2019 Member Spotlight – Michael ShippAugust, 2019
How did you get involved in triathlons?
I initially got involved in triathlons after becoming a member of Team Red, White and Blue. After training with the local Philadelphia chapter and competing in running events, I wanted to push myself to try something new. From there, I began to train with other members of the chapter in route to my first triathlon.
What was your first triathlon?
My first triathlon was back in 2014 at a Presidential Lakes in New Jersey.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
The biggest mistake I’ve made in triathlon is forgetting to have fun. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the analytics of the sport and forget that we do it because we enjoy it.
Any memorable races or experience?
The most memorable experience for me has to be doing Ironman Maryland in 2017. I was in such a rough place at that time so dedicating my time and mental capacity to that race was life saving! Also, seeing all of my teammates from District Triathlon come out to support me kept me going throughout the day.
What are some other clubs that you are involved in?
Outside of DC Tri Club, I am a member of District Triathlon, Team Red, White and Blue, Rapha Cycling Club, District Running Collective, Track Tuesdays, Urban Athletic Club, and Back on My Feet.
How do you find they complement each other?
While being a member on so many teams can be exhausting, they all serve a purpose, as well as provide me with a sense of community throughout my networks. Being a minority in a sport that is not diverse at all often made me feel like an outsider. Having a group like District Triathlon has played a HUGE role in my life as their mission is to encourage, inspire, support and increase the participation of People of Color in triathlon and endurance sports, promote healthy lifestyles and uplift communities in DC and the Washington metropolitan area.
After serving in the Navy for eight years I had a difficult time transitioning back to civilian life. Having a community like Team Red, White and Blue that helps service members transition through physical activities was a no brainer. I was hooked since I went out to my first rock climbing event back in 2013 while living in Philly.
Clubs like Urban Athletic Club (Crossfit Shaw), Rapha Cycling Club, District Running Collective and Track Tuesdays provide me with a community of consistent athletes that are focusing on one specific activity. Riding with Rapha allows me to push myself as a cyclist with actual cyclist, or running with District Running Collective a bit harder with people who focus on running. As an endurance athlete I am never able to consistently do strength training. Being a member of UAC/Crossfit Shaw allows me to take the thinking out of my strength program. In the end, when it’s time for race day, I am able to put it all together as a stronger, and faster triathlete.
Lastly, Back on my Feet is a nonprofit that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Recognizing the importance in the work they do, and understanding that I can support by simply going for a run with their members is something I try to do as often as possible.
What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
There are things to enjoy outside of triathlon?! Tri FOR LIFE!