!

A Start Line that Matters

Being a self-proclaimed endurance junkie, who had found great joy in chasing Ironman finish lines over the last several years, I feel confident in discussing the power of a Start Line. (The finish lines are simply a bonus on race day — the start line is what motivates us every other day of the year.)

Inspired by a chat with Charlie Judy from WORKxo, he so aptly stated, “You know, you’d never show up to a start line of a race under-trained or ill-prepared*. Yet why do we let people cross the start lines for chapters in their careers without the same training?” Ummm. To which I quickly replied, “Right! And then 3months in wonder if they are going to make it. Question if they are the right person for the role after all?” It is synonymous to asking someone to do an Ironman, yet only after completing the swim do  you tell them that they need to get on their bike and ride 180km. That’s a long bike ride if you didn’t know what you were signing up for. Similarly, it is a long road – sometimes quite emotional and usually quite energetically-loaded to lead teams without ever knowing how to do so.

The fact of the matter is that there are lots of remarkable business leaders who drive great results – they are rewarded and promoted for their efforts. Perhaps even with titles that have the coveted VP or Chief of Something Awesome; yet what is missing is the training around how to manage yourself and your team/ projects/ work to be high performing, resilient and remarkable assets to your organization.

Like a solid Ironman build that spans 12weeks, The Manager Start Line (MSL) is also a 12week training program. The difference between an Ironman build and a MSL build — there will be no recovery weeks and on the other side of the start line, there may in fact not be a finish line for a long while; yet both programs are indeed designed to change your life.

And like training for Ironman — it only works when your life works. One of my favorite People leaders once said it best: work works when your life works. She was spot on.

So why not start training for your best (work) life? Flex your courageous conversation muscle. Learn how to restore yourself and take care of your mental well-being so you can have the stamina to stay in the tough conversations in the board room. The marathon really begins at mile20 on race day — so where ever you are in your career, be it mile1 or mile22, there is still time to make a difference before the proverbial finish line known as “the end of your career.”

It has been months of ruthless focus, insane team work, copious emails across global time zones to present this training program to you. Curated by the one and only, Matt Corker and developed by local e-learning engine, Learnkit. This start line will go down as a dent in our universe, because it has made a difference. And most of all, if you lead people/ teams/ countries (Trump, I’m calling you!) — I hope you will toe the line with us to make a dent in your universe too!

Here’s to being The Best Boss in 2017. It’s time.

Big Love from #TeamCorker

*note: under-trained and ill-prepared are totally avoidable! it is much more fun to be ready to race. please check out B78 Coaching to toe sweaty start lines with proper preparation.

Ironman#15 | Kona 2016

It’s been a week now since the big dance! There have been heaps of posts on people’s amazing days, moments of bonking, precious finish line shots and of course, the Ironman hang over that ensues. So consider this my band-wagon post of the tale that was my 3rd Ironman Hawaii (and 15th IM!) finish line…

I woke up yesterday morning — in rainy, chilly Vancouver, BC and realized that it was but one week ago that I was walking my bike down the red carpet for check-in. Racking my bike, hanging my transition gear bags and returning to the condo for one final night of sleep before the day that I had been dreaming (and scheming, training, sweating!) about for the past year.

The following morning, race morning, I awoke to Mikey + Kyle asleep on the lanai, Chad and Bro mulling about as they do in the kitchen and Davey getting his cheering speedo on! #thebest Mikey and I found a soft seat in the corner for a moment of meditation – when we were done, we opened our eyes and he said “whatever happens today, remember that you always have your breathe.” Sage advice, I didn’t realize how soon I would need.

To cut to the chase: we gathered bags and bottles and I got dropped off not far from the finish line – which meant a short walk into transition for tattoos, etc. And as I entered transition, with bags and bottles, I realized I had no phone nor any bike nutrition. I had left it all at home on the counter. #SCREEEEEECH! Where is my breathe now? With my nutrition of course! I looked at my watch and tried to calculate who I could call/ who would have time to run home/ grab my fuel/ run back? Was this even possible? And with only 30min to the gun going off, I realized that the reality of this successfully happening was so low that I would in fact only inject worry into my amazing IronTribe. Instead, I opted that this would be a no-excuse race and I’d figure it out! I put my one and only Gu Espresso Gel in my bento box (usually breakfast before the swim!), loaded my one bottle of water + one bottle of scratch labs onto my bike and thought — heck, travel light, fly fast…or something like that, right?! I’d asked the volunteers (who are all amazing!) if anyone had extra nutrition; nope. Any extra salt by chance? Nope. But they had sunscreen!

