“Your gut is always ahead of your brain - so trust your internal compass. It may take you onto paths less travelled, but do not fear the journey. Out of challenge, comes great opportunity. So embrace every up and down on your own adventure - and just have fun.”
Why you love the sport of pentathlon?
I love pentathlon because I like the variety of challenges it presents, from endurance and speed to mental and tactical. Its an incredible adventure and lifestyle.
When you got involved in pentathlon and why?
.When I was in grade 10, I was swimming competitively with the Cascade swim club in Calgary. My coach Ken Fitzpatrick put me up for a mentorship program that paired young athletes with Olympians. My mentor was Olympic Volleyball player Barb Broen. Barb wanted to know what my sport goals were and I told her that I had heard about pentathlon in the Olympics. Since I already competed in swimming and horse jumping, I was keen to put the rest of the sports together. Barb got me involved with Pentathlon Alberta, and I participated in provincials and nationals that year. I loved the sport and the people and was thrilled to be a part.
After time away from pentathlon for school, I returned to the sport after completing my university education in 2009. It felt great to be back, and i was hooked once again!
How often do you train (per week or month)?
About 25 hours a week between all sports, with competitions. On top of full time work.
Of the five sports of pentathlon (fencing, swimming, equestrian, shooting and running), which do you consider your best?
My most experienced sports are swimming and equestrian. Fencing is coming up, next.
What are your hobbies?
More sports! Golf, riding, long running. Illustrating. Eating food with friends.
Are there any other athletes in your family?
My grandfather Allen Fitzsimmons plays baseball at the World Senior level, he is a sporting hero of mine. His brother Jimmy was a hall of fame jockey who won the Queens Plate twice. My parents were talented western riders, who got me on horses from a young age. My aunt Carol Fitzsimmons is one of the most decorated FINA masters synchronized swimmers in the world. All are very inspirational stories! I believe in the power of sport for all ages and abilities.
Bachelor of Commerce (University of Calgary) and Engineering (University of British Columbia)
What career would you like to pursue or are you currently pursuing?
I’m a strategist with Axiom Zen. We build tech startups around the world. www.axiomzen.co
What is the greatest challenge you have faced?
Balancing my goals in sport while growing my career in an equally high performance field. It’s been a long term journey with many ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In 2012, I left my family and friends and moved from Calgary to Toronto to further both my pentathlon and professional careers. 2 weeks into my move, I was in the hospital with a nearly severed hip flexor after a horse accident. The recovery was physically and mentally challenging but I found a deeper appreciation for my personal journey in sport.
In the moments when I doubt that I want to continue, how do I motivate myself?
Start small. Take some deep breaths. Remind myself of the most simple thing that makes me happy, and then work my way back from there.
How has being an athlete benefited you (positive effects in your life that you would not have had otherwise)?
People, perspective, discipline, freedom, individuality, expression, exploration and adventure.