The number one question I get when I do triathlon gigs these days seems to be "What are you doing these days?" I was recently at the Clearwater 70.3 with Specialized promoting the new Transition TT machine which I must say is a true gem. We had a lot of curious cycling enthusiasts drop by the booth and for those who recognized me asked the question. I always respond with my generic "A little bit of this and that". It is a decent answer and quite true. For the past year I have been doing a lot of promotions for Specialized and Powerbar, coaching 5 athletes, working at triathlon camps in Tucson, Monaco, and Fuerteventura; yet, my number one activity has been aviation.
I have always wanted to be a pilot. I love to fly. Any chance I get to greet the pilots or observe what they are doing I take it. When I received my first big triathlon prize money paycheck from a 3rd place at the ITU World Long Course Champs in 1995 I used the money for an intro to flying flight at the Victoria airport. Unfortunately, the dumb ass instructor who took me up put the plane into a stall without telling me and I never went back. My dream of learning how to fly was killed by that one moron.
Last year when I retired from triathlon I had a lot of time to kill. I saw an add in the local paper advertising into flights. I decided to give it another shot. This time I had a guy who was patient and had a huge love for flying. What a difference - I was hooked.
18 months since that second intro flight and I am now a Commercial Float pilot.
I trained for flying the same way as I did for Ironman. I had many bad days while training in my search to be the best pilot I could be. It worked! I set a school record for my private pilot flight test and received a great mark on my commercial flight test.
I was a never a great student in school; yet, triathlon taught me that hard work with a focus to excel can be channeled into other avenues. Learning is not easy for me; but, working hard is.