The swim was uneventful though my error was that I spent the whole swim thinking about how I was going to make it thru the bike. Gah! I know better than this. Lesson #1: Relentless Focus — When you are swimming, only focus on swimming! At any rate, it might have actually been my best Kona swim time. The surf was relatively calm and I was able to find clean water quite quickly.

The bike was seriously eventful! The packs were large and the winds were mighty. I thought, ride conservatively for the first 2hrs – get in as much nutrition as you can – and do whatever it takes to get home. As it turned out, I was able to grab water and gatorade thru transitions…and nothing else. [editors note: i could have stopped at the first aid station for bananas and gels; the trouble is that unfortunately i don’t have an iron-stomach and i knew that those weren’t gonna go down well. so i opted for liquid calories in hopes that would suffice.] When the head wind really hit, I felt totally empty. When the packs flew by, I felt like I was moving backward. And by the time I hit the turn around, my game plan for the ride home became just.stay.on.your.bike. My disappointment was not in timing or placing, yet rather my very honest mistake that cost me at least 80miles of riding ugly. Without salt and in the heat, I was able to consume 2bottles of gatorade from the course and about half a bottle of coke. I calculated that I got in about 320 calories and approx 800mg of sodium — over the entire bike course. (To put this into perspective, I was planning on consuming closer to 2800-3000 calories and 5000mg of sodium!) Alas, that was just how my cookie crumbled. Lesson #2: Get over yourself — when I dropped my bike off in T2, I wanted to drop the negative feelings too. It took a few miles into the run before that happened.

The run was ugly! I was heart-broken; I was seriously depleted; I so so badly wanted to turn the day around and I just didn’t know how to do so. Thank the Heavens, I saw the IronTribe as soon as I left T2 and I seriously thought — these amazing human beings are going to fuel the rest of my day. I then saw Trav, Foxxy and Kevin from Nuun — normally Trav just serves me tough love, but instead he was really really encouraging — I knew that meant that it was some kinda fugly. Coach Jazzy was out on his bike telling me to keep moving and sometimes those are the only words I could hang onto. I also saw another B78’er on the sidelines — she has gone thru a total life transformation and I know that she has a goal to race in Kona one day. Seeing her really helped put into perspective the honour it was to be out on this course. My goal going into the race was to run the back 16miles well because in years previously, that is where my day had indeed gone sideways. So very quickly, those final miles became the only miles that mattered. I knew I was going to see the IronTribe at least 3more times and instead of dreading them seeing me in my failure state, I SO looked forward to their energy, their cheers, their saucy lil bums in speedos cheering for everyone. You know, it was only my ego that didn’t want to see them — yet they really don’t care where I finished. Lesson #3: Drop your ego and do your best. So for this year, the biggest moment of joy was in knowing that I turned the corner onto the Queen K  and didn’t look back! I looked ahead and saw awesome friends having amazing races — Fawner was right up at the front of the race, prancing like she does; Robyn was cruising right along; Hailey was hanging tough for the podium. Lesson #4: Only ever grateful to race on the Big Island with such remarkable human beings. Really, an honour to toe the line with them all. 

2016 has been nothing short of truly magical! I won my first OA amateur 70.3 and full Ironman, yet best of all, I won myself a Golden Husband. #thebestwinofall I’ve also experienced a new relationship with my Bro — we have run a business full-on, he stood up at our wedding as my Man of Honour and planned the most epic IronTribe adventure (his 15th IM too!). By Matt Corker being oh-so-perfectly Matt Corker, he created space for so many amazing people to celebrate love and sweat. #dreamcometrue So what I know for sure — between Ironmans and Wedding Love Parties — the only fuel that actually matters is the vibe from the tribe. Thank you for your cheers along the way.

