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Collegiate Nationals: A Look Back at Something Special
I could still feel the heat baking down on me with my mind shouting at me that my body was wavering though I had tried to conserve energy on the bike. Then the Tech boys started shouting, “GO EDIE,” and with a jolt I was shocked back into the present. Even though my mind was telling me I had only fumes left in the tank, my body still had the heart to push and I was loving every minute of wearing the maroon and orange colors!
The past four years have been something special. It’s been a week since Collegiate Nationals in Tempe, Ariz., and I had sat down several times to write a race report, but ended up just staring at a blank screen. How you can you sum up the majestic feeling, that special something that makes up the past four years of collegiate triathlon that has been your life (combined with school of course). I had been very lucky when I first transferred to Virginia Tech in that I was welcomed with open arms into the Tech Triathlon Team and the Blacksburg community.
The past two years at Alabama has been as unique and amazing an experience with the Tech Team as the first time I experienced Collegiate Nationals.
Even though this is just one weekend, it morphs and expands into something more, something special. A team is formed with a goal to represent their college/university at nationals, but along the way you have potlucks, training camps, bonfires, car wash fundraisers, relationships, century rides, book hunts, Biker’s Ball (formal attire joined with the cycling team for a fun night of bowling), team meetings, lake swims, Tour De Wine bike ride, more training, midnight runs, and of course ice cream eating contests against the Cycling Club. You form friendships and new experiences that will last you a lifetime through the collective motivation of ordinary college students who together become extraordinary.
As the final chapter of the allure of Collegiate Nationals closes a new chapter opens in my life. I’ll be leaving the Hokie team and will be pursing my profession as a future registered dietitian. My internship starts in August in Pittsburgh and though I will be leaving Blacksburg community, I will forever be a part of the Hokie Nation and thankful for being able to have the privilege to be healthy and able to join another community, the Collegiate Nationals community.
I’m nervous and excited to venture out on the new roads, pools, and trails that I can find in Pittsburgh. Though my life will be filled with clinical rotations and projects, I will still be training for triathlons. My surroundings are being completely turned upside down, the triathlon aspect though will always be strong with me (wish me luck at Age Group Nationals in August!).