Coach Jess’s 2023 Endurance Exchange

When Coach Stacey asked all the Sonic Endurance coaches if they would be able to attend Endurance Exchange presented by Boa in the fall of 2022, I was about 7.5 months pregnant with my second boy.  Although there was a lot of uncertainty in my life, there was no way I wasn’t making it happen. Fast forward to January 2023, I was on a plane to Austin, Texas with my 11 week old and husband, committed to embracing the whole experience.

I am someone who totally loves the whole feel of a race weekend, the expo, the energy, the camaraderie, and Endurance Exchange delivered on all of those! The Endurance community can quickly become a small world, and I am a firm believer of surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals, and those will include you in their lives and the endurance exchange was exactly that.

My biggest takeaway from the week was something I already knew that USA Triathlon is working hard to reduce barriers to multi-sport. We all know that race entry fees, equipment, coaching, nutrition, swag etc. all cost money and adds up over the years. During the session about the USA Triathlon Foundation and the state of Youth Triathlon, I learned that PA/NJ will be the first region to receive a grant to help kids programs get up and running. Not only does this excite me because of the positive impact multi-sport has on my life, but the realization that our kids can grow up with that same experience is powerful. Multi-sport teaches confidence, discipline, community, inclusiveness, sportsmanship, goal setting, and that anything is possible when you work for it.

Here in Lansdale, we are fortunate to have the IRON Knights Triathlon, impacting over 1,600 kids and families each year. The more I am involved and learning about the behind the scenes of an event like this, the more I want to help make it happen for those families. The costs associated with racing, as well as time, transportation and training for the kids is a big commitment to parents. If USA Triathlon can bring awareness to new communities to embrace the sport and provide funds and resources to assist with those barriers, the future of triathlon is so, so bright.

This will be my 13th year in the endurance space, 3rd as a new mom. Balancing the Endurance Exchange sessions with feeding my son, and traveling with my husband Kevin, made me realize just how much of a family affair this lifestyle is. I love that my 3-year-old son is excited to come to “triathlon practice” again this spring, and that my husband is already planning logistics for my upcoming season. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be a part of the Sonic Endurance Team, and learn from an amazing group of coaches. I know that I am facing a challenging year of finding balance with my new family of 4, but I feel confident knowing that my community will lift me up when I need them.

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