Book Tracker 14

Book Tracker 14

A Wrestling Life

By Dan gable

Dan Gable is a legend in the sport of wrestling. The 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist, he only lost 1 match in his college career, and never lost in high school. He’s a rarity in that he was such an outstanding wrestling and went on to be an even better coach. He also didn’t stick around as a competitive wrestler much past his Olympic run but rather went straight into coaching.

This book tells his story, but not in the typical manner of from beginning to end. Rather he tells a series of stories where each chapter could really stand alone. It’s a good read although it’s puzzling to me why I admire Gable so much when he very vaguely talks about learning from defeat. Or maybe it isn’t that surprising. He seems to be one of those people who hated losing more than he liked winning and that drove him. He always wanted to be his best and strove to be the best at any level of wrestling.

His success on and off the mat is remarkable given he had to overcome the murder of his older sister when he was a teenager. I will say though that while this is a very good read it doesn’t go in depth on a ton of stuff. I wasn’t drawn in and I felt like I could walk away from the book and it wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t finish it. Nevertheless I know I’m going to get his other book, A Wrestling Life 2. Why? Because it’s Dan Gable and I always want to peruse what the greatest American wrestler of all time has to say. You can learn so much from stories of success as well as failure.

Book Tracker 13

Book Tracker 13

The Escape

By Matthew Slater

I read this book as part of a book swap with the author’s mother. She got my book on Amazon Kindle and gave it a great review and in turn I got her son’s book and read and reviewed it.

It is a novel about a criminal who’s empire is stolen away from him by his partner and supposed friend. A drug deal goes bad and the main character (Brian) is shot and sent to prison where he stays for 10 years before his long time actual best friend breaks him out in a hail of gun fire and explosives. Brian’s main goal is to get back at his former associate (Tony) and kill him. But first he has to get back on his feet.

He eventually finds his way back to a life of crime, does some deals, gets recruited into a mob boss’s secret inside group and nearly gets killed a few times. It’s a real page turner and action is abundant. The book ends with Brian nearly getting killed but an associate is able to save him and then it cuts to Tony mad with rage murdering one of his associates who had arranged to kill Brian. Needless to say I’m on the edge of my seat wondering when Slater will pen the sequel.

Book Tracker 12

Book Tracker 12

The Bomber Mafia
By Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a phenomenal author and podcaster. I love how his most recent audiobooks have been more podcast-like than someone just reading the book. This book is unique in that it was an audiobook before it became a print book. The foundation of this book came mostly from Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History. He did three or four episodes on General Curtis Lemay. His deep dive into Lemay’s story led him to learn all about the Bomber Mafia in the 1930s and 1940s. This was a group of men who believed in the value of strategic bombing rather than conventional warfare.
The book goes into detail about who the major members of the Bomber Mafia were and outlines their successes and failures. Ultimately it took until the 1990s and beyond for some of the ideas of the Bomber Mafia to truly become reality.
General Curtis Lemay was not part of the Bomber Mafia but was the General who probably brought WWII to an end sooner rather than later as he engineered and conducted a fire bombing campaign of Japan in order to avoid a ground assault which inevitably would’ve resulted in many more deaths and the prolongment of WWII. Lemay was a doer not a thinker. The man he replaced in command of the Air Attacks in the Pacific Theater was a thinker and philosopher and member of the Bomber Mafia—General Hayward Hansel.
Hansel was a true believer in precision bombing and continuously tried precision bombing attacks but the technology just wasn’t there at the time. His ideas and dedication though led to the development of the technology that allows us now to have precision strikes thereby causing less damage to lives and property.
This is a fascinating read if you like military history, and it’s an interesting read if you like psychology as it discusses the differences between Lemay and Hansel and their psychological makeups. One quote from the book really stood out to me. “Without persistence principles are meaningless, because one day your dream may come true. And if you can not keep that dream alive in the interim then who are you?” To understand the context of this statement, I’d read the book 🙂

Book Tracker 11

Book Tracker 11

The Hero Code
By William McGraven

Any time retired Admiral William McGraven comes out with a book you can bet I’m going to get it and read it. His first book, “Make Your Bed” was based off 10 lessons he learned while going through Navy Seal training and expanded upon his viral keynote address at the University of Texas. Then there was his autobiography “Sea Stories” which detailed several of the major missions and the lessons he learned from them during his 37 year military career. And now “The Hero Code: Lessons learned from lives well lived.”

This book details the qualities we see in every day hers and explains how we ourselves can implement those in our lives. Admiral McGraven reads the book himself and the way he inflects, emphasizes, and his overall general tone of voice is captivating. It draws you in and is the voice of a leader. It makes you want to implement his suggestions, especially with his trademark humility. As he goes through the characteristics of hers he tells stories of the heroes he’s met and how they embodiment these traits of courage, humility, humor, sacrifice, and so many more. In all Admiral McGraven identifies 10 traits/characteristics of heroes and lists them out in the “Hero Code” at the end of the book. I personally wrote these down myself and know I’ll be referring to them often as I strive to be a better person, teammate, and leader myself.
If you haven’t read any of Admiral McGraven’s books, don’t wait any longer. I definitely recommend “Make Your Bed” and “The Hero Code” and then when you have time definitely read “Sea Stories.” And if you can read the audiobooks, they’re even better.

World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama Race Report

World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama
May 15, 2021
750m Swim, 20km Bike, 4.98km run

“I will prepare, and some day my chance will come.” — Abraham Lincoln

Every competitive athlete longs for that day when their competition challenges them to dig deep, to push beyond the perceived limits in their mind, to find what they are truly capable of. Coming to Yokohama I knew this race would be one in which I’d need to fight for every second and place. I knew that this race would be the most competitive field I’d ever faced and I knew everyone would be ready to rock and roll. I knew my body was primed and ready. Sure, the shoulder impingement I’ve dealt with off and on throughout my triathlon career had been flaring up, but with the right stretches and strengthening exercises it would be ready to go full gas for a 750m swim. The only question I had now was whether I was ready to win against a field of athletes that was continually getting stronger. And this was the first race back in the Paralympic Qualification window after more than a year pause due to the COVID19 Pandemic, so everyone would be extra motivated since there would be no guarantee we’d get to race again prior to the Paralympics. Was I ready?