My sweaty journey would not be possible without: sugoi, smith, cervelo, bicicletta, velofix and of course, b78 coaching. Forever grateful!

It’s time for an off season (or dare I say a strength season), because I’m not done yet! And I’m gonna be back stronger for it.

That was 32; This is 33.

32 was amazing! Top 10 highlights of the most special year of my life to date…

1. Davey asked me to marry him. #bestyesever

2. Together with our amazing parents (and especially hard-working Mama’s!), we hosted the wedding weekend of our dreams. #campfrey

3. The Corker Co was born – Bro and I joined forces in business. The rest will be, as they say, history.

4. We purchased our first cabin in Whistler, BC.

5. Winning Ironman Canada! (This was so much more than a win — it was a team effort including lots of gym sessions at Better Bodies + lots of love from Coach Jasper along the way. It was also super special to share the course with my girls JoJo, Sianer + KatieC.)

6. My sweet bestie, DLP  took me away on her weekend with Oprah. (D is my version of O!)

7. Seth Godin jammed with Bro + I over his favourite hummus (and our business plans) in NYC.

8. The morning crew at Method Indoor Cycling – heck, I owe my bike fitness to the relentless and awesome sweaty people who packed that place!

9. Matt’s *SURPRISE* 30th Birthday – it was a family effort and perhaps the only surprise I will ever keep from him, like ever.

10. New Friends. New Clients. New Communities. If I learned only one thing last year it is the power of your tribe; community truly is our greatest currency. And as adults, I think we become creatures of habit and close to home. Meeting new friends (like real friends!), creating new communities and rockin’ out with clients across North America who are insanely inspiring were a highlight indeed.

Dear 33,
We’re going to some new places — let’s call it “next level”.
Love,
Stephy

Pack Light; Fly Fast; Always Bring Family.

For the last 5 years, the only piece of luggage that I have checked at the airport is my bike. Otherwise, I am all carry on, all the time. I learned this from my sweet friend JoJo who used to travel for work on the regular. Mind you, she was travelling with luon, yet she told me she could make it two weeks with her wee rollie. #sageadvice I haven’t looked back since.

Here is what is packed in my personal bag:

+ my herschel go-to toiletry bag (inclusive of extra razor blades, my own bar of soap, a wide tooth comb, always a tube of papaw and rodan+fields face products).

+ laptop and chargers; moleskin and my favourite pen

+ at least one book or magazine for tarmac time (currently reading Meredith Kessler’s book + Brian Wong’s latest!)

+ an (empty) water bottle

+ vega protein powder, an energy bar, a pack of gum (golden rule: never go hungry!)

+ a collection of my favorite Saje products — currently travelling with an immune roller, pain release + pepperming halo.

+ currency of where ever i’m landing #cashisking

+ compression socks (hidden under my pants – #nerdalert – i’m okay with it!) and a vinyasa scarf (because air con sucks..the life right outta me!)

And I won’t leave home without:

+ my running shoes – specifically my Saucony Kinvaras and a running outfit – be it indoors or outdoors, whenever i get anywhere, i wanna run!

+ bikini + flip flops — cause, i’m aloha-ready regardless of destination

+ usually my own shampoo and condition

In my bike bag, along with the obvious (my bike!), goes:

+ racing/ training nutrition

+ water bottles

+ bike shoes/ outfits

+ all things bike: spare tubes, tools, helmet, etc.

(*Note: this will serve me as a reminder of what to pack in future travels. Perhaps it will help you too.)

What I know for sure is that we do not need extra baggage, extra weight on this Journey. Travel light and fly fast, by land or air my friends!  Because really really, having friends and family along for the adventure is all you need to pack! TeamClarker + TeamFrey are all together now…let the #ironmoon (really) begin. XO

2016 Mantra | Believe it gets Better

When I was 13 years old, my swim coach told me to never miss a swim practice. What that meant was that I learned how to plan my life, thrive with routine and find joy in what might otherwise feel mundane: chasing the black line.

