VQ & You: Jennifer Neu

Deep down, I think I’ve always wanted to do a triathlon. I was afraid I couldn’t master swimming though. Over the years friends tried to teach me how to swim freestyle, but I could never get the hang of it. I was just a spazzy mess.

I turned my attention to doing my first marathon for my 30th birthday. That led to running marathons throughout my 30s. The year before I turned 40, I committed to doing something big to celebrate entering that new chapter of life. I settled on a half-Ironman--big and way out of my comfort zone. So in August 2016, I started swim lessons to learn freestyle. Somehow I managed it and wasn’t a hot mess in the water anymore.

As I was trying to figure out how to train for this big event, my neighbor suggested Vision Quest Coaching, having cycled with them for years. I took the free class (maybe my second time ever on the bike). Dave H and the VQ gang welcomed me with open arms and I was hooked. I spent the fall doing drop-in classes to get the hang of cycling.

In late December, I met with Robbie for a performance assessment and we talked about my goals and VQ. He urged me to get a coach to help me achieve my objective. I realized that if I wanted to do this, I needed to heed the advice of someone knowledgeable. It is the single best decision I have ever made.

So on January 1, 2017, I started with Kate as my coach on this journey. I had no clue if I could accomplish this, but jumped into the deep end with both feet. For the first two weeks, I thought Kate was trying to drown me with pool workouts. Soon regular swim classes began again and I started swimming with Andrea. I literally couldn’t swim more than 50 yards. After a month of gentle pushing, I was able to do full swim workouts!

Fast-forward six months and I completed my first triathlon ever! I got through it and felt great! I moved on to complete my first Olympic-distance triathlon and, while it didn’t go to plan, I had the VQ team to help figure out what went wrong and how to fix it for my next race.

I know I could not have accomplished all this without VQ. From having the best of the best to help guide me to asking all my dumbest questions of the most helpful and supportive members--who else would help me when I was getting stuck on a workout or noticed something I should change while I tried to figure out the right way? I love training now and spending time with all my newfound friends. They make training just plain fun! The other upside with VQ is losing 22 pounds and 28 inches overall.

Oh! And my This-Is-40 Goal changed to a full Ironman in October!