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Rich Davis – Playing, not training

by Don

The following is a brief profile of one of the interviewees in the upcoming book, Dream It, Live It, Love It. The full intreview and insights gained by the author will be shared in the book to be published later this year. To see future interviewee profiles via email and to stay updated on the status of the book, use the widget at the bottom right of this page to subscribe.
Rich Running the Boston Marathon
Rich Running the Boston Marathon

Rich Davis is a 54 year old triathlete who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado and who has been doing triathlons from the very early days of the sport. Rich swam competitively from a young age up through college, and discovered cycling and running after college, enjoying them both. One day back in 1979 after he had swam 5K in a swimathon, and rode his bike 50 miles to his sisters house with a friend, his sister showed him a Sports Illustrated article about the first Iron Man triathlon. He figured that he had almost done one that day, and decided to do one. Rich went on to have lots of success in triathlons and marathons, and once won the Canadian National Ironman Championship Triathlon.

Rich does not train for events, but instead considers what he does to be play. He also gives Ken Kelly, his age group swim coach, tons of credit for getting him started on a life that he loves, and recently called Ken and told him how much influence he had on Rich’s life. When Rich told me this in our interview, I decided to do this myself, and called my high school cross country coach Dave Doak. I thanked Dave for teaching me how to dream, set goals, work hard, and celebrate. Interestingly enough, Dave and his wife were preparing to relocate, and if I had not called at that time, I may have not been able to find them. I think that everyone who has had a coach that got them started should find them and call them today. Don’t wait, just do it. They deserve more thanks than we can collectively verbalize.


I was interviewed by the Growing Bolder radio show two weeks ago, and you can hear the interview where I discuss Dream It, Live It, Love It, as well as the 50K Athlete Challenge –


The National Senior Games have been contested in Palo Alto California the past week, and here are links to some articles that highlight some of the athletes and events. 

I thought I’d share something that happened to me this weekend when I was sport climbing in Rifle, Colorado. I have been trying to “send” a climb named Pretty Hate Machine for the past three visits to Rifle. “Send” means to do the climb without falling or hanging on the rope. I came close last visit, but always have been stopped at a move at half height because my forearms would get tired. On Saturday I was anxious when I tried to send. I was very tired when I got to the hard spot and fell. I was disappointed, since I thought I was closer than that. That night over some sangria and campsite talk, I thought of Ed Shaw and Jim Morton who both told me how they would get anxious before races. I then thought of Gerard Morano who explained to me that fencing requires absolute relaxation in order to react with the quickness and precision required. I decided on Sunday to try again this time trying the best I could to be in the moment and not think about the outcome. On Sunday I climbed very relaxed up to the spot which thwarted me the day before. I was gripping each hold with only the pressure required to get to the next hold. I was doing each move as if it was the ONLY move. Friends who were watching told me that I looked smooth and strong, much better than Saturday. I cruised through the hard spot as if it were easy. I did end up falling higher at the other hard spot that I had not reached before without falling below. Despite not sending the route, I felt great. I climbed well, and did the best I could. Thanks Ed, Jim, Gerard, and others for sharing your insights with me. I’m putting them to use and loving it! 

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