What I wish my swim coach would have told me than is that he was training me for life, not for swimming. To never miss a day! To always show up.

When I was swimming in my final year at University – fat and totally out of shape, I remember my swim coach saying “you will get whatever you want in life because the heart always gets what the heart wants – as long as the heart knows what it wants.”

What I wish my swim coach would have told me than is that figuring out what you want (like really really want!) is actually the secret. Cause once you know, then you chase the proverbial black line for it!

When I started working with Coach Jasper 3 years ago, it was almost as though my swimming journey was coming full circle. Because of all of the many things Coach Jazzy has taught me, the best secret he’s got is consistency. It’s not in the fancy stuff, it’s in the consistent hard work.

What I wish he would have told me than was that I didn’t have to wait to start believing in myself – consistently – either. To take the risk. To ditch the bad energy and find the flow. 

My mantra for 2016 is to “believe it gets better” — this was inspired by sprint finish lines in 2015 along with late nights and full nights to pull off work projects. I decided that this year, even when things were 100% awesome, I was going to leave room in my heart for them to just.keep.getting.better!

And, to put it very mildly…I think it is working! 4 days ago I married the man of my dreams. 10 days from now, I will tow my 3rd Ironman Hawaii start line. Both of these dreams were but a vision board picture back in 2011. Our wedding weekend was the best weekend of my life and I will never need to top it. However, the finish line on Oct 8th can happily jump in as the second best weekend of my life…because I still believe there is room to make this year even better.

What I know for sure is that when you practice consistently being your best — you get to experience lots of bests — best friends, best weekends, best times, best memories. And I never want to miss a day of it, just like my first swim coach taught me.

Follow along — I’ve got stories and tales from the lanai in the lead up to the second best weekend of 2016!

WARNING: Everything Chip Wilson didn’t teach us about being ENTREPRENEURs!

The early days of lululemon were riddled with one liners from Chip Wilson. He wanted to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness. He wanted black stretchy pants to change how women felt at the gym, in yoga studios and running on the seawall. He wanted Vancouver to be the hub for athletic apparel. He also wanted to create entrepreneurs in the world. …and that he has done, indeed!

Matt and I are among many friends launching and rockin’ businesses. We also have even more friends with dreams of what they will one day create in the world. And despite my rainbow-shitting-unicorn outlook on life, I’d like to share the struggles that are mighty fo’real.

Dear Chip,

You forgot to mention that being an entrepreneur in this world means:

+ you no longer have a performance review that helps to calibrate where you are on track/ off track; the high potential program with leadership development opportunities don’t just show up in your inbox with a ticket to the next conference in LA for …FREE. Development is called having the courageous conversation every damn day. 

+ a tough day at the office doesn’t equal hitting the beach for a coffee with your friend on the 3rd floor to talk about it. In fact, the beach doesn’t solve the problems. Your friends are more than 3km away and more likely 3weeks away in the calendar. It is a very lonely journey. 

+ CASH FLOW is King — not just a shared budget file that the finance team sends out monthly. Being worried about paying your mortgage is a REAL. THING because pay cheques don’t auto-send from your bank account. (Note: being able to manage the anxiety of being both alone and poor are potentially certifiably award-winning-traits!) Don’t get me started on paying tax…

+ there is no program to train you on being self-motivated 24/7 yet this game of business is a 24/8 self-generated sport! the moments you stare hopelessly into a monitor and wonder how the idea will come to life — are very real. and sometimes often. and do not generate cash. #procrastinationnation

+ fighting legal battles with lawyers who speak legalese is terrible — it’s like they forget that everyone is human?! why can’t lawyers write kind emails? and why can’t battles be fought with just a little bit more compassion and human interaction? alas. the lessons.

+ and most of all: firing clients and being fired by clients! yowzas! who is gonna share these dirty secrets? wanna feel like a straight up failure — take a page from this book. because winning clients is so much more fun to talk about, right?

