Article by Quintana Roo professional triathlete, Jocelyn McCauley
I started my first road to Kona in 2014 as a new mom, full time nurse, and IRONMAN athlete. I know that background, I know the "balance" or lack there of, I know the trade-offs and investments that have to be made for success in all areas of life. Back in my "part-time" athlete days I would train between 12-13 hours a week, early in the day, late at night, and long weekends. I was able to see success at that level, but we decided as a family to take it to the professional level.
I am now on my 4th "road to Kona." Each one has been slightly different as I’ve been a different athlete, my daughter has been in different stages of her life, and I’ve had different coaches. Even though the roads have all been different they have all required family investments, mostly of time.
I use the word investments instead of sacrifices because I believe that our family investments will give back something of greater worth. Sacrifice to me seems as though you won’t get anything in return for what you need to give up. I’m not just talking monetary return — I’m talking the example I’m able to set for my daughter, and the empowerment I’m able to give her through her seeing me actualize the dreams we have for triathlon. I also get to meet and help many others pursue and actualize their dreams.
Now, I’m not going to try to glorify and fanaticize my life. Like I said there are many, many investments we make for our triathlon dreams. There have been times that I talk with my fellow pros or see social media posts from them and think "oh I wish I could just relax after this session instead of turning into mom mode for car pool, gymnastics, play time, meal preps, homework, etc. etc." I’ve finished a swim session with fellow pros to then go straight to the kiddie pool to spend time with Emi and do something that she loves, but I’ve also realized that this helps me be more rounded. It helps me realize that triathlon may be close to everything to me right now, but it really isn’t everything life is about.
People ask how I balance all of this and truly there isn’t a balance daily, but I like to think there is a balance throughout the year/years. There are days when I train all day, come home at 5pm and am so tired all I want to do is read books together or watch a movie. I think it’s ok that this is the case at times, especially on our "road to Kona," as long as after Kona you give your time back to those who need it. Embrace your individual "road to Kona," realize that different dimensions to your life help you more than hurt you, enjoy the journey, and celebrate that finish line with those that have gone on this journey with you. See you at the end of our "roads to Kona."
Opportunity and wanderlust have taken this Ironman champ, Angela Naeth, to the new worlds of gravel racing and mountain biking. Nevertheless, triathlon is still a central driver for this pro. We chat with Angela to catch up on her whirlwind race season!
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