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66 days until D-Day

Christian and his first triathlon medal

Recently, I was reminded by a colleague and 2018 Win4Youth Ambassador, that there are only 66 days until our big challenge — the Win4Youth Triathlon in Lanzarote, Spain. Ouch! So far and so close at the same time. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and hours —  clocking in over 2,700 km. I know it’s paying off. I see the improvement. But … will I be ready D-Day?

The question brings on a certain level of anxiety. Even if I’m doing everything right, I can’t know how I’ll perform until D-Day! So, I try to focus on the training and put the end result to the back of my mind. As of yet, the training camp in Belgium has been my highlight. Every time I think of the experience 3 words come to mind: strenuous, camaraderie and support.

Strenuous

Long days, lack of sleep and the time difference made it hard to get to the training camp in Ghent. Although during training camp I was proud to accomplish a new personal record on the 10 km — and enjoyed every aspect — I came back from Belgium exhausted. It was a wonderful and demanding experience. The multiple workshops, trainings and testing sessions paired with the commute and team dinners made for long days and short nights. But, it was all worth it because I came back with all the knowledge I needed to prepare for Lanzarote. Would I have liked a lighter schedule? Of course. Would I do it again? Without a doubt!

Christian and fellow Canadian Win4Youth Ambassador Anne Nguyen

Camaraderie

Because we don’t have the same background, the same level of fitness, or, the same goals, the challenges from one Ambassador to another varied. For some Ambassadors swimming in open water for the first time was (and still is) a big deal. For others, it was riding a bike or running their first 10 km. What I realized is that we all had a weakness, however, no matter how hard it gets, we’re in it together.

During the training camp — and since then — the Ambassadors, coaches and support team really bonded, helping to create a strong team spirit. We met people from around the world, exchanged tips and tricks, helped one other, shared meals and lodging, created friendships and cheered each another on.

North American Win4Youth team on the last night of training camp

Support

I could not dream of a better context to train for a first triathlon. The support we’ve gotten from The Adecco Foundation and the coaches from Energy Lab is simply put — amazing! From the equipment we received to the training tips and apps, and, regular follow-ups, we’ve received the guidance we need to ensure we’re prepared and supported at each step. These guys are pros and really know what they’re are doing, which comforts me to know I’m in good hands.

The next 66 days

Even with all the training I’ve put in, a great team and amazing support system, I’ve never felt like 66 days was a short timeframe! So, I know that I better put them to good use if I want to be fully ready for Lanzarote. On my radar I have a few sessions of open water swimming in the St-Lawrence river, 20 bike rides, 280 km of running and participating in the Quebec City Triathlon Olympic distance on September 23rd.

So now back to my original question; will I be ready for D-Day? If you ask my coach, he’ll say that I’ll be ready if I follow his guidance. For me, at this stage my only answer is that I know I’ll finish and probably relish in a sense of pride. Whether I’ll finish the way I intend can only be answered in 66 days — October 27th.  What I know for certain is that we Ambassadors share common goals: being prepared for the triathlon and making our colleagues and country proud. For all of us, the 2018 Win4Youth edition will be undeniably memorable. The people and team are what make this edition — and each one before — unique.

You can follow my journey on social media:

To know more about the Win4Youth program and start logging your kilometers and hours, click here. To discover the other Win4Youth Ambassadors and alumni, or to share your own adventure, use the #Win4Youth hashtag on social media.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

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