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Please read Frances Hoffman’s triathlon testimonial for Endurance on 8th Health Centre below:

September 18, 2017 I competed alongside 400 Canadians and 3,000 triathletes in the ITU Age Group World Championships in Rotterdam!  The qualifying race was June 11 2016—that’s one year, three months and 7 days of lead-up and training with a singular goal in mind. Crazy! What’s even crazier is the feeling of when it’s all coming together and you know you’ve done everything you could to prepare!

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Training for the triathlon was challenging in more ways than the three disciplines: it was (of course) a physical challenge during the workouts; it was a mental challenge to stay positive and keep up my self confidence; and it was stressful to maintain balance in life while working full time, training what felt like full time and attempting to keep up-to-date in chores and relationships. One of the things I found helpful in removing stress and worry was Dr. Wendy’s nutrition plan. I could tell from my initial meeting with Dr. Wendy that she had a deep understanding of what athletes needed for caloric intake, macro requirements, and time-saving (yet tasty) recipes.

It is a challenge to eat well while in a foreign country, as well. Dr. Wendy helped in that area as well by brainstorming a list of foods to “buy vs bring” in the hopes of maintaining some semblance of regularity on the eating front the week while in the Netherlands.

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The days leading up to the race were cold and rainy; I was dreading the actual race day. Team Canada went for a bike ride the Wednesday/day after arriving around part of the racecourse. On one of the bridges, the wind was gusting so hard it blew a few of our teammates over. It was that bad. In fact, one of the ladies broke her wrist and was no longer able to race the Sunday.

Thankfully, Race Day was absolutely beautiful. I had to be at the race site for 5:00 and on a shuttle by 5:15 am. That’s early! Typically, I don’t sleep well the evening before the race. No one at the team hotel did that night, though. There was a wedding on the boat we were staying on (YEP! We were staying on a boat: the SS Rotterdam which — super cool fact – my stepmom who was also racing in the Grand Final had served as the resident doctor in 1997, 2 years before it was decommissioned as a cruise ship). I heard some people found the wedding noisy which is no good. I didn’t hear it. I DID, however, hear the fire alarm that one of the drunken guests pulled! Everyone had to get off the boat and wait around in the cold, windy weather until the go ahead to return to our cabins.

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So here we are… Triathlon Race day morning… It’s 12 degrees outside and 16 degrees in the water. Water is calm 🙂 I’ve got my wet suit on and I’m waiting in the corrals half an hour to wave start……… and I have to use the washroom! I have a nervous bladder and had postponed putting on my wetsuit for this very reason. Let me tell you, speaking of challenges, it is very challenging to go against 26 years of potty training and pee “inconspicuously” in your wetsuit in front of a massive group of athletes, family members, spectators, and volunteers….

The swim was very nice. It was one loop from one side of an inlet to another. The water was cold… but it was warmer than the air. The transition from swim to bike was long. The distance from exiting the water to the rear entrance of the bicycle transition, then down to your bike and out to the mount line was close to a full kilometre! The bike portion was very cool: a 40km loop of the neatest areas in the city. Rotterdam is amazing architecturally as the city was decimated during the war; after which, architects from all over the globe rebuilt the city. It seemed literally every building was defying some law of gravity. My run was FANTASTIC! A personal best! To be honest, I had no idea I could run that fast–and I swear I didn’t cut any corners! One thing was constantly running through my head that day and it advice one of my fellow teammates had said prior to me leaving “If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right!”. Ironically, I found comfort in the statement about pain. It was hurting… So I must be doing it right! 🙂

Crossing the finish line at the triathlon was a whoosh of accomplishment.  It is such a crazy feeling when what you have been working towards for a year comes to fruition. The best part was how all the hard work and social sacrifice felt like it paid off.  Now I am back and happy to be sleeping in my own bed, cooking my own food and have a new “off-season” nutrition plan that I love!

Thanks, Dr. Wendy, for your help in making my goals and for getting me closer to that “Zen State” we all shoot for.


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