Yet may it be very very known, that what you did teach us was the power in setting goals and being 100% responsible for our contribution to this lifetime. And what I know for sure is that being in this work with Brother is an absolute gift. Because together being lonely is only a phone call away; being brave is a daily practice; being courageous and kind is always worth it. Because getting sweaty every day makes us better business owners – endorphins are our drug of choice. Because really really — there is no other way I’d like to spend my days. I wouldn’t trade one moment of anxiety for ….anything!

Thank you for teaching me the things that mattered most when I was within the confines of your safety net — my totally corporate gig at lululemon — where I was paid if I my idea failed, where we celebrated making mistakes, where lawyers signed emails with “namaste”. Thank you for not telling me about everything else that would keep me awake at night. Because then I would probably have never made the leap of faith….and that would have been my biggest regret.

Here’s to forever being responsible for creating a future that would otherwise not exist!

Love,

TeamCorker.

Flirting with Possibility | Ironman Whistler 2016

It’s been two weeks since I crossed the finish line at Ironman Whistler as the first woman. Granted there was not a Pro Female race yet there were also no amateurs ahead of me. I was the lead girl that day! And that felt like a pretty special moment.
I’ve spent the last 14days trying to wrap my head and heart around it. Reflecting back on the many months (heck, years!) and miles it took to get there — a journey of 13 Ironman finish lines; remembering everything I had to say No to, in order to say Yes to chasing this lil dream and also facing forward to the reality that my big goal for 2016 is Ironman Hawaii. Therein lies a very fine line of how to absorb and appreciate a special moment in time and how to stay focused on what lies ahead.
I like to document the journey of this lifetime and most often, I like to share stories of Ironman along the way. So it is only fitting that before I am too forward facing, I reflect on Ironman Whistler…
 
The highlights of my day were plenty:
+ I attended a really sweet love party on Saturday night in Vancouver — because when best friends get married in town, you need to be there. I was love drunk going to sleep pre-race.
+ My swim reminded me to check my ego early in the day because I got passed by a pack of girls very early on and knew that trying to hang onto them was not going to get me to the finish line first. It turns out that I had a decent swim for me + they swam faster — so we were all winning.
+ I saw my Bro and the INCREDIBLE #irontribe16 early in the day and was informed that I was near the front of the race — that was a highlight, because it is still an awesome surprise for me to be up front.
+ I rode very consistently, eating constantly and very solo for 180km. That takes discipline!
+ As I rolled into T2, I saw Kyle, Mikey + Dave who drove up from the city to surprise me on the race course — and lost my marbles! SURPRISES just don’t happen enough as adults — fun, awesome, blow-your-mind surprises — we need more of them. They are so good for your heart + heart rate on race day — it sent mine thru the roof!
+ When I left T2, my new friend John from Whistler rode out beside me and said those magic words: “you are the lead female and I will be riding with you”. I turned to him and said “you are making my dreams come true. let’s do this!”
+ Again, the #irontribe were out in FULL. FORCE. Serious perks of racing locally means the Vancouver crew were out of this world. Their cheers on that run were unbelievable. Also, knowing so many remarkable athletes on course meant the community tribe vibes were hot, especially seeing my girls JoJo, Katie + Sianer gutting it out.
The lowlights were real too:
+ I got out of the swim and heard Jordan Back announce that “Steph Corker is an amateur here looking to take the overall win”. #gasp …all of a sudden my lil secret was shared with the entire crowd. (Yet guess what — no one actually cares! Only my ego that thought “what if it doesn’t happen?” Awesome lesson early in the day. Noted!)
+ There was a good dark patch in the Pemberton Flats where the wind felt strong and the head games are loud. Glad to get my head back in the game before the climb, even if the wind wanted to join us for the return trip to Whistler.
+ The marathon is really no joke. I was there to flirt with what could be possible for me in the run — and there were some good miles and lots more not so good miles. I missed getting water at a few aid stations with serious congestion because of two races taking place at the same time – a 70.3 and a full IM. That wasn’t awesome. I knew my sugar levels were low when I thru the empty cups on the ground and said out loud, “please can i get some water!” (More on this…I’m grateful for volunteers + hydration.)
And I always always always finish the race grateful:
+ to My Main Man, Davey (soon-to-be husband in T-47days!) for everything. He lives with early morning alarm clocks, attending parties solo when I’m already in bed, putting up with hungry Stephy + most of all, being the biggest believer in all of my crazy dreams.
+ to my remarkable Bro and business partner for living the life of possibility, every.darn.day. He reminds me to dream bigger and more importantly, he lives bigger as an example. He is the world’s BEST cheerleader — because he knows that everyone needs someone in their corner.
+ to my really rad roster of sponsors who make the journey of triathlon easier, faster and better looking. Thank you: Sugoi for my awesome custom kit, Smith Optics for an aero helmet and sunglasses for every part of the day, Cervelo for the unicorn on which I get to ride, bicicletta bike shop for taking care of my ride and Velofix for keeping me on the road outside of my home town.
There is one other special man who has made this journey really special and he is Coach Jasper Blake. This was my 10th IM under his watchful eye and 3rd year under his program. Earlier this year, I reminded him when he told me that “I just wasn’t in the postal code of qualifying for Kona” — and, at the time, he was right. Yet I was relentless. Together we have flirted with possibility — just one more IM in a year, just one more 800 on the track, just the perfect amount of work:rest; one more book to read, strength session in the gym, you get it! He has been steadfast in his approach — and I have only had to meet him with my relentless focus and positively committed self. What I know for sure is that this won’t be the last time that “I wasn’t in the postal code” of a goal.
I will leave you with the final words he sent me the day before the race. And the wish that we all flirt with possibility just a lil more often, in every area of your life… Mahalo, xo
Tomorrow is nothing more than an opportunity – an opportunity that we get so few of in life. Your only job is to execute the way you know how to execute.  When it gets tough your job is to keep making the decision to fight because it is a decision. Your job has nothing to do with an outcome tomorrow – outcome is directing the process, yes; your job is to execute and focus on the necessary parts of that execution – the outcome will take care of itself. The execution is entirely within your control and the decision to keep driving and enduring and being tough is entirely within your control. Fall in love with the effort, fall in love with the process you will go through tomorrow – fall in love with it because in the grand scheme of life we get so few opportunities to see how good we can be and whatever happens you win when you have a deep appreciation for the journey.
You’re a champion already – so tomorrow race like a champion. – Jasper Blake

