Road to London, My Story – Steven Tenney

Wearing our nation’s colors has always been a dream of mine.
I first tried to qualify for the World Championships to be help in 2009 in Gold Coast Australia at the Olympic distance.  However at the USAT National Championships, I ended up on the outside looking in by just 45 seconds.

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I trained with new resolve the next season and successfully qualified to race in Budapest in September 2010.  Training and racing were proceeding very well until early June when deep breathing became painful.  There were other symptoms, but two weeks of doctors visits and tests failed to find the problem.  Nothing made sense.  I was a young, incredibly healthy athlete- other than the breathing part.  Then on June 25 a contrast CT scan finally showed extensive pulmonary emboli (clotting).  Both pulmonary arteries were about 90% blocked.  My thought process went to…clot…brain…dead…I’ll never see my two kids again.  It was terrifying.

Due to the prescribed blood thinners, I was no longer allowed to ride a bike- a fall could be fatal.  As a result, I withdrew from the Budapest championships and concentrated on recovery.  With hindsight, the PEs helped put life into focus.  Triathlon and training are important, but there are more important things in life that had not been getting the attention they deserve- first and foremost was my family, but there were other pursuits and passions that I needed to make space for.
My dream was still there.  So to keep life in better balance, I changed to the sprint distance.  It took more than a year to reach my prior abilities, and I continue to improve.  I qualified for Auckland, but deferred.  I then qualified for London.  My wife and I lived near Hyde Park 20 years ago and thought it would make for a wonderful family trip.  So on 13 September I will realize my life’s dream of wearing the colors at a World Championship.  I will put in my best effort, I will have fun, and I will appreciate the journey my family I have been on for the last three years.
Steven Tenney
Falmouth, Maine USA

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