Today I want to continue in the tradition of sharing the stories of the people who inspire me. Let me introduce MaryBeth Moore. Like most interesting people I first met MaryBeth in a way that is…well unique.
Let me set the scene. When I think back to where and when I met Marybeth Moore; MBM as I came to know her. It was at a fratastic bar on the Upper East Side, the kind that smells of beer soaked wood. It tickles your nose and grabs at your feet. Your shoes stick to the floor. Your heart rate jumps up a few beats as you push past the bouncer and enter a room stuffed with triathletes and college game day fans determining the key points in life. The things that really matter…like how far FSU was going to go this season and of course what race you were doing next. MBM was sitting at the bar with a Coor’s Light (her trademark drink) in hand screaming at the Noles (FSU-Seminoles for short) about some play. This girl knows more about football than most guys. Turning her attention from the TV to my sorry a$$ she asked me who I was cheering for and what was my “A” race. Having been put on the spot and at the time me being about as new to the sport as I could be said the wrong thing to both questions, “Miami & New York City Tri.” Well that just about did it for me, “Go away” she yelled “you will jinx the Noles and that race is a logistical nightmare!” and that my friends was my first interaction with MBM, more recently known as Crash.
Q: Please share the story of how Marybeth Moore got her start in the sport?
I got into endurance sports at an early age, running cross country and track in West Palm FL. At the age of 2 I was swimming on my own from wall to wall in the pool at my local country club in South Florida. By the age of 4 I was on the country clubs’ swim team. I swam through some of High School then focused on running. I knew running was my love from the second I took that first runners stride in elementary school, and have not stopped since. I ran on both the Track and Cross Country teams in Middle school all the way up to College; and did my first marathon a couple of years out of college. I also played soccer, but was the silly goof that was scared of the ball- but made the team to get the other players moving!
Q:Can you recap of your first Race and/or the funniest part of that race day? My first triathlon was in Jupiter, Florida with my roommate Kelly. Kelly was super insane into triathlons. I didn’t really care to know what the sport was all about because all I could remember was dropping out of the 1-credit PE course on “triathlon” at FSU because finding a bike was “complicated.” One of the other runners (now a pro triathlete) & I looked at each other like – “this is stupid, I’m not bringing home my huffy to do this crap.” But after seeing Kelly come into the house time and time again with awards I finally said, “ok, hmmm, can I do one of those?” At the time I taught a spin class as a side job so I knew how to ride a bike and I ran; then Kelly found out I “WAS” as swimmer in my past! She took me to LA FITNESS and told me, just swim one time before this silly sprint triathlon on August 9th and I promise you…you will kill it at the race because these triathletes aren’t swimmers….
And so I did. I swam about two times to remember what a flip turn was. With my restored swimming confidence, I signed up for the first – timers division of the Loggerhead Triathlon! I didn’t even train for the thing. I borrowed Kelly’s 48cm bike (for a 5ft 7 gal) and raced in her hand-me-down “onezie” and busted out a whopping 24-min 5K …..and was hooked after bringing home an award just like Kelly did! I think I even was in the top 10 women overall finishers that day as well. Then, Next thing I knew I was on a jet bound for NYC – where I would call home in just 3 weeks!!!
Wow, I was inspired to look up those good ole school results too:
Q: How did you deal with the hand life dealt you? Good question. In the last year, I have asked myself this quite a bit. You name it, I have been through it. Only a few people have hit the nail on the head, one of them: the founder of TYR, an Olympian, said: “MaryBeth, you are your biggest Achilles heel. That’s why you are a good athlete; and a good athlete makes a good salesperson. This drive is what wakes you up each morning. You. I never have to worry about your drive because you do nothing but beat yourself up every single day.” He is right, I am never satisfied and that’s what gets me going each and every day. In the last year, after overcoming my mother’s death, a traumatic bike accident and a storyline of injury (low back saga, stress fracture, torn planter, you name it….) and a past filled with other hardships – I have learned to FINALLY believe in myself. A friend of mine, and coach, Scott Cohen whom in the past I worked for coaching the NYRR Tri Brick Series, told me recently that he admired my strength and courage and that after the year I have had he is so inspired by me. For just a second time in an entire year of grieving my mother’s death I cried after reading his words because I finally accepted the fact that, yes, I have been through a lot, and that I have made it and I am stronger than ever.
Q: Where did you find the strength to pick up the pieces and get to the starting line of your life or race? My coach is what gets me to the starting line of each race. Just like the founder of my company, this man – Kurt Perham, is a huge inspiration. He is the toughest coach you will ever find, but he knows EXACTLY what buttons to push. I have had the chance to work with him for years, but never as my one-on-one coach until this past season. He is picking up the pieces from my battles with injuries and has done an amazing job coaching me!
I am just an ordinary girl that wants to go beyond failure is all. Nothing is good enough and I still have yet to have THAT PERFECT RACE. I am waiting for that moment. I know it will come, someday….
Q: How did you find your way to TYR? TYR actually found me! Twice! I almost took a position in marketing but turned it down. A few months later, the VP of sales called and hired me on the spot for my current gig. I am going on four wonderful years with the company. I am excited to be a part of the exciting growth this company has, DAILY!
