Life Changing Experience – an athlete’s thoughts.
The heading may sound a bit melodramatic but having Chris (www.verinesvelo.com) as a coach has changed not just my attitude to what I can achieve in sport but has changed many facets of my life, I trust his advice totally and we have become great friends. Before meeting Chris I had run a few marathons and two ultra marathons and felt pretty hardcore until I marshalled at the inaugural Ironman Wales… I was in awe of the rubber clad masses swarming into the water, totally impressed by the distance cycled and amazed anyone could run a marathon afterwards. I had to become an Ironman…
The only problem was I couldn’t swim, and not your usual “I can’t swim I can only do 50 lengths”, I couldn’t swim. I tried at least 4 IM coaches who refused to take on a non-swimmer before I got a text from Chris who had been given my number by one of those who turned me down. We met up, discussed my goals and commitment to the goals and he agreed to take me on. In our first session I did about 10 metres doggy paddle before realising I suffer anxiety attacks in the water, which is why I probably didn’t swim.
This didn’t phase Chris and we went right back to basics and his positive attitude always left me determined not to let him down. It was a very difficult journey for me learning to swim but Chris’ drive and belief in me kept pushing me on. I didn’t own a bike either but soon started cycling with Chris and found that much easier!!! Running now seemed really easy.
It took almost two years, hundreds of anxiety attacks and lots of picking me up after set-backs, but together we did it and I completed IM Wales in an unbelievable 12 hours and 1min, although Chris killed me for not going 11.59!!! I still don’t believe I can swim 2.4 miles in the sea…I have stuck at triathlon and completed the Outlaw Long Distance Triathlon and have entered the Brutal Extreme Triathlon for 2016. My running times have dramatically improved and my marathon time is down from 3.51 to 3.11 and I will do sub 3.00 before I’m 45 (13 months left!!!).
Chris is such a positive person and a joy to be involved with as are all his clients, they have now become great friends and we often train and compete as a team and like the odd night out when coach isn’t looking. Chris is always available for support and is always at the forefront of new methods and technologies. The toughest run I ever did was with Chris when we run 28 miles a day for three days running the entire Pembrokeshire Coastal Path!!! I got free advice the whole way round 🙂
I don’t give recommendations lightly but I would recommend Chris every day of the week.
Simon Tippett – South Wales, UK
2 thoughts on “Life Changing Experience – an athlete’s thoughts.”
Really enjoyed reading this testimony and firstly congratulations Simon for sticking with it and overcoming your fear of water!
I’m sure you will continue to amaze yourself on future achievements with Chris’s support, as I have not only the pleasure of knowing Chris but fortunate to have spent time with him. Whether that has been on the way to a race where Chris has detoured out of the way on a long journey to pick me up when my travel plans derailed or time at 24 hour mountain bike events or track meetings. What can I say to keep this short……Positive, knowledgeable, trust, support, highly skilled, attention to detail, focused, dedicated……..the list goes on and I believe Simon you covered these and more. Chris is someone that can aspire those around him and support you through your realistic goals to achieve your very best. Not only a great athlete himself but a coach that any athlete would appreciate having. Look no further if you need a coach….Chris I wish you and all your clients the very best in all your future endeavors…Mick
Mick, thanks so much for your kind words. I hope life is treating you well on the other side of the pond?