The Dimond Mine has a special place for Barb Cymanski. Not only does she graciously lend her son, Matt, to us to be Chief Engineer, but the entire Cymanski clan sends delicious goodies to the factory that tend to disappear in a matter of minutes. When you look at Barb’s race resume, it makes sense why Matt lives, eats and breathes bikes. Barb and her husband, John, have the dedication, work ethic and eagerness for continuous improvement that makes for excellent Ironman athletes.
For these reasons, Barb was enticed by Dimond’s inaugural spring training camp. The stars aligned when her traveling daughter would be in Tucson on the same dates and it coincided with her spring break. Plus, you don’t turn down TJ Tollakson when he makes a personal ask!
Naturally, the nerves hit her as she prepared for camp. It can seem intimidating when you hear you’re training with the big guns: Hillary, TJ and Maik!
“I was worried that there might not be any other females, or that everyone else would be absolute stud athletes. I emailed TJ about my worries and he told me that I would be fine, and that I should do as much as I could of each workout.”
She jetted off to Arizona to experience the thrills of Mt. Lemmon, the Cookie Cabin, and the infamous swim workouts of Hillary. Barb is racing Ironman Ohio 70.3 in July and she reports there is no doubt camp gave her the push she needed to kick her season off.
“ I feel confidence to go out and do long rides. I got some good advice from Hillary to work on in the pool… It was also great getting out on some climbs on the bike. We don’t have any sort of climbs like that in Ohio.”
Not only did Barb conquer Mt. Lemmon like a champ with over 6000 feet of climbing, but she did it on her first ride ever on a Dimond! As every person knows who has conquered the Lemmon climb, it’s a mental battle that has a sweet ending. Yes, you get rewarded with the Cookie Cabin, but the feeling of accomplishing something so grueling is better than any sugar-filled treat. Barb echoes this and says the beauty of the climb and the intense accomplishment was the most memorable part of camp.
The beauty of the Ironman circle is the camaraderie, friendships and memories that are formed. The base of these tend to be training camp. Being surrounded by other triathletes can be the breath of fresh inspiration you need to boost your training.
“It was great to get to know some really great triathletes, and see how hard they worked. I also have to say that it was so great to get to ride with Maik Twelseik every day. He is such a great rider, and yet so humble and so kind.”
So is a training camp worth it?
Barb’s answers sound like a resounding “Yes!” You don’t have to be placing in the top three of your age group or running earth-shattering marathon splits to attend a camp. Take it from Barb! She says to come in with some fitness and ability to ride your bike for a few hours at a time, but the encouragement and spirit of the other athletes takes you the rest of the way.
What are you waiting for? Keep March open in 2018 for Dimond’s 2nd annual training camp!