To say I felt like a poser at this camp was an understatement. I mean, you had Will Ronco (5th at Ironman Lake Placid ’08), Marky V (usually 1st guy out of the water and off the bike at every race he does), Jacqui Gordon (5th at IM Lake Placid AND 7th at IM Louisville, all in the span of a few weeks in ’08, and soon to be top 3 at IM South Africa….you heard it hear first), and Danny Montoya (this guy has a standing reservation with a condo company in Kona, yeah he’s that fast). Oh, and for good measure, the 70.3 age-group world champ Lauren Harrison was flying in Tuesday ready to shred. Then there was me, the winner of…., well, I won a pool swim triathlon once. From the first training session we did, I could see that there was a big difference in this group and the training that I was normally used to doing.
There was no hammering the session, no test of wills to establish pecking order, no racing in training. The group got the session from Paulo, the Portuguese doctor of pain (Doutor português da dor), went out the door and got the work done. No extra, no less, no argument. Just do the work he says and wait for the next workout. Over the course of the week I started to understand the Posse’s (Paulo’s team name) motto, HTFU (Harden the F$&K up). Just get the work done. I finally turned off my brain and stopped trying to understand why we were doing what we were, or when I thought we would end a session. It was around Wednesday or Thursday that I just shut my mouth and took my beating (I mean completed my workout). There were only a few monster sessions throughout the week, but mostly it was just a healthy dose of swim, bike and run with some super fast, super cool, super humble people. We all suffered together, and it was so cool to get encouragement from the Posse’ when they were hurting just as much as I was.
It took a while for me to get what the camp was about. The best way I can sum up camp is that it was a first hand view that there are no short cuts, no genetic freak talent (except for Marky V’s 1:46 200 swim at the end of camp. That’s not human), and no luck involved. Just hard ass work. Either do it, or don’t; it’s up to you. And to be truly successful, like the 5 guys and girls I was in camp with, you gotta be nails. Anyone can be a hammer, and smack one or two workouts here or there. But the true bad asses, the real contenders are nails. They can take and execute any workout in any order, with any amount of work that you can throw at them. And they can do it day after day after day. That’s nails.
So thanks to the Posse’ for letting me roll with ya’ll in Tucson. And thanks to Paulo for opening my eyes to the work that needs to be done. Here’s to my new goal: Being Nails in ’09.
Still Livin’ the dream….