From 2007-2010, I was a member of the UCLA Triathlon Team, coached by Gareth Thomas at the time. I was honored to be on scholarship with the team from fall 2008 to spring 2010. The scholarship program was born much-owing to Gareth’s personal vision and excitement for the development of collegiate triathlon. He not only devoted his time, energy, and heart to our entire team, but also set aside valuable time to give the scholarship athletes some much-needed and much-appreciated attention and coaching. He set up special pool times to record and critique our swimming strokes, drove us to bike fittings, and even took us for bike time trials where he video-taped and advised us in our cycling technique. The wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained under coach Gareth is something that I consider extremely invaluable, and I am very grateful for his guidance.
|2009, Trainer Drama- Hollywood is contagious
|2009, UCLA Tri Awards Banquet|
While it is rare for a coach to invest in his/her athletes outside of the athletic arena, I have been fortunate enough to know Gareth as a friend, apart from our training sessions and lab tests. He inspires me through his belief in people (athletes or otherwise), attention to detail, and dedication to his many passions in life. In 2011, a year after I graduated from UCLA and had been removed from the triathlon “scene”, I came to Gareth’s personal recording studio with a song that I wished to record, asking if he might be able to help out. Not only did he generously offer up his time and recording equipment, but he went above and beyond my expectations to help me revise and craft my song, spending many precious hours brainstorming, editing, and laboring for perfection.
- Quit competing (at least for a while), and limit my inner triathlete to sparse, random “training” for recreational and weekend warrior-type efforts.
- Call for reinforcement (aka. Get help, preferably from a top-notch coach).
The former would not seem so difficult for most people, and actually seems refreshing and relieving, probably. But, the issue with me is that I have a deep passion for sport, and my current itch, which began in my days as a Bruin, is for triathlon. I have felt for a long time a confidence that God has purposely given me this passion and placed me in the triathlon community for now until He takes away either my passion or ability to compete.
Thank you, Gareth, for your friendship, expertise, support, encouragement, and belief. I am looking forward to 2013!