Enter The Bubble
Due to strict COVID19 protocols imposed by the Japanese government, this race would be drastically different than any I’d ever participate in before. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in conjunction with World Triathlon had devised a bubble environment that would keep all participating in the race events as safe as possible. The Japanese government required us to have numerous documents on hand as we entered the country including negative COVID test results, travel itineraries, a written pledge, a travel visa, international health insurance, and many others besides. We were required to arrive into Japan on May 11 and required to leave May 16. In addition to printed documents we were required to install multiple applications on our smart phones including an Overseas Entrance Locator, COVID19 Contact Tracing, Google Maps, Whatsapp, and Skype. All of this wasn’t difficult to obtain, but it was a lot of extra steps that were out of the norm for us and I found myself constantly wondering and stressing anytime I reached into the binder of paperwork I had wondering if I had all the correct forms. Fortunately, my guide and friend Zack Goodman, and the rest of our Paratriathlon team were all traveling with me and we were all in the same boat. Not only that, but every other athlete from every other country was going through the same stresses.
We arrived in Japan and were immediately required to take a COVID19 test. We were then held in a quarantine area while we waited for results. Once we were all deemed COVID negative we proceeded to the normal customs routine of paperwork and collecting of baggage. Then it was onto a bus that took us directly to our hotel. Once on the bus we were given credentials and our hotel room keys. We were required to wear a wristband and have our event identification on us at all times we set foot outside of our hotel rooms. It was constantly reiterated to us that once we were in the “bubble” we were not permitted to leave and not complying with the protocols could result in criminal charges.
We arrived at our hotel, dropped our bags in our rooms and immediately proceeded down to the parking garage that we’d christen our “Basement Bike Bubble” to build up our bikes. Then it was off to bed to try and sleep and get on a decent schedule that would allow us to perform as good as we could come race day just four days away. Fortunately for me I was able to get some decent sleep and was awake and well rested by the next morning.

Food Is Fuel
Our meals were boxed and hung on our door handles in plastic bags. Every single meal held a different surprise, it was as though either Japan was guessing at what we typically ate for breakfast, or they were trying to Americanize our food. Quite often I’d open my breakfast to find spaghetti with tomatoe sauce. Every single meal had a generous helping of sticky rice and several pieces of white bread and olive oil. One morning I got some sausage-like meat that looked and tasted similar to a hotdog. It reminded me of the sausages I ate when in Tanzania nearly 15 years earlier. One of my teammates on that climbing trip had christened those sausages “tube steak” so that’s what I thought in my head as I ate my hotdog/sausages for breakfast.
I often couldn’t distinguish between breakfast, lunch and dinner as the food mostly tasted the same. Unfortunately the majority of the time our food was cold. Every time I took a bite I heard the voice of one of our trip leaders from when I participated in the No Barriers Leading The Way Expedition to Peru in 2006 saying “Food is fuel, so eat up.” We had a couple of upset stomachs over the course of those first couple days amongst the team so we all became much more picky with what we chose to eat out of our boxes, especially as race day drew ever closer. I wound up relying heavily on the stash of protein bars, tortillas, peanut butter, and instant oatmeal I brought, supplemented with fruits and snacks that had been set out in the hallway.
While we were required to stay in our rooms almost the entire time, we were allowed to step out into the hallway for short chats, or to grab snacks from the snack table set up by the elevator.

Honing The Edge
One of the most frustrating and purplexing parts of our “bubble” was our training situation. It was constantly stressed that safety and social distancing were paramount and of the utmost importance. During a select one hour time period we were allowed to descend into the basement parking garage where partitions had been set up where we could place our bike trainers and ride. We were told that we were not allowed to have our bike trainers in our rooms. To get down to the garage we’d often be tightly packed into the elevator, and it purplexed us that the mandate was still to avoid all but unnecessary conversation. Well, we followed the rules as best we could.
On Wednesday and Thursday we were bused from the hotel to a gym that had been shut down for those days so that all athletes participating in both the able-bodied and Para races could use treadmills and the pool. We were limited to running for 30-45min and the same for swimming. As I ran or swam though I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. Here we were cramming hundreds of athletes into a gym for them to run and swim and we weren’t allowed to run or train outside in the open air. Oh well, we followed the rules outlined to us to the best of our ability and made it to Friday with few hick ups and only mild annoyances to our regular taper routines.

The day before the race would typically be our swim, bike and run course familiarization. We were permitted to have a swim familiarization, but no bike or run course familiarization. These familiarizations are usually extremely important come race day because you can analyze where good places to accelerate, make an attack, where to move cautiously, and when to safely pass other competitors. When you are racing at the speeds we race at, the smallest details matter and there’s only so much you can gain from looking at a course map or old race video. Nevertheless it was great to get outside and swim in open water.
I love swimming in open water. I feel free and I have little fear of smashing my hands to pieces on lane lines or pool walls. I also love the feeling of riding the currents and adjusting for swells. After swimming two laps of the swim course with Zack I felt very confident that I was going to swim fast. And with Zack on the front of the bike I knew we’d ride well even though we didn’t get to preview the bike course. My coach, Derick, had been able to get hold of a GPS file of the run course and was able to analyze it using Google Maps and Streetview to precisely measure distances to turns. He then walked Zack and I through those turns and what our strategy would be once we got to the run.
“This is a swim run race,” he kept telling us. “Take no risks on the bike. Trust your run fitness.” I’d done all the work. The hay was in the barn. Now it was my time to rise up and show the international stage what we were capable of. I went to sleep Friday night nervous, excited, and confident. I just wanted to race.

Analyzing The Competition
Even though we all had done little to no racing the last year I still analyzed my competitors previous race results. Having raced against several I knew what many of them were capable of doing. I also knew that if I’d gotten stronger then undoubtedly that meant they all had gotten stronger as well. From the get go I identified Jose Luis Garcia Serrano of Spain as the man to beat. Jose, or Jota, is a B1 and for the last several years has been the fastest B1 swimmer and runner in the field. And based on his most recent race results I felt pretty sure that he was getting stronger on the bike. The other two internationals I pegged would challenge for the podium were French athletes Antoine (a B1 who’d beaten me in Magog in 2019) and Thibaut (a B2 who I had also raced against in Magog and who I had to sprint to stay ahead of to hold onto 2nd place). Both Antoine and Thibaut could run like the wind and France traditionally has a very strong triathlon presence so I knew they would be bringing their A game. Then of course there was my fellow American teammate, Aaron Scheidies. In 23 career international races Aaron had never finished off the podium, had only finished 2nd five times, and 3rd once. I also had a feeling that Aaron would be extra motivated after he finished 2nd to me at the Sarasota Paratriathlon Invitational in March.
Needless to say I felt there were five or six of us that would be battling it out for only three podium spots. I anticipated a close race and knew that I’d be giving it my all to ensure I was right in the thick of it.