Without TYR I would be LOST! They are my second family. They are my passion. I work for a family of colleagues that genuinely wish for nothing but the best for me both professionally, and personally! Thinking about how much I care about what I do brings water to my eyes – joyful tears. I have PASSION for what I do every minute of every day. The month before my mother’s passing she got to see me win the sales rep of the year award and told me that she was so happy that I finally found what I love to do!
Q:How did Florida 70.3IM go for you? What worked well (one thing)? What didn’t work well (one thing)? Florda 70.3 was awesome! Florida was the first time I have showed up; and made it to the starting line of a long distance race in 4-years! Some show up to race all races to test the clock and push hard. For this instance, I had other plans. Just to test the waters, and test my mind and physical strength – and to play it safe. Having just overcome so many injuries I played the perfect card that day. My HR never broke 150 and I only did a few miles of the run. It was a fun training day for me.
What worked: Power Meter: You know, I have never been a HR person or a number person. But spending the cash for this tool was the BEST investment I have ever made. This number is actually true! If you follow it, you will become a better cyclist and athlete. By watching a simple number – you can even run better off the bike too!
My next 70.3 that’s on the books, I plan to race it, and race it hard! And it’s good knowing that I can conquer long course at a race pace next go around!
Q. What is the back-story to your new nickname CRASH? HAHAHAHAHA! Hmmmmmmmm……gosh, crash and laugh might be better HAHA. Only I crash and laugh about it! Like Scott Cohen said, you are an inspiration. To be able to pick up the pieces and stay so positive inspires people. Gosh, I even made the doctors and nurses at the ER laugh after a massive bike accident because I was able to walk around an ER (a little loopy with hair standing on end) just hours after a horrible bike accident and severe concussion! My friends actually had to remind me of the seriousness of my injury as I was laughing about it vs. crying over it.
Q: You shared a list of 30 runner quotes that you wrote, what is your personal favorite and what is its meaning to you? What do you want it to mean to others?
The quote below. It is about my mother. My mom used to have to call the police in search of me when I went on long runs. I would just go and go and never come back. My mother was NEVER a stage mom. She let me love on my own. She came to meets in silence and let me appreciate the sport on my own. Thanks to her I was not pressured whatsoever and I still love running to this day. When I run, it is the only time I truly feel her – it is my church. I feel at peace and I talk to her in my thoughts and mind…and imagination.
“She didn’t teach me to run. Nor did she push it on me. She just let me learn to love
running on my own. This taught me more than anything I’ve ever known.” (My mom-1/11/51-
5/19/13 – Breast Cancer- which goes for everything she’s taught me) –MaryBeth Moore
Q: As you prepare for the rest of this season how excited are you to get back out on the course at Rev3 Quassy Half? will you get mad if I get us lost on the course again… I am super excited to climb the QUASSY Hills!!! I would hope that after years of doing this race Dan you will know your way around, GOSH!
Q:What would be your words of wisdom to a newbie triathlete (something you wish you had been told when you started? GO OPEN WATER SWIMMING! Swimming in a pool doesn’t cut it! Join Masters while you’re at it too!
1) Be consistent with your training
2) Don’t listen to the noise around you and what others say – do what your coach says or
what your training plan says.
3) And get a physical EVERY year! Too many underlying health issues are sadly discovered during a race. Catch them early.
Q:Any final thoughts? Points you want to share? Make sure you are doing things in life that make you feel fulfilled. Be around others that do the same. I am a true believer of positivism. Learn to laugh and cut up about the noise in life. Turn a negative into a positive and keep moving along. Stop the negative vibes when they start.
And just like Ferris Bueller said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” …..So smell the pretty roses in the park on your next run, and taste the flavors of your PowerBar gel, and…. For gosh sakes…Stop worrying about your DARN HEARTRATE!!!!!
To my readers: MaryBeth is exactly the type of person that makes our sport great. She epitomizes the very essence of triathlon, running, and life. MaryBeth, like many of us have had our own obstacles in life, some of these hurdles have been bigger than others but for the most part no life is free of suffering. Suffering out on a training ride, on the race course or in the solitude of our homes makes us the people we are today. I am reminded of a quote from a book I read a very long time ago, “Suffering is the spice of life.”-Viktor E. Frankl. His words suck with me throughout the years. It gives me hope that without suffering through the most difficult moments the greatest moments wouldn’t be as sweet. To me Marybeth lives this lifestyle through her efforts at TYR, spin class or out on the course on race day. She is always the first to crack a joke during a moment of silence. She is the first to suggest a Chinese fire-drill while stuck in hours of traffic, just so we laugh. She is the first friend to offer help, motivation, or even just a hug. She is one of the strongest people I know. For all these reasons and more Marybeth is an athlete who might never grace the cover of Sports Illustrated or Triathlete Magazine but is one who we all can be a little inspired by. I know I am.
You can follow Marybeth on Twitter: MaryBethMoore
Thanks for reading, see you next time.