The 5 Things I’ve Given Up in 2016 | Victoria 70.3

1. I gave up the story I wasn’t a runner. The story that I wasn’t built like a runner (cause i’m not!) was too heavy — it was time to lighten up!

2. I gave up waiting for a start line to be my very best. I chased the boys around the track every Thursday like it was a race (i think they knew it too!). Some days were better than others, yet every day was my best.

3. I gave up the excuse that I didn’t have time for a proper strength program, because, life is full ya know! Yet, gym workouts with my Man twice a week and our rad trainer Dylan make ALL the difference. Dave lifts heavy weights and I do squats. It works for everyone. (Dylan! If you are in Vancouver — you want…DYLAN!)

4.  I gave up pretending like body weight didn’t matter. Because carrying an extra 10pounds for 10hours is alotta work! I stopped drinking alcohol in December (yet champagne moments require…champagne!) and I stopped rewarding hard work or a long ride with a cookie. I stopped pretending like “eating anything you want because you’ve exercised today” was an appropriate strategy. (And if i could go on a tangent — I wish everyone would realize that Sleep is King and Calories are Queen. Food and libations that leave you feeling bloated, hung over, or crappy are hardly something to celebrate. And dropping weight/ managing body weight is a real thing. See #1: lighten the load, yo!)

5. I gave up sharing my goals out loud. I’ve kept them closer to my heart, for only my sweet inner tribe. Because gravity is a real thing. People like to judge and egos like to pull.things.doooooown. What if past results don’t always need to dictate the outcome of future dreams? (Note: I’m always on TeamYes if you wanna share the goal/dream/idea!)

I gave them all up … and then I won my first Overall Amateur 70.3! On home turf in Victoria, BC. With best friends on the race course, Team B78 in full force and Coach Jasper Blake at the finish line. I’m tucking this one into my heart cause first times only happen once!

…and back to work. Next stop: Ironman Whistler in 5weeks.