Race Day

The Swim
I took deep calming breaths. I sat on the edge of the pontoon with my feet in the water. There was the tiniest bit of chop as the wind blew in toward us. I hear the announcer rattle off the names of the PTS5 men and then the horn which sent them on their way.
I immediately slid my entire body into the water and dunked my head it’s customary seven times to get my face used to the chill of the water. I heard the music and the announcer was announcing the names of the next class of Paratriathletes that would go after us. Then all of a sudden the horn sounded and Zack was yelling at me, “Go, Go, Go!”
I threw myself forward and began stroking hard. I’d been placed at the end of the line of B1 athletes. There was nobody to my right and I had smooth water ahead with the most direct line to the first buoy.
I quickly found my rhythm and managed to synchronize my arms, legs and when I took a breath. I was right on the edge of that threshold of “I can’t go any harder,” and “I can hold this all day.” I felt the feet of someone just ahead of me. Was it Jose, or somebody else? I had no idea, all I knew was that I had to stay with whoever was right in front of me and I had to pass them on the back stretch of the swim.
We swam strong until the first righthand turn and I continued pushing the pace and slapping the feet of the person I was chasing. We then reached the final hard turn and I knew this was my time. I knew I was swimming well and if I wanted to challenge for the win I needed to make my first move now. So I upped the tempo, lengthened my stroke and felt as though I was gliding through the chop. I wasn’t feeling the feet of anyone now though which made me think my opponent had also cranked it up and swum away from me. In reality, Zack had maneuvered me into the perfect inside position allowing us to surge past the Spaniards and take over the lead.
I took my last few strokes and felt the ramp of the pontoon under my hands. I popped up, got my feet under me and started running. Zack was yelling at me, “Go, go, go, first out of the water!”
Swim Time: 11min 36sec

Transition 1
Energy surged through my legs with the knowledge that I was leading the race. I reached back and ripped the zipper of my wetsuit down. Then I just focused on running as fast as I could up two decently steep ramps and into the main part of transition. I felt the blue carpet under my bare feet as I ran. I thought I could hear the Spaniards right behind us but there was so much noise from the music and crowd that I couldn’t be sure.
We reached the bik and I quickly yanked my arms out of the wetsuit. I got it down to my ankles and was able to get my right foot out but was having issues with my left. Not wanting to waste time I immediately dropped to my butt which was Zack’s and my signal that I needed him to give my wetsuit a yank. He did and quickly tossed it into the bin along with my cap and goggles. I grabbed my helmet and blacked out sunglasses, put them on, stood up and we took off running with the bike. For this race we’d decided that we’d start with our cycling shoes already clipped into the pedals and held in place with rubberbands. While I’d tested this out a few years earlier with my buddy Danny Craven, and Zack and I’d practiced a little bit the day before we flew out of Colorado Springs, there was still that instant of prayer that this would indeed work. One thing I did realize was that it was a lot easier to run barefoot with the bike in T1 than clod hopping in cycling shoes. We reached the mount line.
Transition 1 Time: 1min 18sec

The Bike
We swung our right legs over the top tube and I was able to slide my right foot into my shoe. We pushed off but not hard enough. The bike seemed to wobble and was in danger of tipping over. My left shoe had wound up upside down, but I quickly managed to reach down and flip it right side up. I wiggled my foot into the shoe and quickly strapped it in. Then I reached down and strapped my right foot in. Zack was doing the same. This did take us longer than either of us would’ve liked but once our feet were secure we could focus on riding our race. The Spaniards were just a few pedal strokes ahead of us. We set our sights on them and determined we would not let them get away.
The Yokohama bike course was easily one of the most technical bike courses we’d ever ridden. We immediately took a hard 90 degree right out of transition then a tight 180 out onto a straight away. After that I just hung on and listened for Zack’s instructions to coast, lean, or turn. It seemed as though we were constantly coasting and turning. However there were a couple of straight aways where we could build up some speed and carry it through each turn.
We took the first lap extremely cautiously not having gotten to preview the course the day before and therefore not knowing how safely we could take each turn with speed. Just 10m ahead of us the Spaniards were doing the same.
The bike was four laps of 5km each so our plan was to up the effort on each successive lap. There were one or two hairy sections where Zack planned to be extra cautious, but after the first lap Zack felt confident we took take most of the turns pretty aggressively. After all, technical bike courses are really fun because it tests the speed, power, and communication of both pilot and stoker. It’s a more true test of how well you ride together than a straight up easy course. And with each successive lap Zack and I were getting more and more confident.
We kept the Spaniards just ahead of us until part way through lap two. Then on one of the straight aways we made our pass. Unfortunately, we were constantly having to slow down and speed up to avoid running other Paratriathletes off the course as we kept overtaking the single bikes. The Spaniards upped their effort and seemed determined to stay with us. I could hear the guide yelling just as Zack was. There was no doubt, we had a Race on our hands.
At every 180 degree turn around, of which there were several, Zack could get a good look at who was pursuing us and our time gaps to each. There was a solid line of tandems all racing flat out. Zack wasn’t able to see any of the B2s and B3s who had started 3:21 behind us though. Every time we made a turn or surged, The Spaniards matched us pedal stroke for pedal stroke. As Derick predicted, it looked like this was going to come down to who could run.
We completed the 3rd lap and were going flat out on the 4th lap. During one section I felt the bike slide under me as the wheels hit a slick patch of gravel, but we stayed upright and powered through. Then we approached the dismount line.
Zack gave the command to unstrap our left feet, then our right. We pedaled and then it was time.
Bike Time: 28min 12sec

Transition 2
“3, 2, 1, dismount!” We leaped off the bike hitting the ground running. It was one of the smoothest flying dismounts we’d had in a long time. We sprinted with the bike, with the Spaniards breathing down our necks. We reached our bike rack, quickly racked it and I yanked on my shoes as Zack tossed our helmets into the bin. I pulled the run tether on and then we began to run. I heard the Spaniards off to my left as we both came crashing into the start of the run. Step for step, and stride for stride. It was on!
Transition 2 Time: 54sec

