Colorado Athletes on Maui: Ryan McMullen

 

This is my 5th season in Xterra and this will be my 2nd trip to the World Championship. I qualified at Beaver Creek (3rd amateur overall) and at the Pan American Championship in Utah (3rd in age group). I have had a very rewarding season and I’m excited to cap things off in HI.

This is the 5 year benchmark of my racing and has had me reminiscing a lot lately. I started this journey with almost no experience in any of the disciplines of triathlon. I grew up riding BMX bikes around the neighborhood, I took a few swim lessons as a kid, and I ran cross country for a couple of years in high school to hang out with the girls. However, I have always had a strong drive to be active and for most of my life basketball was an outlet and a passion of mine. I poured myself into that sport and I’m very grateful for what it gave me in return, but basketball is tough on your body and eventually I had to look for another outlet. At the same time I was struggling with some old lifestyle habits that were essentially killing me both physically and emotionally.

 

 

The turning point for me was this very clear moment when I realized that my two little girls weren’t going to have their dad around for very much longer if I wasn’t willing to change who I was and what I was doing. So I started making some small positive changes and the momentum just grew, as did the void. Then I remember watching one of the nationally broadcasted Xterra shows and the seed was planted. With absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into, I quickly signed up for an off-road triathlon in Lakewood, CO called “Battle the Bear”. At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was 40 lbs. overweight, I could barely swim, I couldn’t seem to keep the rubber side of the bike down, and the run just flat out hurt; but I finished, and I found a new passion.

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