I’m writing from the living room of JJ Bailey in Des Moines Iowa. JJ was 3rd last year at USAT Nationals, won the Florida 70.3 this year with a new course record, and (I just found out) he holds the course record for Lifetime Fitness (over past amateurs like Andy Potts). There is a deer head hanging over the fireplace, which is next to a 50 inch plasma TV with more channels than hairs on my right leg (as an aside, first i wrote left leg, but after careful analysis, right seemed more accurate.) When I arrived Thursday I was subjected to a full length lecture on how to turn on the TV, before JJ darted off to work. Finding myself in somebody else’s house in a town I’ve never been to I quickly ran out of better ideas, and decided to take a nap. Then I put my bike together, ate, and slept again. I didn’t see JJ again until about 8:30 when he returned from a fund raiser. We drove the course, talked some story, and crashed. When I awoke, he was at work again. His schedule reminds me of how busy I was just a few days ago before finishing my finals, and I do not envy him at all. The few minutes we have spent together have been great. JJ is a cool guy, working at a company that makes the GMO crops, and coaches for zoom performance. I’d like go into more detail, but the man is so busy I have hardly seen him.

Sunday morning we will race the first annual Hy Vee Triathlon. Unfortunately, JJ is 32, so we won’t be in the same start wave. I’m pretty excited for the race. It’s hot and Humid here in Iowa, which will be a challenge for me, but I’m so excited to be done with finals that I feel like I could conquer the world. My stress level is flat lining.

It’s 9:30 on Friday night now, and JJ has not yet returned from his team’s carb loading dinner. I’m gong to figure out how to turn off the TV and head to bed. My host must think all I do is sleep, and I’m beginning to think all he does is work.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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