My Mentor

A year ago I was living in Hawaii. I had just returned from World Champs in Switzerland, and was on the disabled list. My sources of income were teaching bike safety to 4th graders and cooking at an Indian restaurant. Life was pretty good.

Kurt Hawaii was where I became interested in triathlon, or at least the training part. The first friend I met in Honolulu was a kid named Kurt Chambers. I walked into Island Triathlon & Bike (IT&B), which at the time was the only triathlon specific store on the island. Kurt was at the check out counter, and when I asked if there were any groups to train with he told me to join him with the Volcano Triathlon Team (VTT), which was loosely affiliated with University of Hawaii. I showed up the next week, and was shown some local riding routes, some hills, some running paths, and I met the people that became my closest friends in Hawaii. As for Kurt, he taught me a lot about triathlon. He did my first track workout with me, and introduced me to the "art" of living on practically nothing while still having a lot of fun (others have referred to this as "mooching" or simply being "cheap", but I would call them "frivolous").

The more I got to know Kurt, the more I realized how unique he is, and I wanted to find a way to show the world what they were missing out on. So when I returned from Switzerland, finding myself with more free time than I knew what to do with, I decided to team up with my friend Rory (former president of VTT) to make a documentary about Kurt. The result is only a small glimpse into the anomaly that is Kurt Chambers, but it did succeed in taking a snapshot of Honolulu’s triathlon community, and the people that make Hawaii a great place to visit, and a better place to live.

Here’s the video. It’s 12 minutes long, so I won’t blame you for coming back to it later. Look

closely, and you’ll see my coach, Dr. Mike, Chet "the Jet" Blanton (former record holder for most Ironman’s completed in one year – 27), and even a topless guy that looks remarkably like myself.

We made a bit of a mockery of the endeavor, but I really do appreciate Kurt for what he’s done for me. If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now. And that means a lot. Thanks Kurt.

If anyone living near me needs a mentor, I’d be happy to pass on the favor.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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