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Andy Potts, the top finishing American in Kona in 2012, sat down with us a few days before the 2013 Ironman World Championship.
Top three confidence-building moments of the 2013 season:
First race wasn’t the first race I was supposed to race in, California Oceanside 70.3. That was certainly a high point—I like starting my season off on a good note and I think that was good for confidence building.
I got to experience Eagleman 70.3 for the first time this year. It was really nice to connect with the athletes out there. I find myself, living in Colorado, I live and race a lot in the west or Florida or New Hampshire, but I hadn’t done a lot of races in that corridor before.
Lake Placid was a nice day. My grandfather was able to watch and he actually presented me with my medal at the finish line, which was a highlight of my year. Just to have him there to experience the day and see what I do. He’s seen me do half Ironmans, but that was the first time where he was there from the gun to me crossing the line, and it’s a long day.
What helps get him out of mentally dark place while racing:
I’m constantly battling between high hopes and being down in the doldrums. Unfortunately it’ a teeter-totter and the fulcrum can swing one direction and another minute it can swing in the other. What’s going on between the ears is really powerful. I try to be a really positive thinker, and the worst thing that can happen in the race is still a great day. The very worst thing that can happen in the race, you’re still out there racing. Having perspective has taken a lot, but I have a family and they don’t care if I race or not.
Bringing your kids to Kona:
It’s an onion, the layers of stress that it adds, when you have the family. You’re trying to manage the expectations of race day and all the logistics that go into it, and hopefully you’ve got a really strong partner that carries more than their weight with the kids.
The glamour shot is the finish—it’s super sexy—but there’s a lot of times…in the dark of night, when your daughter has the sniffles at 4 a.m. and there’s two beds in the room and there’s nowhere to go. It’s tough, but the way I look at is, I want to expose my kids to what I do, I want to incorporate them. Having everything catered towards them—they have to see adversity and overcome it early. And they’re a part of our lives. We want to expose them to as many things as possible and they’re getting that experience now at a young age.
Today on my ride, on the CompuTrainer, my son Boston was doing his homework. We’re reading a book and doing a book report and he needs to draw a picture. So I’m doing my ride and doing homework with my son at the same time.