Steve Smith is our Athlete of the Week!
Steve’s fitness journey began with 14 years of Tae Kwon Do and Go Ju Ryu. He is a black belt and a brown belt, respectively. When his school closed, he looked around for a replacement activity, and raced PowerSprint 2009 on a lark. He put the hook in and started formal triathlon training with Endorphin Fitness.
This is Steve’s second round with EF. He trained here for a year in 2009 and returned in 2016. His previous coach left Richmond in 2016 and he knew that EF had a staff of high-quality personal coaches, as well as a strong group program. It was a great decision for Steve and he has not looked back. Kate Fisher is a great coach who has really helped him grow as an athlete.
Steve has raced Sprint, Olympic, and Half. He trained for Ironman 2014, but that didn’t go as planned. He likes each of these distances for different reasons, but if he had to pick, he’d take the Sprint. He says, “It’s a concentrated dose of multisports.”
While preparing for Ironman 2014, Steve injured his hamstring and it became a nagging, recurring problem. It got so bad that in winter 2015, he stopped running and planned a 2016 season focused on swimming. He made significant progress in his swim skills but wanted to return to racing triathlon.
In 2017, Kate and Steve worked hard on mobility and easing back into running. Unfortunately his first test at the Shamrock 5k did not go well, and afterwards he was diagnosed with a torn hamstring. While treating the tear with dry needling, Kate and Steve worked to keep his season together. Steve switched to aquabike and won that division at both PowerSprint and Robious Landing.
Steve is finishing up the winter program, but his bike strength has grown considerably over the winter and his overall fitness level is at a much better place than this time last year. This season Steve wants to build on his success with healthier legs. After lots more mobility and aqua jogging, Kate has Steve inching back to running. He’s cautiously optimistic that he will be able to complete a triathlon again, after an almost 3 year absence.
Steve’s favorite part about triathlon is the intensity. The sport demands that you keep your head in the game while being fatigued and executing. It is a delicate balance between awareness and performance and it reminds Steve of his days training karate.
Adhering to the terms of a hard workout when you’re not feeling it, can be a tough mental barrier. Endorphin Fitness has taught Steve to “Be More” by helping Steve break down the problem, dealing with each interval on its own terms.
When it comes to beginners, Steve says, “Don’t tear your hamstring… Perhaps another way to say this might be, listen to your body, and don’t be a hard-head. I might not have lost 3 seasons of racing if I had taken time to listen to mine.”