Location, Location, Location

by skin4106 on February 26, 2013

It seldom gets below freezing temperatures in the majority of South Africa, and¬†I was based in Durban and Pietermaritzburg on the North East coast for the vast majority of my time during training. With South Africa fighting in the rat race to become a first world country, the performance training facilities were spread out across the country. The most popular facilities are based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, but it would serve as a huge¬†endeavour for any self supported athlete outside of those two cities to¬†embark¬†on the journey.¬†Then, with the economy taking a knock from the global recession, sponsorship’s were few and far between, and, unless you belonged to an existing team or had wealthy parents to fit the buck, preparation¬†for racing became even more difficult.¬†I was a student, at the time, and I often sacrificed healthy meals to save money to enter races; I believe the term is “Paniagua”, racing on “bread and water”.¬†I trained without the help of a coach and other major athlete support systems, which I believe was the cause of my delayed results in the sport.¬†To some extent I was young and naive, so perhaps I just didn’t do enough to secure the support structure I now have in the USA. It certainly was a learning curve in my early 20s.¬†Since arriving in the USA I have found a coach/mentor.¬†Last season¬†I posted several podiums and was featured at Xterra National and World Championship.¬†I now train out of Texas, when¬†the climate allows for year round training plans, but when it heats up I will be moving to Colorado for a month or two.¬†With last seasons success, my coach and I have decided to chase the dream of Rio Olympics 2016. It will be a journey for sure.¬†

Grayson Keppler

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