Aaron Sherrick has been doing triathlons for nearly four years. Drawn into the sport by a coworker, he has found incredible enjoyment, personal reward and a great community in triathlon. Although not a competitive athlete in his youth, Aaron developed an interest in running a few years back.
A coworker friend encouraged him to take his running to a more competitive level and then convinced him to try cycling. The coworker lent Aaron his wife’s Specialized Allez. Once Aaron was on a road bike, he knew, “I had to get my own,” and he purchased a Specialized Tarmac.
With Aaron on the bike, the coworker persisted. “From there he said, ‘Since you run, and now you’ve got a bike, you should get into triathlons. All you need is to swim.’” That coworker was persistent and encouraging. “He started me in the right direction.”
After some modest training, Aaron entered his first sprint triathlon in Naperville. From a time perspective, Aaron did not do terribly well in his first outing, though he proudly declares, “Well, I completed it. It almost killed me.” In the end, Aaron got it done and had a lot of fun. He was hooked.
From there, Aaron got deeper and deeper into the sport. He began focusing on longer courses and took on a coach to help him develop his skills. He also started to find the course types that suit his strengths as an athlete. “Sprint triathlons are about powerful people. Longer courses involve serious endurance. That’s my body type. I’m not insanely fast. I am able to go at a steady pace for long periods.”
Aaron has found a sport that is very rewarding. He finds the training to be the most fulfilling part of the sport. “Training is the thing you do most in the sport of triathlons. It provides you a feeling of accomplishment. You push yourself further as the season progresses and the training program builds,” indicated Aaron. “After six months of training, you realize the increase in performance and what you achieve seemed impossible just six months prior. It is incredibly rewarding.” Aaron described his experience further, indicating, “The event is simply the celebration of your training. It is the capstone event.” For Aaron, the sport is the preparation.
While Aaron’s best leg of the three is the run, he likes cycling the most. “The bike is the most disciplined part of the three. If you do it wrong, it will kill your run. The run is the most exciting part. Comparatively, I’m also a faster runner than a cyclist. That is what I am working to improve.”
Aaron rides a Specialized Transition when he competes on the bike. “It is a fantastic bike. It is priced well and has an excellent groupo. It is technologically a very advanced bike. It is smooth, steady and controllable. Some TT bikes are so high strung and stiff, they get twitchy. The Transition is a really enjoyable ride.”
Aaron has now competed in four triathlons in a little over three years. His fifth competition is a major one, taking on the Madison Ironman in September. This will be his second year as an athlete in the event. His goal is to do better than last year. “Triathlons are the ultimate competition against yourself. Age group competitions are beyond me right now,” indicated Aaron. “I want to make better decisions on the course this year, do a faster bike and a faster run to get under the 12 hour mark. And less than 12 is even better.”
Aaron now has many people that approach him and show interest in this demanding sport. He tells them, “If you’re considering it, then you should do it. Give it a shot. Start with a sprint and see how you like it.” Aaron added, “The community is awesome. The events are fantastic. I’ve gotten so much out of it at a personal level, I’d like to see many more people have that experience.”
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