Team Margs

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers; the believers and the thinkers. But most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee


They say that teamwork makes the dream work – truth! I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without #teammargs!

I’m firmly on the train/work/study/eat/sleep/maintain some semblance of a social life merry-go-round, and while, as my mum likes to point out, all of this is my choice, I’m tired, on edge and while we’re at it, let’s throw in a little bit emotional into the mix too.

I haven’t skipped a beat in training. Despite living what feels like 400km from training sessions (swimming/Lady Bombs) this is the most consistent, motivated and dedicated I have ever been. Period. And while it’s all probably largely driven by fear – do I really belong in the company of world championship qualifiers? I’ve never been this driven in training.

Do I really belong in the company of world championship qualifiers?

This level of dedication and laser-like focus has made me realise just how important it is to surround yourself with good people if you want things to work. I’ve discovered that while this is a solo sport and it can get pretty lonely out there at times, it really does take teamwork to make the dream work.

It takes friends/family who understand you and your goals, who are patient and understanding (especially when you have the ‘hangries’ and you need to eat NOW!), friends that don’t mind it when you have to go home early because … training and who bring spare cycling vests to rides, knowing you will most likely forget to bring yours.

So, who makes up #teammargs? This might start sounding like a thank-you speech at The Academy Awards, but my list of peeps includes the following:

My family. And especially my mum, aka personal chef, nutrition guru, lycra-washer and who has turned into my biggest cheerleader and motivator: “Why didn’t you do your run? And you expect to do South Africa? Ha.” Thanks, mum.

My coach. It’s so important to work with a coach you know, trust and someone you can be completely honest with. I’ve known my coach for years! In fact, she was my coach when I first started in the sport so she knows me very well – what makes me tick, the excuses I’m prone to making, my strengths and weaknesses. She knows how to kick my butt into gear!

Friends make training rides easy … like a Sunday morning! Image credit: Marcin Baran

My friends. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve recently discovered just how little I know about bike maintenance and mechanics – what’s a rear derailleur? I know, terrible, right? I know how to change a tyre but that’s where it ends. Heck, I hardly ever even clean my bike (read: I never clean my bike … so bad, I know!) so asking me to change my cassette or chain is like asking someone who has never touched wool and knitting needles to knit a jumper. I’m incredibly grateful for friends who know about bike maintenance and mechanics, and who are willing to help out.

Training buddies. Friends who train together … make training so much more fun! Old and new, my training buddies have helped to keep me sane and happy; have pushed me and most importantly, have kept me accountable. They’ve been the difference between me rolling over and going back to sleep when the 20th alarm has gone off at crazy hours of the morning, and actually getting out of bed and getting to training. Plus, what’s better than banter with friends while climbing hills on a Sunday morning? Bliss.

Work peeps! None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the support of my work peeps. I’m pretty sure I drain everyone in the office on a regular basis with never-ending stories of weekend training adventures, crazy-early mornings and by my insane levels of – “Tired. Just tired.” Having a supportive work crew – peeps that have your back – is huge! (NB: does help that I work for a triathlon mag 🙂 )

Massage therapist. Yesterday, during my massage, my massage therapist asked: “So, when you get on the roller… oh hang on – do you get on the roller?” “But it’s so much easier just lying here … a roller takes effort,” was my reply. Anyone with me on this? Ha! I’m not big on stretching, rolling … or anything really after a big session because clearly I’m a lazy triathlete and, well … sleep (and food!). So, my massage therapist is like my #BFF! I couldn’t do this sport without regular massages.

So, that’s just some of the people who make up #teammargs.

While triathlon is a solo sport, you can’t do this sport alone – you need a team behind you. Because when all is said and done, when you get to that finish line … remember, it’s not just you that crosses it. Your backstage crew crosses that line with you. If only there were participation medals for your support team …


Margaret Mielczarek

Margaret Mielczarek is the deputy editor at Australian Triathlete Magazine and writes the web series 'Shenanigans of a Deputy 2.0'. She is a passionate age-group triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher - currently in training for Ironman number five!

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