October Athlete of the Month 2011 - Danielle Raynor
Reddog AOTM, how do you feel about that?
Considering I’m still coming to grips with identifying the term ‘athlete’ with myself, it’s a bit surreal.
What attracted you to the sport of triathlon?
The ability to keep training in two other disciplines when injured in a third! Well, that’s how I first came into the sport anyway – tearing a calf and being told by the physio I couldn’t run for 6-8 weeks. But he said I could swim, or ride. I joined an adult swim squad that week and bought my first road bike that weekend. Since then, my attraction to the sport has grown and grown for a number of reasons. I love being involved in a community of like-minded people with similar goals, within the context of a training and racing environment where there are always new challenges, always new things to try, and always variety on offer which I think I would miss if committed to just a mono sport. I also love the intensity of triathlon. I heard someone once refer to it as a ‘grueling’ sport and at times I can definitely resonate with that.
If you were Reddog coach for the week, what would you do differently?
Include a Sunday session (summer only!) which involves riding to the Gold Coast, an ocean swim, and riding back. Heaven!
Least favourite session and why?
Core. I know it’s good for me, I know I have to do it, but…
If you had one wish, what would it be?
It’s utopian and idealistic, but I’d love a world where EVERYONE rides EVERYWHERE – where the roads become the main thoroughfare for bikes with a car lane reserved for parents with young babies, the elderly, the sick and injured, and emergency vehicles. There would be some pretty radical effects on our health system which I think is a mess because people are so sedentary and just don’t take responsibility for their health, overburdening a system that it designed in the first instance to treat the symptoms of sickness and disease, not prevent it.
I lived in a town in northern Holland for 3 months when I was in high school where cycling was the predominant form of transport. It was strange riding up to a set of mini traffic lights at head height for a bike, watching the stream of bike-only traffic going past, and then continuing on when the lights turned green! It was in the middle of their winter but it is such an indoctrinated thing to ride instead of drive, it was never even considered to get in the car unless you were going to a completely different city or town hours away. It was inspiring and invigorating to the human spirit!
Favourite motivational quote?
“At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly becomes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had been turned on. At that moment you have the conviction that you contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precious moment in life than this, the white moment, and you will work very hard for years just to taste it again.” (Yuri Vlasov)
What are your goals?
Hopefully Auckland 2012 and following up shortly afterwards with a half IM and then a full. And probably an off-road tri at some point, too. And maybe an ultra marathon in future years to come.
Who would be your ideal training partner?
GB for riding (he refuses to even entertain my dummy spits!), Les for running (Mr Mountain Goat himself – ONE day I’ll be able to keep up), and my friend Paul for swimming (ditto – ONE day I’ll be able to keep up, too).