I've been lucky enough to play sports my entire life.  Through eighth grade it was soccer, flag football, baseball and in high school it shifted to become golf.  I was lucky enough to be pretty good at a lot of different sports but not especially good at one in particular (well, unless you count building legos!).  That all changed when I dove in headfirst with golf.  For me, it was the first sport where I could see the results from putting in the work.  Though I didn't recognize it as such at the time, this represented a big step forward in realizing that hard work pays off in time.

I was OBSESSIVE about golf (kind of like with triathlon now!).  For my first three years of high school it was practically all I thought about every day.  I'd come home from school and go play anywhere from nine to twenty seven holes in the "executive course" that was a short drive from home.  There weren't a ton of options for courses in New Orleans (where I grew up and still call "home" ultimately) but luckily my family spent a good deal of time at the beach in Gulf Shores, AL.  There were some very, very nice courses out that way and my first job was a cart boy at one of them the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of school.  The ultimate payment there was free playing privileges that whole summer.  Needless to say, I took advantage!

This trend continued through the end of junior year, at which point I was practically a scratch handicap on a very tough course.  I had been looking at schools where I felt I could make an impact with their golf program and even received an offer for scholarship from one school.  Then that summer (before my senior year) I participated in a month long, self-contained bike trip from Seattle, WA to San Francisco, CA.  Having never really ridden a bike before (I mean, I could ride a bike but didn't go on "bike rides" per se) this was quite the revelation.  We averaged 50 or so miles a day for 4 weeks and it was literally the best (or one of) experience of my life up until that point.  It was also the longest I had gone without playing the gentleman's game.  I got back from that trip and my desire to play golf quite literally disappeared.  From that point on I found a new love and it had two wheels.

My senior year of high school I spent the first half riding my bike a decent amount (don't really remember how much) but it was all on a Raleigh mountain bike with slick tires (the bike I had ridden on the trip) so I wasn't going particularly fast but I loved every minute of it.  I was breaking a lot of the rules but didn't realize it yet.  For my 18th birthday I received a Klein Q Carbon Team road bike (a bike that I still ride and race, 8+ years later!) and started getting a little more serious.  I still rode in a mix of spandex shorts and regular shorts with t-shirts and mountain bike pedals.  I don't really remember at what point I actually got real bike clothes and shoes, but it was sometime before college.

When I started at William and Mary I immediately found the cycling club and that's what I did through college (well that and TONS of intramural sports).  The road biking season began in late February and ended in April or May and for the first two years I participated in almost every weekend of racing.  I got to be pretty good but got a little bored and my junior year didn't ride or race quite as much.  I even stopped shaving my legs at one point (gross).  I got motivated again during Christmas of my senior year and raced again in 2007 but was never quite at the level I was during my sophomore year.

Upon graduation I spent the summer in Williamsburg doing a whole lot of no riding and then moved to Charlotte, NC to work for Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps (which I did for 2.5 years) and I ran a little bit that fall for the first time.  I posted a solid 19:30ish 5k then stopped running because I was crushed so bad!  In January I resolved to get back in shape and started taking running a little more seriously.  I ran a decent amount from January to April then I was convinced to start riding my bike again, which was a painful process.  At that point, the only thing left was to start swimming so - with great resistance - I began swimming in June or so of 2008.  At that point I started considering myself a triathlete and the rest is mostly history.  My first triathlon was in April of 2009 (half-ironman, DUMB!) and I've seen good progression since that point.