There and back again- A Triathletes tale

By Nick Vandermolen

            Being that it’s a new year and therefore a new me, I have decided like every other pro triathlete west of the Mississippi to write a blog. I am not much of a writer however; there is one mutual reason as to why anyone would write a blog in the first place. In order to reach an audience, through the magical mystical power of the Interweb!!!

This public diary I am about to dive into will not only give details about my triathlon quest I am currently on, but will also help me to share with family, friends, and anyone bored enough to read this blog what it’s really like living the life of a new professional triathlete in the game. As nice as it is driving around brand new corvettes and living in penthouse suites with the unfathomable financial contracts earned by professional athletes, unfortunately for triathlon the glamorous lifestyle of a pro triathlete is rudely mistaken. (I’m tempted to reach out to ESPN to do a volume 2 of the 30 for 30 “broke”, 94.8% are all broke in the game, stay tuned). But this is the life I have chosen! I have no regrets, I am a professional triathlete, I am truly living the dream, and THAT is why I want to share it with you guys.

(Peak of Mount Princeton, over 14,000 ft, adventure time baby!)

Because this is my first blog post I’ll take it back a few years now (unbelievable!) to my senior year of college, where I just started to gain interest in this painful sport they call triathlon. I had been a swimmer my whole life, competing collegiately at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY (Go Red Foxes!) I had just completed a solid college swimming career, setting a couple school records, throwing down some best times, and most importantly having a blast! (I like pool parties…) Post swimming career, I decided to have a go at running track for the Red Foxes. The track coach, Pete Colaizzo, great man great coach, gave me the opportunity to race with the foxes for a short period of time. In that short time I loved running with the bros, racing with the bros, and hanging out with the bros! Finding a new interest post swimming gave me a new adventure to work on that wasn’t just looking at a black line for endless hours. I was also pursuing a spot on a prestigious post college triathlon program, which in the end got rejected from. No worries you live and you learn right!

Running down a dream! How’s my form look?!

Swimming all four years in college, and than transitioning to running for a whole 6-week season before graduating from college left me in a stage of limbo. All of my peers either had full time jobs lined up in the city, or were busting their butts to get full time jobs post graduating. I had a small sense of failure when I opted to lifeguard at the beach for one more summer instead of joining the corporate work force (for the glory of the Manasquan guards!). Was I different? Did I fail at college because I didn’t have a job? The answer was yes and no. No I did not fail college (graduated with honors giddy up!) but yes I was completely different from my peers in the post college route I decided to take. After much time spent attempting to figure things out I decided to take the quest out west with the lifeguard savings I had in order to see what I could do in triathlon. Whether to work full time, or put work aside and chase the dream was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in my life (besides choosing between PB&J or PB&nutella!)

Since making the move out west to Colorado, my life has been training and work with some fun sprinkled in here and there (I like to party…). Training over 20 hours a week and working over 30 is a tall task, but I love it.

I love everything I do and enjoy everyday of the adventure I am on. Moving away from home gave me the sink or swim mentality which I am proud of not having to rely on anyone but myself to survive and thrive! Gotta man up baby!

All in all, with triathlon season just around the corner I thought I would let you know what some of my personal goals were for the 2017 season. 1- Start to become a player in both the US and international scene for triathlon. 2 Make a name for myself as well as getting onto the world-ranking list (badass). 3 Win any kind of money. And 4 to inspire anyone I can with the lifestyle I live and positive attitude I share. By showing people what I do, how I do it, how I have overcome diversity and still manage to smile as much as possible through setbacks and difficult times. So follow me on my adventure!

 I would love to hear from anyone and everyone reading this first blog post. How’d you like/dislike it? How I can improve? Any thoughts, concerns are greatly appreciated. Most of all I’d love to just catch up with YOU! For any one of my friends on the east coast, or in the world for that matter send me a message, give me a call, its been too long and that’s one of the whole reasons I’m writing this blog to begin with! I miss you all! Feel free to reach out anytime I’d seriously love to catch up!

To wrap things up. Bottom line is, I am doing big things out west! Stay tuned for anything going on you’re not going to want to miss it! Welcome to the show baby!

(First Pro race in the books, happy not to have crashed in the rainy conditions!)

Follow my road ahead

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