09 March 2011 By Rachel’s


Trisoldiers New Race Suit!

Vision. Amazing people have the ability to see possibility and potential. They carry within and without themselves the tenacity to materialize what initially might only be one seen from their heart.  Jeff Trout is an amazing example of this. In 2010 I had the pleasure of meeting him and his darling wife Tatjana while racing XTERRA’s trail running National Championship. Our conversation was about my wonderful Newton shoes.

I met them again at XTERRA trail running World Championship a couple months later in Hawaii. This time his Tatjana was sporting the same Newton shoes as I! How delightful!  I am thrilled that I helped inspire her to adopt something I love.

Since then? Wow. I am amazed how people enter my life and continuously touch me and inspire me to reach to new heights. Jeff, whom is a superb multi-sport coach,  contacted me not long after Worlds and asked if I would be interested in racing USAT Duathlon short course National Championships coming up on April 30,2011. How exciting! For years I have wanted to try a big race like this as my two athletic loves are running and cycling. A run bike run format is a dream come true!

Then I find out even more about Jeff. His is the dedicated creator and advocate of a non profit project helping disabled Veterans find hope and love of life again through multi-sport training and racing. Trisoldiers is the avenue. Jeff donates his coaching time and much energy to helping soldiers who have suffered amputations, Traumatic Brain Injuries, among other life altering ailments suffered while serving our great country. He is a hero helping heros. So beautiful. Although I have never been to war, I have spent the last 10 years recovering from a traumatic brain injury and over 3 years recovering from another near death experience. What these warriors have gone through hits close to my heart.  Please read the stories of just a few Jeff works with. Or read the story from USAT’s publication.

SGT Michael Findlay:  I served 8 years in the Army mostly in Psychological Operations. During my deployment to final deployment in Iraq I started suffering from seizures. I was sent to Walter Reed in 2008 for a medical evaluation. They determined that I had suffered a traumatic brain injury. After my first deployment I bought a road bike and started riding. I had quit for a while before I was deployed again. When I arrived at Walter Reed I started riding again. It was a prefect escape from everything. I joined a local team and rode 4-6 days per week. I was medically retired and moved back to California. I continued riding and got into racing the bike. Last season I completed 16 bicycle races including criteriums, time trials and road races. I started cross training last year in swimming to stay in shape. I work full time and I go to school. The school has a pool with open swimming at night. So between my classes I hit the pool and swim laps. After the cycling season was over I started training for triathlons. I had a blast doing the triathlons and I am looking forward to competing in more this season. The goal is to complete and Ironman in 2012.

SGT Anthony Rico:  I was injured on 30-Sep-05.  We were on a foot patrol in the mountains of Afghanistan.  One of our squads was ambushed so we pushed on to help out.  During the fight while charging up the mountain towards the enemy, I was shot by an enemy sniper.  I was pulled out of the line of fire and laid bleeding in the mountains for a few hours until the fight was over.  They did end up getting the guy, which makes me feel a lot better.  The round entered my hip and exited out near my spine.  The doctors were surprised that I was able to move my legs, a few CMs to the side, and I would have been in a wheel chair for the rest of my life.

Arthur Rizer:  I deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was attached to 2nd Mar Div, USMC and later to the 1st Mar Div, USMC in Fallujah (actually it was Karmah if anyone knows the area) “ the Marines took me two other officers and 7 of my NCOs from the company I commanded and embedded us with the Iraqi Army.  Throughout my 15-month deployment I saw worse, I lost 14 Marines that were my friends. Yet through it all, I was blown away by how amazing our young Americans are “ we asked them to do amazing things every day “ and they did it, no questions asked.  I was injured 22 Aug 2005 by a IED in Al Karmah (right outside of Fallujah).  The IED caused a TBI – I know suffer from a seizure disorder, significant hearing loss which will likely continue to get worse until I am deaf, PTSD, and a headache disorder.  Several others were not so luckly and died from the blast (roughly 16 Iraqi soldiers who I was training died).

SGT Christopher Toey:  I served in the army as an Airborne Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division. I deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. I was wounded in Fallujah, Iraq as the result of a rocket attack. I sustained a shattered radius and radial head in my right (dominant) arm and shrapnel to my left foot. I no longer have full range of motion in my arm but it doesn’t hinder me from many things. I’ve also been diagnosed with PTSD.

I am pleased and excited to have been a gateway to Jeff for connecting he and his organization to my running shoe sponosor Newton Running. Newton has partnered with them to help these soldiers have the best running shoe available for their training and events. I am also honored to have the opportunity to accompany Jeff and his athletes to Tuscan for the Duathlon National Championship. I dedicate my training and the race to this cause.

I hope that anyone who can will check out the Trisoldier Site. Please support them. It is a great way to give back to our soldiers who have given so much to us.

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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