Michelle Mark - Member Profile

Michelle Mark, aka Mighty Mom (we all know who is Super Mom) just recently joined Leading Edge and just started triathlon. Being a busy Mom to a toddler, she has a lot on her plate so only has time to enter and win a few triathlons here and there or do well enough to garner 2nd in 25-29 at Nationals in Kelowna and qualify for the Xterra Worlds in Maui in her first XTERRA Race, which was the recent Nationals Championships in Whistler. She loves all the new training she does with Leading Edge and all the new experiences, such as the skewers coming out of the dropouts on the club TT. The Time Crunched Triathlete. Indeed.

Where are you from?

I am from Toronto......actually Scarborough (its like the Surrey of Toronto, but worse)

What is your profession?

I've had a lot of jobs in the past few years. Most recently I was an RN but then I had a baby and have been a FT mom for 14 months now and am not in a rush to get 'back' to work, I am loving every single day of this 'job'. And no, I am not the nanny.

What is your passion?

I love being outdoors... love mountain biking, trail running, hiking, camping, snowboarding, anything outside and preferably far far away from cars and busy, busy city life. I am slowly adjusting to road biking and battling with traffic... although; one big plus is that there are no bears on the road. I love being able to train with my son in the Chariot. I have just recently began bringing him trail riding with the chariot and we are both loving ripping through the trails with him in tow.

I am slowly falling in love with swimming too, after my little panic attack in Sooke (my first open water tri) I have been putting in as much time as possible at the pool. I am still waiting for a chariot-type design to drag my son with me, but for now the aquatic centre child minding will do.

Oh and I nearly forgot, I LOVE DOGS. I love my first baby Jada, she is a three year old boxer. I am hoping to get another lil guy (a border terrier) this Fall just to mix things up a bit!

How did you get into Triathlon?

I won the Iron Knee trail race and they gave me a $100 gift certificate to NSA. So I bought a swimsuit because I didn't need any running stuff. I read the label at home, Zoot, and looked it up and saw it was a triathlon suit and some pretty inspiring athlete photos.

It got me thinking so I went back to the store a few days later and saw the wetsuits and asked the clerk how I could get into triathlon. She told me to join a group, so I joined Leading Edge the next week... I got a road bike for my birthday on June 24 and that is when I started training for the first time. Point Grey was my first triathlon. 2011

What is your sports background?

I have been involved in several sports semi seriously. I was on every single team in high school (except the ones you had to wear skirts for: tennis, lacrosse and field hockey). I played baseball for 20 years then transitioned to wimpy softball in BC and despised it.

Hockey for a good ten years or so and I still lace up here and there. Muay thai... loved muay thai but couldn't afford to have concussions when in school, plus my back was getting scary muscles, not so hot, so gave it up after a while. I ran track and cross country at UBC for a few years (2001-2004/5) but gave it up in my last year of school to move to Whistler and pursue my love of snowboarding (rode every single day of the worst season Whistler has ever had).

Then I fell in love with down hill mountain biking in the summer until I broke my ankle and picked up golf and started playing 36 holes a day, minimum. (Attention readers, are you seeing a pattern here? Ed)

Then I took off to Mexico and Indonesia to master surfing .... and since then I have dabbled in a few of the previously mentioned sports but mainly focused on downhill biking and leisure running/ aka jogging. I picked up cross country biking when I was pregnant because it was a bit safer and tend to ride more xc now because it feels less risky when I'm on my own.

And now triathlon. I think that triathlon will stick because there are three different activities to do and less chance of getting bored. So far I have not tired of it in the least. I just need to master the organizational aspect (not a strong point for me) and maximize my use of little time.

What have been your most memorable sports experiences and why?

Playing hockey in Maple Leaf Gardens for the Toronto Catholic Elementary school championships when I was 13, although they made me change in the janitor’s closet because I was the only girl (definitely a sore point of that memory). ‘

Or pitching off the mound in the Sky Dome (now Roger’s centre) during a pitching camp with a group of professional baseball players (All females) was a pretty spectacular feeling (I had no idea it was SO high!)

I didn’t enjoy track very much in University. I found races very stressful and don’t remember having any fun at all. But this year I did a few trail races and smiled the whole time. They were so much fun! The x-terra in Whistler was the pinnacle of fun. Once I dropped my road bike and started training on my xc bike for the few weeks before the race I really started to have fun. That race was amazing, I hope to do many, many more x-terra’s in my life.

What are your goals for 2011 and 2012?

I want to really work on my swim and bike (doesn’t everyone?) I want to make a functional training schedule that allows me to improve but doesn’t impede my role as a partner, mother and dog owner. I want my family to come to races with me and for the weekend to NOT be ALL about triathlons, to make them fun and about being outdoors and camping. I want to master sleeping in a campervan before races and the organization that it takes to feel rested and prepared in the morning. I don’t want to be too serious

Who are/were your sports heroes?

Argh, I hate this question. I don't have any sports heroes. I am a doer not a watcher. I have never followed any sports and I don't watch TV. But I do take little bits of inspiration from lots of different people.

Usually it’s whatever sport I am involved in and the people who are around me, or the people I see at competitions/races. So in triathlon thus far I want to swim like Stephanie Kieffer (this is a ten year goal :), I want to run like the elite ladies I saw in Kelowna (easy 34 min 10ks, no prob), I want to mountain bike like Melanie McQuaid (she won the Whistler x-terra) and be as pumped as Sarah Brown is... in racing and training and life! My biggest triathlon inspiration is Danelle Kabush, who I don’t even know but have read some of her writing about being a pro triathlete and a mother to two toddlers, her facebook page Athlete Moms gave me the encouragement to get out and try training for a triathlon.

But my biggest heroes are the club members I have met that have been doing triathlons for five, ten, fifteen years! I am inspired by their commitment to training, how they have made it a part of their lives.

What do club members not know about you? Are you the new girl the boys fear getting chicked by?

A lot. I'm new! No one knows anything about me.

Um…I am half Chinese, half Irish