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Stacee Strickland

1) Give us some background information. Where are you from? Tell us about your family. Tell us about your profession/work. Share your hobbies/passions/interests.
stacee familyI was born and raised in San Diego, CA (birth place of triathlon).  I went to college at Vanguard University in Orange County (CA) and then moved to Spring Hill, TN in May 2008 for a job internship. I fell in love with this state and decided to make it home. My parents and grandmother still live in San Diego, while the rest of the family is spread across the mid-west. I have 2 biological nieces (one more little one on the way soon), but I have about a gazillion spiritual nieces and nephews at my church. The Bible says that the Lord takes the lonely and places them in family- I’m “all alone” here in TN, but I’ve been placed in an amazing family! I work for a production company called in:ciite media based in Franklin. My main role there is lead (and only) video editor. I’m in charge of all things production. I actually just got done working on a project with the Duck Commander people (you know… Duck Dynasty?) Passions… let’s see… that’s not hard at all! I’m passionate about Jesus!! He is my everything, and without Him, I couldn’t do anything! Everything I do stems from my relationship with Him. I’m passionate about people. I have been and am loved deeply by the Lord, and in response, I love people deeply. My greatest desire is to serve the Lord and serve people. I get to do that through a number of things in which I love- photography (portraits, weddings, etc.), coaching- I coach high school Ultimate Frisbee- yes you read that correct, Ultimate Frisbee! I’ve also traveled the world doing sports camps during 2 different summers- Think VBS meets sports. I did it for 9 weeks one summer and 9 more weeks another summer- lived out of one carry on sized duffle for those 9 weeks. Let’s see, some of my other passions/interests are: BASEBALL!!!!! I love me some baseball! My favorite team is the San Diego Padres (which, with the off season deals we made, it looks like we might actually have a chance this year) J but if my Padres aren’t on, I will watch any team except the Yankees… I’m sorry, if you are a Yankees fan, we can’t be friends. I’m also passionate about helping people get healthy, so I will go do (almost) anything that someone suggests (hiking, racquetball, white water rafting, bowling, skeet shooting… – I will not go sky-diving- don’t even think about inviting me! 😉 I love the Navy (I’m a navy brat- practically grew up on base), I love puzzles, I really enjoy movies too… especially while I’m stuck inside on the trainer..

2) What is one fun fact about you?
I’ve played on a professional German soccer team. Remember how I said I traveled the world doing sports camps? Well, one of my stops was in Germany. Due to something getting lost in translation, the person who was helping us with our itinerary in country, somehow got the impression that instead of us coming to do sports camps (soccer mainly) for kids, he thought WE WERE A PROFESSIONAL AMERICAN SOCCER TEAM… so he set us up in all sorts of tournaments! Once we got it figured out, we still had to play in the tournaments, but we got to join one of the German pro teams, so we didn’t get completely demolished… Oh, and better yet, they put me in as keeper! SAY WHAT?!?! Enroute to one of our tournaments, there was a major crash on the autobahn, stopping traffic for hours, so we got out and kicked the ball around- playing soccer on the fastest highway in Germany- crazy!!

stacee 23) How did you get interested in triathlons and/or endurance sports? When did you start training for triathlons/endurance races? Which race was your first triathlon/endurance race and where was it?
I got introduced to triathlon in 2010 by a friend who said: “you’re athletic, I think you might like this…” At that point, I had never ridden more than 8 miles (maybe), I had not swam since my sophomore year of high school, and if I didn’t have a basketball in my hand, or going from base to base in softball- I didn’t run. I digress… So I borrowed a bike-yeah, all I had at the time was a 8 year old mountain bike, and started “training”.. I really didn’t even have a training plan… My first race was Cedars of Lebanon, and I STRUGGLED through it! I think I finished in like 2:15/2:30… but for some reason I was hooked.  I know what it was- I’m an athlete and wanted to do better! I became addicted (plus, we get pretty cool SWAG).

