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A Welcome Change of Plans

By Kyla Chapman | July 03, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

You know the saying, “the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry”? Well, that basically sums up my flight experiences in the past week to and from races across the country and the continent. I had missed flights re-routed to double my flight time, and I had flights canceled with complicated re-booking itineraries. These plans were carefully laid and they quickly came unraveled with a few delays/cancellations. In fact, I had to make a complete change to my race schedule when my flight to Boston was canceled due to storms.

It’s really easy to get upset when these kinds of things happen, but during my short time as a triathlete I have quickly learned that things rarely happen as planned whether it involves travel, training, or racing. I also believe that things happen for a reason, so when my flight to the Cohasset Triathlon in the Boston area was canceled I knew that rather than get super mentally and physically fatigued trying to get there I would just reschedule another race in its place.

I stayed in my local area and raced a local sprint triathlon. The local race had served as my first triathlon last summer and so I was looking forward to seeing just how much I had improved during my past year of training. More than gauging my improvement, I was looking forward to seeing all the familiar triathlete faces that I hadn’t seen in the past six months since being at the OTC. Triathlon is such a unique sport because it fosters close relationships with the people you are racing against. Often times, you end up training with your local “competition” throughout the season and so you become friends with the people you toe the line with.

Fellow Collegiate Recruit Justin Roeder and I both live in Indianapolis, and it just so happened that we were visiting home from the OTC during the same weeks. He and I both showed up on race morning to surprise all of our local triathlon friends and challenge them to a little duel. We both had very strong showings (minus my unfortunate tumble into the T2 dismount line), but the coolest part of the day was the outpouring of support from the local community. All of these people had seen us through our months of development as beginner triathletes and now they had the chance to see us after six months of full-time training as elite triathletes at the Olympic Training Center.

I know that the Indy tri folks were secretly happy that my flights were canceled. The race was so fun and the reunion with everyone was much-needed. Sometimes things don’t happen they way they were planned to, but if you keep a positive attitude and make the most of the situation you can end up with a surprisingly great opportunity.