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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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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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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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My Bed is taking me to Rio

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So here I am on a beautiful Friday night indoors staring in longing at my bed.  My eyes are sore, painful and tired, my legs ache and my stomach growls with hunger.  My email pings.  It’s my coach.  It reads like this, “Hope you’re feeling better.  We’re focusing on bricks from now to Rio.”  My heart somersaults and my stomach turns.  I flip open the drawer that contains my new USA Triathlon ‘Elite’ member card and turn it over in my suntanned hands.  So this is what being an elite athlete is all about.   It’s been exactly two years…

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The Best Race of our Lives

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I don’t know where to begin.  The month of sleepless nights and pre-race anxiety?  The daily torturous workouts from Coach Ray Kelly??  Or the feeling of standing on the podium and crying while the National Anthem played?  Or how about the feeling of flying past some of the fastest triathletes in the world on a blazing fast bike course?   Guide Lindsey and I had prepared in every possible way for this race, saving penny after penny to get ourselves down to Clermont Florida two weeks prior to test out our abilities on the new bike and to acclimate ourselves…

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