Posted by: Heart of America News | August 8, 2011

Allison & Jim – Getting The Old Man Off The Couch

By Ron Adkins, Heart of America News

So many Heart of Iowa triathletes make their races a family affair. Brothers, sisters, parents and kids cheering at the finish line are like an energy reserve tapped for a racer’s one more push on that last mile.

Having family at events inspires athletes like Allison Kindig, 2011 women’s champion of the Camp Courageous Sprint Triathlon, to keep competing, to keep going “over that next hill, down that next mile.” Perhaps even more sweet than her own victory is the fact that Alison’s father, Jim Kindig, now races alongside her.

Jim’s second race ever was this year’s Camp Courageous Tri Sprint.  For his first race, last year, he didn’t train at all and used his wife’s bicycle. “It was ugly,” said Jim with a rueful shake of the head.

Allison’s dedication was what got Jim off the couch. “She turned me from a spectator into a competitor.”

“It’s been an inspiration to see my Dad put the effort and time into this sport,” said Allison. “It’s really fun to do this together.”

Allison credits her faith for keeping her energized. The memory of her grandparents, who died of cancer, is another great influence on her life. “They inspire me to be in the best physical shape and to really be conscious of my health.”

The triathlete community forms an extended family that racers draw upon for energy, as well.  Her fellow racers, said Allison, “are a great group of people. I’ve made a lot of friends, and it’s wonderful how we all help each other. We learn from each other, about different techniques and nutrition. We run into each other at bike shops and talk about the latest equipment.”

Jim gains perspective by seeing fellow racers from a different angle. “I get inspiration from some of the stallions out there,” but he identifies more with those who finish in the back of the pack, those who may have entered the race, as Jim did, as a personal challenge or for the chance to race alongside a loved one.

Allison just started classes at the University of Iowa, where she hopes to major in global health or pre-med. With this new challenge, as with her triathlon racing, her father will be encouraging her every step of the way.

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Responses

  1. Jim was one of the best track athletes to come out of Linn Mar High School in the 1980’s. He went on to compete at UNI and is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with Allison. I’m looking foward to following her triathlon career!

  2. Ron, thank you for such a nice article. Jon, thank you for the kind words, you to were one of Tiptons finest who went on to compete at UNI.

    Wow, as far as the apple not falling far from the tree, I am wearing an outfit my Dad might have worn that when I was Allisons age would have embarrased me to death! Allison, thanks for the unconditional love.

    You got the couch and spectator part right but its way to much of a stretch to call what I did COMPETE. A few other words come to mind like,donate to a great cause,participate, survive and finish!

    Thanks

    Jim


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