We are all familiar with the term "Bucket List". Although the term has been around forever, it was recently popularized by the movie "The Bucket List" in 2007. It is an American comedy-drama, directed by Rob Reiner that starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. A great flick. If you remember it and you are like me, this movie likely moved you and made you cry like a baby. Yes it was a tear jerker. Following the movie, and after wiping my nose and eyes with a tissue, I decided to create my very own "Bucket List" focused largely on the sport of Triathlon. What I came up with on that day lead me down an incredible path. A path that ultimately lead me here, to Wildflower.
Tri-California Events, hosts the Wildflower Triathlon Festival, now in it's 31st year at Lake San Antonio near Bradley, California. The event is often described as the "Woodstock" of Triathlons is often a favorite of triathletes. This years event is sure to impress with a strong line up of professional athletes competing for podiums. This year, Wattie Ink's own Heather Jackson returns to compete for Top Female Spot and repeat what she accomplished here last year. In addition to Heather Jackson, the Wattie Ink Elite Team has almost 40 team members racing in various events. The Wildlfower Festival is held in a unique setting which almost forces racers to camp out on site. Couple this unique setting with a group this size camping and celebrating together, and you can easily understand how Wildflower can be such an appealing draw.
This year, I will be traveling with my coach Brendan Halpin. Brendan is a Professional Triathlete that works with The Cycling House based in Missoula, MT. The Cycling House hosts cyclists and triathletes at various training locations in the US and abroad. As this is a Bucket List trip, I wanted to pull out all the stops. The Cycling House is well known for creating life changing cycling vacations and they have done just that with Wildflower. We have rented a 30' RV and will have Chef Drew on hand to prepare our meals. As we are a small group, just Coach Brendan, Chef Drew, Myself and one other, I plan on being pampered pretty well each day. Chef Drew has been known to turn out some incredible meals and I am looking forward to pairing a few bottles of wine with each of them. Of course as a Wine Professional, I would be amiss if I weren't rolling with wine. I covered that base with fellow Wattie & Eurostar Chris Masilon. I also ensured we would have enough for the post race after party Saturday evening in order for our thirsty fellow Watties to enjoy. I did say it was a Bucket List trip.
As you can tell, I am pretty excited about this trip. This race marks my return to the sport after bi-lateral medial meniscus tears, sidelined me late last season. Two very successful surgeries, coupled with diligent and meticulous work with my Physical Therapist and my Coach, have allowed me to return pain free. I have learned so much about my body and although my speed is not quite back to what it once was, I have so much to be thankful for. As I am writing this post, I am reminded of just how many positive people I have met and how many positive experiences have occourred along the road to recovery. Much of the inspiration and commitment came from the support of my amazing teammates at Wattie Ink. Without their infectious passion and desire for triathlon I may not have faced my recovery as head on as I have.
To close this post.....wish me and all my Wattie Teammates racing Wildflower this Saturday a little bit of luck. I hope you will keep an eye out for my race recap to follow next week where I will comment on all the cool new products I am using this season. Until then #ROCKtheW!