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Athlete Spotlight: Syd Roe

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

Note from Coach Vicki | Syd came into Tri Fitness in the fall of 2020 and I immediately knew she was going to be a great addition to our community! Syd has so much passion, enthusiasm, and drive for everything she does.

When I asked Syd what her goals were, she said “Go to Kona,” and I knew she didn’t mean for a vacation 😊. My next question was, "How many triathlons have you done?" Her answer was “None.”

We then came up with a game plan, which was different than the game plan she had when she walked in our door. Syd wanted to do Ironman in 2021. Of course, that was completely doable, BUT it didn’t seem like the best plan to be successful. It is always tough for me to tell someone “No,” but there are times it must be done. There is so much to learn with endurance racing, and when you have a full time job where you work close to 60 hours/week, adding Ironman training with the goal of Kona qualifying, it is not a recipe for success.

We decided to race an Olympic distance race as well as two 70.3 distance races. Syd not only crushed all of these races, but learned a lot along the way. The things she has learned will set her up well for Lake Placid in July of 2022.

Keep an eye on this woman! She is fierce when it comes to competition, but also a great teammate/supporter of this community!

Name | Syd Roe

Tell us about your family/career.

Funny you should ask. I actually just made a massive career jump: from startup into corporate. I absolutely loved the adventure of building something from the ground up: I was literally employee #1. In those 2.5 years, I learned more about myself and what I’m capable of than I had in the 4 years at my previous “job.” When you build something from the ground up, you’re incredibly close to your “why.” Your belief is questioned each day as each new roadblock arises. And either you rise to the challenge or you walk away. It’s a bit addictive, actually. That said, a new opportunity to help a scaled business reinvent themselves (I’m in marketing) presented itself. I love a good challenge and, while I’ve had the opportunity to invent a story (startup), I haven’t yet been tested to see if I can reinvent one (corporate). So, I’m excited for what’s ahead in 2022.

What is your personal favorite sport/activity?

Soccer! I played in high school and college – and I have a deep emotional connection to the sport. I grew up very religious and ended up attending a college that mirrored those roots. While there were a lot of positive experiences I had at school, coming out in that environment was rough and very lonely. The school actually had a religious contract you signed that banned among other things…being gay. Soccer became an outlet for me, as well as an inspiration. I watched Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe blaze a trail for gay female soccer players. They are masters of their craft, undeniable talent….so undeniable that they forced society to wrestle with its fear of different. If you watch Megan Rapinoe make a perfect assist or Abby Wambach find the perfect position with the perfect touch….you know what I mean. So yeah….soccer!

Outside of training with Tri Fitness, what are some of your favorite hobbies?

I think working a startup didn’t give me much time to find hobbies. So, maybe with a bit more balance at this new gig, I’ll find some. But in general I like to make less commitments, but deeper commitments. Work and training keep me pretty busy!

What is your favorite motivational quote?

“Consistency is key.” – my dad

“No excuses.” – NF, artist

Favorite gear for summer/winter/racing.

Hmmmm….I bought some brooks leggings for winter which are pretty dang fantastic. Also love their shoes. I’m not a big gear nerd…except for my bike. Love that sucker!!! Matte black Cervelo P3….straight up sexy. I love the dark monotone color…it’s like you can’t see it comin’…which is how I want to race…just sneak right up on ya'. And the matte is beautiful but not “in your face.”

What keeps you going when you really don’t want to go?

Reminding myself of the goals I have. Great things don’t come to those who sit on couches and eat Cheetos. (Although…everyone does need a good Cheeto moment every once in a while.) At the end of the day, you keep you goin'. That’s a powerful thing! What kind of life do you want live? What will you say when you’ve only got a couple breaths left? We’ve all got the same 24 hours in a day. I’m going to use the heck out of mine.

What got you started with training/racing?

A desire to see what I’m really capable of.

When you tell your friends/family about beginning your journey what was their reaction?

The people I chose to tell were supportive and curious. They also think I’m crazy. But I think that part of their reaction could be coming from a self-doubt in their own abilities – so I always take the opportunity to tell them they can come be crazy with me any time!

How long have you been training/racing?

Since Nov 2020.

Were you involved in other competitive sports prior to your adult years? (ie- athletic background)

Soccer and…wait for it….fencing! Yes. The nerdiest of all sports. It’s like chess with swords. Haha.

Best tip for a newbie?

One. Day. At. A. Time.

And don’t forget to look back every so often and see how far you’ve come. Endure the challenges…relish the successes!

What is your favorite pre/post workout snack/drink?

Fairlife Chocolate milk and cottage cheese! For after.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I definitely don’t have just one. People are absolutely incredible. And each person I’ve come into contact with has inspired me in a different way. If you take the time and pay attention, you can always learn something…about the world…about them….about yourself.

What is your biggest struggle?

Recently? Not running on the dang treadmill. It’s my florida blood, y'all.

And life balance. Definitely a 2022 goal of mine to hone that in.

What is your pre-race routine?

Night before…take a walk….remind myself why this race matters to me….maybe listen to some of my favorite music….and imagine moments on the course….good and bad. Getting my head right is #1. Also, making sure I don’t have anything to do the next morning in terms of gear prep (thanks for that tip, coach!).

Morning of….wake up 3-ish hours before….get dressed and make iced coffee…I love peanut butter toast or an egg sandwich (or both!). Oh, also start hydrating…love me some Ozmo for that! I like to be by myself and make the dark drive that early in the morning alone. There’s nothing like that drive. You know the rest of the world is asleep and you’re driving like a lone wolf over to meet with a bunch of over “crazy” people to do something absolutely badass….to push yourself to new limits. It’s an amazing feeling!

Goals for upcoming year?

Absolutely. Freaking. Crush Lake Placid in July. Was also invited to the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals – a week ish after Lake Placid – so excited for that too!

If you have anything else you would like to add, please feel free!

To those reading this who know me, thank you for 2021. You probably don’t realize what that extra high-five, hello or motivational push during a group workout meant to me….or honestly, if you just went out and crushed it. That in and of itself is inspiring. I’ve come to learn that tri people are some of the *best* people. And I consider myself lucky to know you and train with you. Let’s go show 2022 what’s up!

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