The Run
The run was pancake flat and the pavement was firm and dry underfoot. “Too hot, too hot,” Zack told me in the first few hundred meters. I took several deep calming breaths, relaxed my shoulders and focused on letting myself flow through the run. We’d moved about two or three steps in front of the Spaniards and they settled in right behind us running just off our shoulder and running stride for stride with us. I could vaguely hear them breathing hard and could definitely hear the guide encouraging and urging Jose on. I forced myself to breathe evenly taking deep breaths in and filling my belly with air, then forcing it out. I knew that no matter what I had to remain calm and I had to stay in front of Jose. I had the psychological advantage, every time I heard him trying to make a move I countered it by picking up the pace just a bit. We kept that two or three step gap.
We approached the first 180 degree turn around on the run and nearly over shot it as the volunteers who were supposed to be pointing out where the turnaround was were standing well back. I had to quickly slam on the breaks and pivot hard to the right and get back up to speed, but fortunately the Spaniards weren’t able to capitalize on our near error. I quickly settled back into my pace, running within myself, right on the edge of “I can’t go any faster,” and “I can hold this all day.” I kept my hands high, my shoulders relaxed, my chin down and my focus straight ahead. I could feel the ground under my feet, smooth, flat, and fast. I seemed to pop off the ground stronger with each step. With each 90 and 180 degree turn, Zack and I got stronger and improved our communication and tactics. Each time we made a turn we seemed to stretch the gap out by only a step or two, but then the Spaniards would close the gap ever so slightly.
“Just keep this pace,” Zack kept telling me. “Hold this pace and you’ll break him. He’s dying. He can’t stay with you. You look so smooth Kyle. Stay on it!”
We completed the first of three laps on the run and the Spaniards were still right there two or three steps behind us. I upped the tempo just a touch more. “Descend each lap,” I told myself. Derick and Andy had been working with me on my run pacing and tactics and I felt confident I could finally negative split this run. So I just continued to turn up the pace little by little.
Zack kept reminding me to maintain my forward lean especially on the long straight aways.
The 2nd lap passed in a blur, and now I knew it was time to really throw down the hammer. My pace seemed to lift ever so slightly. My breathing was labored although I fought to control it. “Don’t show your opponent you’re struggling. Maintain that poker face.”
With about 800m to go in the run Zack and I both knew that this was the time I had to make my move. We hadn’t discussed it beforehand, we both just instinctually knew that I had to launch and break the invisible rubberband that Jose and his guide Pedro had seemingly latched on to us. “Go now!” Zack yelled. I could hear Pedro yelling behind me and I knew I had to go faster. I pushed my body to a level of pain I’d not experenced before. I was running flat out. I gained one step, then two steps, then three. The invisible rubberband that had connected us right from the beginning of the run was now stretched impossibly tight. “Drop him!” I screamed inside my head. All the while Zack was yelling “Go, Go, Go! You got this, he’s dropping!”
I was entering a world of hurt I’d not experienced. This was all brand new territory. Did I have the strength to hold on. Would I have enough left for one final kick?
We made the turn onto the blue carpet of the finishing shoot. Zack took one more glance over his left shoulder and screamed at me “GO NOW! SPRINT! 100m! 50m! ALL THE WAY…!” Then Zack let out a yell of triumph and pure joy and I knew it was over. We’d finally done it. We’d won.
Run Time: 17min 45sec
Total Time: 59min 45sec

The Aftermath
Zack and I barehugged. Without Zack holding me up I would’ve collapsed to the ground immediately. As it was I kept telling him, “I need to lay down.” Finally I lowered myself to the ground and lay on my back struggling to get air into lungs that felt flat. Finally, after what seemed an eternity I dragged myself to my feet. Jose came over to me and we hugged. I don’t think either of us cared that we were breaking COVID protocol. You can’t race within spitting distance of each other the entire race, push each other to collapse, and have that kind of race without expressing your gratitude and admiration for each other at the end. The best way we all know how to do that is through a hug. I think Jose and I both knew that this will be the first of many races where we are battling it out.
We didn’t have to wait very long for the 3rd member of the podium to cross the line, Thibaut from France. We all made our way to the recovery zone and grabbed bottles of fluid along the way. I sat on a bench and just couldn’t believe that I’d won. I couldn’t believe not just that I’d won, but how I’d won. I’d finally stayed with the leader, made my move and stayed away, winning in a sprint finish. Sure it’s gratifying to win with lots of daylight between you and 2nd place, but this win at the WTPS level was so much more gratifying than when I’d run clear of Aaron by thre and a half minutes back in March. I was also aware that this win was significant. Until I’d crossed the line first, Jose had been the only B1 to win a WTPS (Yokohama 2019). Additionally, we hadn’t had an American VI stand atop the podium at a WTPS since 2017.
This race was just a glimpse of what’s to come in the Visually Impaired Men’s field. Our class is getting stronger, faster and more competitive. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out.
Congratulations to Jose, Thibaut, and their guides for an outstanding race. It’s an absolute honor and pleasure to share the podium with such strong athletes.
Thank you to my entire USA Paratriathlon team for believing in me and always pushing me to get better. Thank you especially to my coach Derick Williamson for never wavering in his conviction that I would one day very soon stand atop a podium and for continuing to ensure that I keep an eye on continual improvement. This isn’t the end, it’s only a beginning.
Thank you to Aaron Scheidies for paving the way in the US and wearing that target of being the best Visually Impaired Triathlete for your entire career. You still motivate me to keep pushing myself and working to get better.
Finally, thank you to my good friend and guide Zack Goodman. Bro, we finally did it! Thank you for being a stellar guide and always making sure I give my very best at every race.

Last but not least, thank you to you my #eyeronvision family for your unwavering and continual support. You are all amazing and I always feel the strength and positive vibes you send. Until the next race 🙂

As always, Keep an “Eye On Your Vision!”

World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama Results
1. Kyle Coon, USA, 0:59:45
2. Jose Luis Garcia Serrano, ESP, 0:59:54
3. Thibaut Rigaudeau, FRA, 1:00:34


Kyle Coon

Book Tracker 10

Halfway to a Goal

Book Tracking 10

Taking Point
By Brent Gleeson

There’s something satisfying about reaching the halfway point of a goal you set for yourself. I’ll admit I’ve been bad about writing up reports and posting them the last few weeks. You’ll notice though that I through together a few quick reports and observations of books I finished and posted them this weekend. Well, I finished yet another book just last night.

This book was referenced in one of the other books I just read, Embracing the Suck. Brent Gleeson actually wrote Taking Point first. Since I enjoyed Embracing the Suck I figured why not read his first book.

Taking Point is all about helping leaders in companies/organizations lead their employees through change. Gleeson lays out 10 principles that he learned in his time with the Navy Seals and through his own business ventures and guides leaders on some best practices and suggestions on how to navigate change.

