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Adversity is my Super Power

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  I’m sure I’ve never been more nervous or felt more pressure going into a race.  2017 was a challenging year of disappointing race results and no Team USA funding to race in the US or internationally.  I managed to have a great spokesperson agreement that paid for most of mine and my guides’ training and travel, but that would run out in September, and I was on my own to put up the results needed to qualify to receive any team financial assistance and to qualify for World Championships in Rotterdam. Last year I needed to win the CAMTRI…

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Celebrating the “Can”

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I had a one woman epic pity party this week.  I didn’t send out any invites, didn’t make any food, and my poor guide dog laid there in concerned silence, probably wondering to himself, “when do we get to go to the park and throw the ball like we do every day after she trains?  And BOY, I guess she really must like that couch a lot.” For all of the wonderful things I’ve proved to myself, my family, friends, and the world that I CAN do as a blind woman, I still can’t help but occasionally get frustrated with…

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Blind Chick Traincation UK Edition

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  Blind Chicks Traincation 2016 UK Edition   What do triathletes do in the ‘off season’ you might ask. Some might take a vacation to a non-sporty island or throw in a ski trip or hop on a plane to see family they’ve missed throughout the year. When that’s over, we focus on building up our weaknesses as athletes, and for me, that’s my brain, my swim, and my strength. So, once I got some good strength training sessions in at home, and a good chat with my sports psychologist, I booked my flight to London to go visit my…

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Golden Therapy in Mexico

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Some Like it Hot- Mexico delivers The text went something like this.  “Hey Christy, I’m looking for a fast guide for Aquathlon World Championships on 9/17.  Interested?”  Within seconds, “Yes!  Is it a sprint?  How will I ever fill Susanne’s shoes?  What’s your Run pace?  Yikes!”  And with that, our adventure began.  Two and a half weeks later, we met at Cancun airport, ready to tackle our first time together as guide and athlete, and our first career Aquathlon (Run, swim, Run race). Missing out on Rio selection is hard to describe adequately in words.  Suffice to say that it…

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Guiding at the Pinnacle of Sport

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I have been blessed this year to have former ITU pro, Ironman Kona Masters Champion, and USA Triathlon Master’s Athlete of the Year Susanne Davis, a mom of two and a wife, be my race guide.  We have traveled the country together for camps, races, training sessions and media obligations.  She put going back to Kona to the World Championships on HOLD for me this year to allow me to qualify and go to the Rio Paralympic Games.  Next year she will be back on her training plan for Kona, and with her husband’s new job, less likely to be…

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Cobblestones and Crashes- World Championships 2016

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“This is nuts!” I said as guide Susanne Davis and I looked at the bike course map.  “160 turns in 20K?  Is that even possible?”   “Apparently they managed.  Holy cow.  This is going to be insane.  Fun, but insane.” “Oh, don’t you worry Dixon.  I’ve got this,” Susanne smiled.  “We are going to ROCK this course.”  I gulped and went back to studying the Rotterdam World Championships map. Rotterdam was a lovely city.  Not as picturesque or grand as Amsterdam, but with many adorable outdoor cafes and a vibrant feel to the downtown area we were staying in.  For a…

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Rio- The best thing I’ve ever done?

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I’m sitting here alone in my apartment, confined and imprisoned with anxiety.  It’s less than 24 hours before my fate is decided.  Will I be a Paralympian?  Am I going to Rio?  The IOC and the ITU will determine tomorrow the final 17 slots to be distributed between 3 male and 3 female Paratriathlon categories.  This distribution is based on rankings, record and the number of slots allowed per country, which is 2.  In the blind female category, there are already two American women who have qualified.  While my ranking is #6 in the world, and I have won two…

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Japan for the WIN!

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I stood beside Guide Susanne on the magnificent blue carpet, surveying the vast Yokohama Harbor all around us.  Thousands of spectators, photographers, officials, coaches and athletes lined the barricades to my left.  I couldn’t believe we were actually here.  As they announced my name and resume over the loudspeaker, my squirrel brain started to unravel.  “What if I start coughing in the swim?  What if we get a flat tire?  Will it be hot on the run?”  All the doubts bubbled up through my nervous stomach, as the past two weeks of bronchitis left me feeling rather depleted and less…

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The Road to Rio has climbs and descents

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‘Season’s Greetings from your long lost blind triathlete!  I’m out here in the hills of San Diego California preparing for my final qualifier for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.  My race is being held in Sarasota Florida at the CAMTRI Continental Cup against the top blind athletes from North and South America.  It’s been a whirlwind ‘post season’ since World Championships in Chicago, where I finished in 7th place.  I was blessed to finish up the year with enough points to remain the #6 blind female triathlete in the world, with a solid win at a World Cup in Edmonton…

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Edmonton Equals Gold- or is that COLD?

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As any good coach or athlete will tell you, there is one rule of thumb to live by when preparing for a major race.  “Nothing new on race day” means not trying out the latest electrolyte beverage, energy gel, new bike, food, new shorts or ANYTHING that could derail months and months of training.  So, as a blind athlete who requires a guide (a sighted athlete who runs, bikes and swims in tandem with me), you can imagine my sheer panic when I had to change guides 10 days before my most anticipated race of 2016.  One thing that living…

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