Michael Slater

Age:  34                                                    

Racing As:  Open Triathlete                                         

I always had ambition to be really competitive in sport and cycled a lot as a youngster, but ten years of smoking and not looking after myself left me pretty unfulfilled and depressed at the age of 29. My brother convinced me to pick up the bike again and get off the smokes, and then 6 months later I joined up with the Meteors to give triathlon a serious go.

Leon’s program stripped nearly 20kg’s off me and inspired me to start chasing after something again. Without the smokes, weight, and depression I was not only feeling  good about myself, but I was setting some serious goals  and getting some enjoyment out of life.

I trained with the squad that was going to the age group world championships on the Gold Coast in 2009 and made selection along with all of them. The process gave us all some of the best experiences and stories that we’ll hang on to forever and after that trip my racing took a turn that I can only describe as a dream coming to life.

Back under Leon’s guidance I raced a season in the elite ranks locally finishing in the top 10 in nearly every race. In the state sprint championships I cranked out the fastest bike split of the day and finished 4th.

Later in the season I went to the Nationals in Melbourne and finished 23rd among some of the best competition in the country and beating one of the podium getters from the world championships earlier on. The season capitulated with winning the open club champion trophy and sharing that with all the amazing crew from the Meteors Triathlon club.

Through the Meteors I’ve learned that you can do an individual sport but enjoy the comradeship of a team. Everyone in the squad loves each other’s efforts as much as their own and will encourage and challenge you like you won’t believe. My fiancé pointed out recently that “even behind each other’s backs you still talk each other up!”

The other great part is that you don’t need to go out and learn all the tricks and skills to getting the most out of yourself. All you need is some discipline, and to remember whether to bring your bike or your Speedo’s….. still waiting to see someone mess that up! It really is as simple as turning up and doing what Leon tells you to do, he’s the most highly qualified coach in SA and stays on the pulse with all the latest research. Then you just have to turn it on come race day, what a hoot!