A couple things stand out to me. The first is the title of the book. Taking Point, which basically means “Lead!” So this book is focused on people who want to lead. This is reinforced throughout the book as Brent references how leaders are not managers. Leaders have to have a vision but more importantly communicate that vision.

The biggest theme throughout the book that I came away with was communication is key. After that is discipline and then resilience. All of these fall into my own theories of leadership which makes me think I’m on the right path. Granted this is an over simplification, but I do think that clear communication is struggling to surface in today’s environment. I myself struggle communicating clearly with my team members and especially those I’m close with. So this reminds me of an area I need to improve upon. Additionally, I can always become more disciplined and through discipline I can continue to learn resilience. In short, improvise, adapt, overcome… Damn, guess dad’s been right my whole life.

Book Tracking 9

Book Tracking 9

The Perfect Mile
By Neal Bascomb

This was a fascinating read for me being an athlete. Everyone knows that Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier in 1954 and that precipitated many others running under 4 minutes for the mile. Most famously John Landy broke the 4 minute barrier just six or seven weeks after Bannister. This book follows the journeys of Bannister, Landy and a third runner who I’d never heard of (Wes Santee) as they all strove to be the first to go under 4 minutes. It details their different training approaches, how they all competed at the 1952 Olympics and all had very disappointing races which spurred them on to do better in their athletic endeavors.
Bascomb does a masterful job of weaving a tale of each runner’s pursuit of the 4 minute mile culminating with Bannister breaking the barrier first, then Landy doing it just six weeks later. He also describes the struggles that Wes Santee had on his route to trying to go under 4 minutes and how he kept bumping up against outside barriers such as the Amateur Athletic Union, and racing for his University.
What struck me most about this book is how different and similar each man’s approach was. Bannister took an extremely scientific approach to his training and used his own medical studies to test theories on himself to figure out the best methods of training. He eventually did seek a coach’s input but not until five or six months before he broke the 4 minute mile.
Landy started out being coached but moved away from being coached after he learned a ton from observing and having conversations with some of the most famous Finnish runners at the 1952 Olympics. Landy moved toward a volume based approach mixed with lots of interval sets. His approach was run for personal accomplishment.
Santee’s running was entirely guided by his high school and then college coach. Santee was definitely the most outspoken, and dare I say arrogant of the three men. On the other hand he ran on behalf of his college team which didn’t permit him to solely focus on breaking the 4 minute mile until the last couple of months of college when he was embroiled in scandals and legal battles with the AAU. I got the impression that Santee was so full of himself that he failed to communicate clearly with certain competitors who actually tried to help him. In one of his last races when he tried to break the 4 minute mile, a competitor came around him and tried to pull him to the 100m to go mark but Santee thought he was starting his kick and so Santee didn’t want to risk losing so he launched a sprint costing him the 4 minute mile by less than 1sec. If he had just stayed on the shoulder of the competitor and kicked 100m later than he did, he very possibly could’ve broken the 4 minute mile. But I get where Santee’s head was at. It’s really hard to see someone move into the lead and not immediately counter the attack because you’re afraid you won’t have the kick you need.

A story related in this book that I’d never heard before was about how Bannister and Landy had an epic show down at the Empire Games (which I assume are now the Commonwealth Games). Bannister had broken the 4 minute barrier, then Landy, and six weeks after Landy ran sub 4, the two met head-to-head and ran an incredible race against each other. The race showed their contrasting styles of running and displayed the importance of even pacing, tactics, and having extreme fitness. Both men planned their race, raced their plan, and ran what equated to a near perfect mile. Both ran sub 4 at that meet, but you’ll have to google or read the book to find out who won the head-to-head 🙂

Most of all I came away with a deep respect for all three men profiled in this book. It’s really incredible what they all did and tried to do using various methods. They were all certainly naturally gifted but put in tons of hard work in order to achieve what they did. I can take a little of each man/athlete and implement what they did into my own understanding of what it means to be a competitor and to reach my highest potential.

Book Tracking 8

Book Tracking 8

Embrace The Suck
By Brent Gleeson

Hey, another business book written by a navy seal extolling the values of hard work, no pain no gain, and relating lessons from the battlefield to the board room… Bla, bra, bra? Maybe, but I’m a sucker for military guys who translate their military success to business success. Maybe that’s because my biggest mentor, my dad, took what he learned in a short six year military career and translated that to learning under others and then propelled himself to a massive business success.
Navy seals have become so renowned for their exploits, whether we’re talking about David Goggins, or Admiral William McGraven, Jocco Willing, etc. every single one of them has something to teach us and have valuable insights into what it takes to succeed. This book essentially tells us that a path to success exists in embracing the suck, or as my friend and mentor Erik Weihenmayer would put it, embracing adversity.
It’s not a new message and definitely one I embrace, but also one I need to be reminded of regularly especially when my own training is not going so well. Just the other week I had to remind myself of this book’s core message as my guide Andy and I ran hard at or near my 5k race effort on a cold and windy day. As we jogged during the cool down Andy reminded me that I needed to relish every single training condition thrown at me. Hot and humid, awesome; cold, wet and windy, bring it on; the worse the conditions the happier I needed to be because I could thrive in that environment. Anyone can perform in ideal conditions, it’s those who can still perform in the toughest of circumstances that rise to the top.
That’s essentially the core message of Embrace The Suck. Adversity makes us stronger.

Book Tracking 7

Book Tracking 7

Business Made Simple
By Donald Miller

If you need an introduction to how business can work this is a great read. It gives clear, simple, and easy to follow explanations on various ways on how a business works. One of my biggest take aways from this read was Miller’s comparisons between a business and an airplane. His analogy of a business being like an airplane is very powerful and allows you to easily form a picture in your mind on how various aspects of a business work together.
For example, you have the body of the plane, wings, engines, fuel, passengers, and the pilot. The body of the plane is analogous to the overhead of the company (expenses the company has to operate). Then there’s the wings which give the plane lift which is analogous to the company’s products/services. Through in the engines of the plane which are the marketing and sales arms of a business. Sometimes you can have one engine where sales and marketing are under one umbrella, sometimes it’s better to have them as two separate engines working together. Then you have the fuel which is essentially the cashflow of the business, the passengers (customers), and the pilot who flies the plane (the business leadership directing the company where to go).
You can easily see how each one of these components are critical to success. Miller takes you through the entire breakdown of a business and simple ways to implement sales funnels, marketing strategies, product development, etc.
For me, I did get some out of this book, but much of it is stuff I’ve been learning through other books and through learning from businesspeople in my life and through my own experiences. I do enjoy a different way to think about a business though. I’m always interested to see how people compare things, such as a business to an airplane. To me this gives me more tools to my toolbox to think differently.
This book is full of many business and motivational cliches, but what business book isn’t these days.

