Robert is one of the ATC shop employees and another former collegiate triathlete, bringing his experience from the Texas A&M Triathlon program to ATC. Like many others in the sport, he got into triathlon by way of high school running. As a high school cross country runner plagued by chronic knee injuries, his coach got him into triathlon after graduating as a way to cross train and stay healthy. In July of 2010, he did his first triathlon, a super sprint in the DFW area, and was hooked. In his own words:
Once I was in college, I joined the A&M program as a way to really get engaged with the sport and that’s where I really fell in love with it. The training, the racing, and most importantly, the amazing people you meet day in and day out through this community. I raced with A&M for all four years of college and served as the team’s president for the 2012-13 school year. While in school, I really learned what this sport can be for people. It’s an escape from day-to-day life, a way to stay healthy, a competitive outlet, and a social get-together all wrapped up into one activity. It even inspired my to change my degree to exercise physiology because I was so fascinated by the ways people lived and trained.
In the years since my collegiate racing days, I’ve been working as a personal trainer in North Austin as well as doing a little bit of coaching, helping usher others into the sport the way my coaches did for me. This sport (and fitness in general) has given so much to me and I figure this is the least I can do to give back. I’ve always been a better coach than athlete, and I love putting those skills to use every day when I go to work and seeing my clients and athletes improve day after day.
My favorite race: Really it’s a small local race outside the Austin area, the Marble Falls Triathlon. This is a small, no frills operation that has one of the best race directors I’ve ever worked with. It’s a great venue, great atmosphere, great director, and the best little race around!
My favorite distance: While I haven’t raced many of them in the past few years, I really like the Olympic distance. It’s what I was “raised on” in college as most of our big races were that distance. I love how it’s almost the perfect mix of raw speed and endurance where you have to toe that line of pushing everything you’ve got while holding juuuuust enough back to get you to the finish line.
As for my preferred discipline, I really love the bike. I’ve always been kind of naturally more gifted on two wheels more than in the water and on my feet and working at the shop has really fostered that love. One look in my garage and the first thing you see is a wall lined with bikes and frames… But I’m working on letting myself love the water more and more!
My favorite piece of tri gear… man that’s a hard one. I would say it’s my bike, but that’s kind of a gimmick and I wouldn’t even know WHICH bike to pick! So I’m going to say it’s a combination of my Garmin 920XT and my Vector 3 pedals. I bought the watch pretty soon after it came out as the follow-on to the 910 and have absolutely loved it. As a training tool, it’s second to none. Having the metrics for every aspect of racing and training right on your wrist is just so convenient and allows my to mull over data from workouts way longer than I probably should. The Vector pedals are a pretty new purchase for me, just getting them at the beginning of 2018, but man have they made a difference in the way I’m able to gauge my efforts on the bike!
What’s my favorite way to recover after a hard workout? Tacos. End of story. Load ’em up.
I’m excited to be a part of this great team and I look forward to all of our future success!