4) Which of the following is your strongest and weakest discipline and why: swimming, biking or running?
Running is my weakest, I think because it is the hardest on my body. I think it is a toss up between biking and swimming as my strongest- Biking use to be my strongest, but I’ve worked really hard on improving my swim, so it has crept up there…

5) What obstacles, if any, have you overcome in order to train for and race in triathlons and/or endurance sports?
I tend to get injured. A LOT. So every time I start training for another race, at some point I have to overcome some sort of injury. Seriously… Of the 5 tris, and countless 5k/10ks, I don’t think there is ONE that I haven’t had some sort of injury. (maybe someone in this group can help me figure out why?) I’m just like any other athlete… I have the mind stamina to push through almost any pain that is thrown at me… The problem I am running into is that now, it takes me longer to recover from injury. To quote a Toby Keith song: “my body says you can’t do this {girl}, but my pride says… oh yes you can!” So I keep on, keeping on!

6) What is your most memorable/favorite triathlon or endurance race and why?Stacee 1
Even though I only did 2 races, 2014 was just a memorable season… Rev3 Knoxville (May) was the first Oly I did, I trained with Team in Training for that one, and so I was racing for more than just myself. I carried the picture of my friend Caleb, a 3x leukemia survivor, on one shoulder, and a picture of my cousin Robin, who lost his battle with leukemia, on the other shoulder. It’s also memorable because I did it with a torn Meniscus, so that impacted my speed. I really hadn’t trained for the running leg, but on race day, I surprisingly was able to run 4 miles without stopping- WHAT A SHOCK!!! And at that point, I didn’t care if I hurt my knee more, because I was going in for surgery 2 days later… Also, about 18 miles into the bike, both of my quads started cramping, to the point that I couldn’t walk, nevermind pedaling! As I sat on the side of the road, in tears, I had to make a decision- get medical help and get DQ’d or get my butt back up and push through- again, I wasn’t racing for myself, so I got my butt up and pushed through! Needless to say, it was an emotional race for me.

TriRock, San Diego (sept.)- this was memorable/special to me because it was in my hometown, and it was the first time my family got to watch me race. That meant a lot to me… I also got second place in the Athena division- first time I’ve ever placed in a race- how cool to do it on my “home turf”

7) What races are you planning for/training for in 2015?
I’m planning on Music City Half marathon in April (this is my first half marathon). I’m doing a mud run at Camp Pendleton (in CA) in June, and I’d like to do Music City sprint again, and maybe one other race, although I’m not sure which one. I’d love to do Augusta half, but I don’t think I’ll be able to swing that one.

8) What’s one piece of equipment/gear that you can’t live without?
I’d have to say my Garmin. My first few years of triathlon, I didn’t really have any “gear”. I had my swimsuit and goggles, a bike and running shoes. I still don’t have much, but I’ve upgraded my bike, and I’ve added my garmin. I LOVE being able to see my pace during my runs. It motivates me like nothing else!

9) How long have you been a BEAT member? Why did you join BEAT and what is your favorite thing about the club?
Just under a year. I joined because I LOVED my time with TNT, but I wanted another outlet to train with people. I’m always looking for new ways to meet and get to know people! My favorite thing about the club is having people who are like-minded to do things with. You people “get me”!

10) If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner triathlete or endurance racer, what would it be?
DON’T BE A LONE RANGER!! Find good, solid people to surround yourself with. Find a couple people that will be there for you no matter what! You need people who have a good sense of when to encourage you, and when to push you. So many people think that triathlon is a “solo sport”. Sure, you can train by yourself, but there is strength in numbers. You need a good team around you, and that will challenge you to improve yourself. Plus, it’s easier to make it through your challenging times and more fun to celebrate your accomplishments with other people!!!!

11) Any last words for us?
“If you”re young, single and love Jesus, my number is 615-77……. just kidding… 😉  But seriously… Let’s ROCK our triathlon season!!! Whatever races you are doing, KICK BUTT!!! Like I said earlier, I may not be able to race in as many races as I would like, but you better believe I will be there supporting my BEAT TEAM MEMBERS!!!