Sarasota Showdown

Sarasota Showdown
USA Paratriathlon Invitational
March 14, 2021
Sarasota, Fla
750m Swim, 20k Bike, 5K Run

*This Race Report contains strong language.

“Aaron’s the gold standard and I need to measure where I’m at.”
“You’re strong so just go kick some fucking ass!”
“How the fuck did they leave you off the national team?”
“Go fucking throw down and show the world that you’re here.”

One year earlier I was coming off a herniated disk in my low back and was only a month removed from hand surgery after a 25lb dumbbell landed on my hand in the gym. I’d been ready to throw down and earn my spot in the driver’s seat to represent Team USA at the Paralympics for Paratriathlon. Then COVID19 swept across the world and upended life as we knew it.
After months of lockdown and uncertainty we finally returned to full-time training. It took a while to get my groove back and for much of the remainder of 2020 I listlessly plodded through my workouts. Sure I could still throw down some decent bike power and there were some glimpses of speed in the water and on the run.
I went home to spend time with my family over Christmas and New Year’s and returned to the training center the first week of January. I knew my first race of the year would be in Sarasota. Whether that race would count for Paralympic and/or World Ranking points was uncertain, but I knew it would count in my mind and depending on who decided to turn up and race it would count in the minds of everyone watching. So I made a commitment to focus on the process and to throw down. Fortunately for me my fellow resident teammates Howie Sanborn and Jamie Brown had moved on campus and were both committed to getting back to their best. Hailey and Melissa both also seemed hyper focused upon all of our return to training together. A shift seemed to be occurring on the resident team where we were all holding each other more accountable while being incredibly supportive. Every day we each showed up to train and pushed each other. We encouraged each other, and lifted each other a little higher with every swim stroke, pedal revolution and running stride. Before we knew it, it was time to travel to Sarasota to see what each of us was capable of doing.

The St. Pete Shit Show
I stepped out of the shower into an inch of Luke warm water. “What the fuck!” Flew from my mouth. I must be very incompetent at showering. I immediately began mopping up the water that I thought was just by the shower. But as I moved toward the door to the rest of the house we’d rented my concern and frustration grew. The water extended all the way to the door and out into the hall. I began to really worry. What was going on. I called to Howie and Noah who were tinkering with Howie’s hand cycle in the living area. Noah grabbed the rest of the towels we had in the house and tossed them my way. I mopped up and rung out the towels. Mopped up and rung out. Mopped out and rung out. Mopped up and rung out. Then Andy came out of his room and asked what was going on. He peaked into the bathroom. “Oh shit, that’s coming from the toilet.”
Since I had the pleasure of already being drenched in what we now knew as toilet/shit water Andy talked me through shutting off the water to the toilet. Even though I shut the water off it kept on coming. I continued mopping up with sopping wet towels as Howie worked to get hold of our Airbnb host to request a Plummer.

We’d arrived on Wednesday night and as we pulled up to the house Howie received a message from the host letting him know that one of the two toilets was out of order but the second toilet worked great and both showers were working. We walked into the house and while the floors were clean it was pretty evident that this house had been misrepresented on Airbnb. The walls and ceiling weren’t very clean, several outlets were hanging out of the walls, the TV still had a sticker on it, the box for the microwave was stashed behind the couch. Then standing at the kitchen sink we could look directly through a window into the back bedroom. Not exactly the most private for whoever got that room. Oh well, we could make do. Sure only having one toilet for four athletic dudes wasn’t ideal but we’d all stayed in worse before.
We’d chosen to stay in st. Petersburgh, Fla because our fellow teammates had rented a house not far from here and we all wanted to stick together and do some training together and be able to hang out both pre and post race. Sure we’d have to drive 45min to get to Sarasota on Sunday morning but it was worth it to us.
Thursday and Friday passed with little issues except for us occasionally joking about how we didn’t think the Airbnb was worth what we were paying for it. We were also slowly breaking Andy out of his shell. Andy Potts had been training with us for a few months now and while he was a great guy and athlete we really hadn’t cracked through to his personality yet. After two full days with us nutcases we realized the we’d broken Andy and he was flinging insults, making wisecracks, and fitting right in.

Friday afternoon we spent tinkering with bikes, putting on new tubes and tires, and doing general tune ups. Melissa came over to hang out with us for a while and did an excellent job cooking us all up a few Bubba Burgers on the stove. We were bummed that the grilled that had been advertised was nonexistent, but Bubbas still taste great on the stove.
After Melissa left is when the shit hit the fan with the bathroom flooding.

I’d been able to sop up the majority of the water and discovered that the cocking on one side of the base of our one working toilet was gone. So now we had no working toilet. Howie had finally gotten hold of Airbnb who’d gotten hold of the host and we were promised a Plummer would arrive at 1:00 AM. It was going on midnight and Howie offered to wait up. The rest of us went to bed.

I was awoken by the sound of someone hammering on the doorbell at 7:00 AM. I stumbled to the front door making it there the same time Andy did. We greeted the “plummer” (term used extremely loosely) and invited him to come check out the toilet… After of course insisting he return to his truck to put on a mask. He walked in, stepped directly on the bath mat we’d bought and stuck in front of the door of the bathroom to stem the flow. I cringed at the squelch of a thoroughly soaked bathmat of toilet water. The “Plummer flushed the toilet and said he needed to go to Home Depot. Then Andy asked him to come take a look at the second toilet. Hey, this guy was here maybe he’d be able to fix both toilets so we could have two working toilets rather than no working toilets. As soon as Andy and the gentleman stepped into the second bathroom Andy began gagging. Sewage had pushed its way up through the shower and flooded the second shower. Howie immediately jumped online and booked us a hotel. There was no way we were going to stay in this house with sewage backing up into one of the showers.

The Plummer disappeared for a bit to go get his supplies and returned to try and fix everything. Meanwhile, Andy and I took off on an easy spin to loosen our legs, after all we had to race the next day.
When we returned the plummer, who we were now expecting was more of a handyman friend who owed the Airbnb host a favor claimed he’d fixed the first toilet and was now snaking the second bathroom. We began moving our stuff to the cars. The handyman was up on the roof and insisted Andy go check the second bathroom to see how things were progressing. Andy, being a nice guy, did. He came out and let everyone know that the situation was even worse. Sewage was still coming up through the shower. We were all done with this shit show and ready to get away from this house.

Packet Pik Up and Course Preview
We moved our gear into an extended stay hotel and then hit the road to Sarasota so we could pick up our packets and do a quick preview of the run course.

We arrived at Nathan Benderson Park around 3:30 PM. Andy and I immediately bumped into Aaron Scheidies and Greg Billington (2016 Paralympian, who would be guiding Aaron for this race). We exchanged pleasantries and wished each other luck for the next day’s race. As we walked away Andy told me in an undertone, “Aaron looks very fit. He came to race.”
“Bring it on,” I said.

We headed out to jog the run course and talk race strategy. Then we collected our race packets and headed back to St. Pete and our significantly better extended stay hotel.

Race Day
“It’s fucking race day1 It’s game time! Are you ready?”
Andy was practically spitting with excitement as he pummeled my shoulders in transition before the race. As we walked past Howie, Andy got right up in Howie’s face and did the same thing. Then turning around he pumped up Melissa, Hailey and Jamie in turn. What was going on? We were all jazzed but when you’ve got Andy Potts getting in your face pumping you up you can’t help but get even more amped. You’d have thought Andy was about to race in Kona he was so jazzed and excited. And that excitement and “Game On” attitude infected the entire Paratriathlon Resident team. We were all ready to throw down.

The Swim
We stepped out onto the pontoon. The first wave of Paratriathletes went off at 11:00 AM. This wave consisted of the PTS2, PTS 3, PTS 4, and PTS 5 men. One minute later the PTS 2-5 women took off. Then Andy and I lowered ourselves into the cool water. Aaron (guided by Greg) and Owen (guided by Ryan) would begin chasing me 3 minutes and 21 seconds after I started. Small benefit of being totally blind I guess. Even so I’d never beaten Aaron in a race. Aaron had never actually ever lost to a fellow visually impaired American. Could I do the unthinkable? Something that had never been done before?
The horn sounded and I charged ahead. Andy, swimming to my left, was so jazzed he nearly ramped it up too much and was on track to go to his swim race pace before he remembered that despite my progress I can’t swim 1min per 100m… But we corrected and began getting in sync with each other. I’d been swimming well coming into this race but today felt different. Every time my hand entered the water I had no trouble getting a vertical forearm and catching the water. I was able to generate smooth and powerful strokes. I remembered the words of my coach, Derick Williamson, “Smooth, steady and strong.” I didn’t try to hammer the swim, I didn’t try to swim easy, I just swam and focused on breathing and pushing as much water behind me as possible. I felt us pass by one of the women that had started ahead of us. Then on the back half of the swim I felt us come up on the feet of someone else. Then we were past them, and then we passed a third person. WTF, what was going on? Either some people were having really tough swims or I was having the swim of my life. Turns out it was the ladder.
I felt my hands hit the sandy ramp which signified our swim exit. I popper up and Andy immediately ripped off the tether and jumped to my right side. We sprinted up the ramp and into Transition 1.
Swim Time: 11min 6sec

Transition 1
As I ran I yanked down the zipper of my sleeveless wetsuit. Initially I had a bit of trouble getting it down to around my waist but eventually was able to free both arms. Andy led me to the bike and I ripped my wetsuit the rest of the way down to my ankles. Of course, my wetsuit got hung up on my heels and I had to spend a few extra seconds prying the wetsuit off. Then I chucked the wetsuit, swim cap and goggles into the baskets where all of our discarded gear is supposed to go. Then it was on with my blacked out sunglasses, Giro Aerohead helmet, and cycling shoes. We grabbed the bike and ran to the mount line. We threw our right legs over the top tube, clipped in and took off.
Transition 1 Time: 1min 13sec

The Bike
It took a few pedal strokes to get up to speed but once we were up to race power and effort we settled in. We quickly made our way to the only technical part of the bike course, a tight 180 degree lefthand turn. We’d spun easy in the morning prior to the race and ridden around this turn two or three times, but riding easy around a turn and taking it at speed are very different. Andy took our first go at this turn a little cautiously. We came out of the turn and quickly powered up to speed again. I felt so good. I was cruising. My legs felt so fresh and I just wanted to hammer, but I knew I had to keep focused and stay within myself. This race wasn’t going to be decided on the bike. It was going to come down to how fast I could run.
Andy smoothly navigated the course. We kept ramping up our effort on each lap. As we came out of each 180 I consumed a good amount of fluid. I was trying a new drink mix that Andy gave me. It was an Infinite Nutrition Bike Blend with caffeine. It was easy to drink and wasn’t upsetting my stomach, not yet at least.
There were only two hairy moments on the bike. During the second lap the back end became a little squirrelly and Andy had me stop pedaling so he could look back and assess. He was worried we had a flat tire. After a few seconds though we resumed pedaling. We think some debris just made our back end wobble a bit. Then on the third lap we came out of the 180 turn and I began to throw down some power. Maybe a little too much because it caused us to swerve a bit and very nearly eat pavement. Andy kept the bike upright though and we continued.
As we approached the end of the bike we passed my teammate, PTS4 competitor Jamie Brown. Jamie gave us a yell of encouragement, and after giving us the appropriate 10m drafting zone began trying to match our pace. We were flying. Jamie later told me that he was so jazzed and pumped up to see us come past him he couldn’t help but become reinvigorated to race and continue to extend his gap on his competitors.
Before I knew it Andy was telling me “left shoe” signaling to me to unstrap my left shoe and pull my foot out. Then a few pedal strokes more and pull the right foot out. We made the final turn on the bike course and Andy gave me the count down. “3, 2, 1, dismount.” I popped off and we began running with the bike.
Bike time: 26min 25sec

Transition 2
We sprinted to our spot in transition. As of yet we hadn’t seen Aaron or Owen since the very start. I knew I had to be quick in T2 though because both of them could run like the wind. I fumbled with my shoes and had to take a couple deep breaths to center myself. Finally, my shoes slid on to my feet, I grabbed the run tether, yanked it over my head and Andy was there to run next to me as we headed toward the run course.
Transition 2 Time: 58sec

The Run
“Stay focused. Don’t go out too fast. Descend this run,” I told myself. We took a hard right hand turn, then a left and we were out on the run. I took a deep breath in through my nose letting my belly fill up with oxygen. Then I forcefully released it. Andy kept telling me “relax, chin down, show the bottom of your foot, roll with it.”
We made our way onto the first of three little foot bridges we’d have to cross. These bridges would be the only elevation gain on the run. In previous years running up these crushed me. Today I was feeling good. My legs felt lighter than they ever had coming off the bike. It took a ton of self control not to just start sprinting and throwing down the gauntlet. I knew that if I wanted to run the run I was capable of running I had to be patient and execute the plan. And Andy was sticking to the plan. Several times he’d tell me to back it off to pick it up. We wanted to run a conservative first mile. We hit the first mile in 6min 7sec. Then we began to turn up the heat. We made it off the last bridge and onto a flat dead straight stretch that would bring us out to the 5K turnaround point.
At this point we were running into a headwind. We hit the turnaround and the air seemed to just stand still. I went from hearing the wind blasting in my ears and the breeze having a cooling effect to a very hot and humid day where I was trying to run 6min miles. My breathing rate seemed to double, I suddenly felt the sweat pouring off my face and body. My legs felt heavy and I just knew that Aaron would be there when I turned around. In my head I was saying “There’s no way you’ve been running at a 6min pace. Aaron’s got to be just behind you and Andy’s been lying about the run pace.”
Andy had a calm head though and I think he could tell I was beginning to struggle. He reminded me to relax, to let myself flow, to not become mechanical. We ran for 30sec, then a minute. Where was Aaron? Then he was there running toward us with Greg.
“Here they come,” Andy said. “You knew Aaron was going to come to race. So don’t give him anything. Look strong. Stay focused. You’ve got this!”
We passed each other and once we were out of ear shot Andy said, “You’ve got a 2min 40sec gap.” I couldn’t believe it. That knowledge gave me a boost. I began really pushing myself to go even faster. I knew that 2:40 gap could shrink in the blink of an eye if I let off the gas. Aaron’s been racing a long time and is probably the best blind/visually impaired triathlete in history. I knew he could turn the jets on and close a gap to anyone in the world. If I wanted to hold onto this lead I’d have to turn myself inside out to do it.
As we ran we began passing people in the opposite direction. We saw Owen and his guide Ryan looking ridiculously strong as they chased Aaron and Greg. Jamie Brown running strong. Then my teammate Hailey Danz. As we passed Hailey gave her trademark phrase “Fuck yeah Kyle!!!” Hailey and I are swim buddies in the pool. We pace off each other and push each other to dig deeper. We’d both made major jumps in our triathlon fitness the past two years and had both made significant strides in closing the gaps on our competitors. Hailey could see I had a massive lead on Aaron and she was stoked. Just a short 30sec later we saw our teammate Melissa Stockwell who yelled with excitement and encouragement to see our gap not just holding but growing. Then female BVI compatriot Liz Baker and her guide Jillian Elliott. We made it onto one of the bridges and Andy continued to push me.
“Come on Kyle, don’t let off the gas. Bring it up! Bring it up!” He was almost begging me to give a little more. I pumped my arms, kicked my legs behind me and forcibly exhaled. We made the final turn and hit the finisher shoot. Andy yelled at me to sprint and I did. I sprinted hard begging the finish line to come to me faster. Then we were there and I heard the announcer say that I was the first to cross the finish line in the men’s PTVI class. I couldn’t believe my ears. I grabbed Andy in a massive bear hug and held on, yes because I was excited and grateful that Andy had pushed me to my limit and helped me execute the race we knew I was capable of, but also to prevent myself from collapsing and hitting the ground too hard from exhaustion.
Run Time: 18min 38sec
Total Time: 58min 18sec

The Aftermath
I sank to the ground and stayed there on my elbows and knees trying to catch my breath as I listened to the music at the finish line and the excitement of the crowd that was there. After a minute Andy encouraged me to get up. “Don’t let your competitors see you on the ground. Stand up and be strong.”
I got slowly to my feet and we made our way to the side of the finisher shoot. Then we saw Jamie Brown make his final turn and come running into the finish line to claim his first win since July of 2019. He came to us and we bear hugged. “Fucking awesome bro!” He said. We all stepped out of the finish area and waited. Where was Aaron? After a couple of minutes we saw Aaron and Greg make the turn and run into the finish line. Less than two minutes later Owen and Ryan came in to round out the podium.
After a few minutes we were right back at the side of the race course eagerly awaiting our next teammates to cross. Hailey came across to win the PTS2 female race with Melissa hot on her heels to claim Silver. Not long after that Howie blazed across the finish line to claim his first victory since 2017. Across the board the USA Paratriathlon Resident Team dominated, more important than that to each of us though was that we were all just as excited for each others wins as we were for our own.
Each of my teammates came up to me after they’d caught their breath, gave me huge hugs and congratulations and I did the same for them. We’d all jelled as a team and the culture our coach had bred in us and our willingness to embrace that culture of supportiveness, camaraderie, and excellence brought us to these heights. What’s most exciting though is that none of think we’ve even touched our potential. Yes, we all crushed our races. Yes, we all overcame massive obstacles on our way to our first wins in 2021, but we still have a long way to go. We’re keeping an eye on our vision. Our vision is for us all to replicate Sarasota at each race, but especially Tokyo.
We don’t know when we’ll race again, possibly May, possibly later. What we do know is that we will all be there ready to rock and roll.

Thank you to my team for believing in me every step of the way. Thank you to my family for understanding the dedication it takes to compete to be one of the best blind/visually impaired triathletes in the world. Thank you to USA Triathlon for believing in me enough to give me the tools to succeed and for having the vision to develop this USA Paratriathlon Invitational race Series to allow us to compete. Thank you to my coach Derick Williamson for taking me from where I was to where I am, we’re not done yet and he believes we can get even faster. Thank you to my incredible partners, Bubba Burger and Cycles Chinook for your unwavering support on my journey. Thank you Andy Potts for guiding me, pushing me to new heights, for being an incredible mentor and coach as well as my eyes. And thank you to all of you, the #eyeronvision family. I hope you enjoy these race reports. I hope you’re able to make it out to a race some time soon. I hope reading about my adventures reminds you to keep an eye on your own vision and to live your life without limits.

Until the next time.

Remember to always keep an Eye On Your Vision!


USA Paratriathlon Invitational PTVI Men Results:

  1. Kyle Coon/Andy Potts: 58min 18sec
    2.Aaron Scheidies/Greg Billington: 1hr 1min 48sec
    3.Owen Cravens/Ryan Giuliano: 1hr 3min 12sec

Thanks for the great race gentlemen! Can’t wait to toe the start line with you all again!

Kyle Coon