September 27, 2012
As many of you know, we sponsor professional triathlete Josh Amberger from Australia. I read an interview Josh did a couple of years ago and ended up contacting him on a triathlon forum. He was quick to reply and did a good job answering my questions. As FLO Cycling began taking shape, I remembered my conversation with Josh and thought he would be a good athlete to possibly sponsor. Josh and I started communicating on a more regular basis and it wasn't long before we decided to make him our first (and as of now, our only) sponsored athlete.
Josh's main goals for the 2012 season were qualifying for the Hy-Vee Triathlon (5150 World Championships) and the Las Vegas 70.3 (70.3 World Championships). After an absolutely stellar season with some great accomplishments, including a win at Singapore 70.3 and placing 2nd at 5150 Klagenfurt and Zurich, Josh easily qualified for both races. He shot me an email looking for a place to stay in Vegas and I gladly offered to put him up for the two weeks.
I wanted to recap the two weeks and detail what I learned living with this eccentric Aussie.
1. People Eat Kangaroos
At first I thought it was a joke. Being from Canada myself, I often tell people we eat polar ears and penguins just to see if they believe me (they often do). I figured Josh was doing the same thing with my girlfriend and me. Well, after a quick google search, I learned this wasn't a joke. Aussies really do eat kangaroos!
2. Australians Talk Funny. Or Wait, Maybe We Do?
I know we all speak English, but it took a few days to become fully aware of all of the new Australian phrases, words and pronunciations. Here are a few of my favorites:
- "Reckon" - Aussies don't think or guess, they reckon. e.g. I reckon chicken (or kangaroo) would be good for dinner tonight.
- "Have" - Aussie's don't go swimming, running, or stretch, they have one. e.g. Let's have a swim. Note: This can often be combined with reckon. e.g. I reckon I'll have a stretch.
- "Slash" - When you are out riding and nature starts calling for a number one, you don't take a leak or pee, you "have a slash". e.g. I've got to have a slash.
- "Broccol-Eye" - I know it's only accent but this is the funniest way I have ever heard someone say Broccoli. e.g. Let's have some Broccol-Eye with dinner.
3. Does the Water in the Toilet Really Spin the Other Way?!
According to Josh, toilets in Australia don't spin. The water just drops down. This may have been the most disappointing part of the two weeks. I still don't know the answer to that question!
4. Have a Chill, and if it's Not Fun, You're Doing Something Wrong
As an age grouper, I've always wondered how the pros train and I was excited to train with Josh. I'm the typical type A/engineer age grouper. I have a power meter, HRM, intervals to hit, schedules to meet, I try to never miss a workout, and I always stick to the plan. I had visions of professional triathletes blasting around at immortal paces all day and I wondered if I would be able to swim, bike, or run with Josh at all.
During the first 10 minutes of our first ride, I looked down at my power meter and thought, "he's just warming up I'm good for now." Five minutes later, nothing changed. Fifteen minutes later, still the same easy pace. I finally asked, "is this how hard you ride?" Josh's reply was, "yeah we're just having a chill, it's an easy ride isn't it?" To be honest, it surprised me. How could a guy who rode a 2:06 HIM bike split ride train this slow? His slow was slower than mine!
The other thing I noticed was that he didn't use a power meter (ever) or even an HRM on most rides. I asked, "how do you hit your intervals?" Josh laughed and said "easy is easy, medium is medium and hard is hard, it's that simple." The engineer in me wanted to panic but I thought he must have a point if he's as good as he is.
Two days later, we did race pace intervals on the bike. I'm a fairly fit guy (my FTP is 300 at 155lbs) and I could literally hold his wheel for about 45-60 second before I wanted to cry. In my 30 years as an athletic guy, I've never seen that level of athletic ability in anyone. It was unreal to say the least.
So, what's the point I'm trying to make? If you are like me, have a chill! Josh and I talked a lot about training and he couldn't stress enough the importance of listening to your body AND having dynamics. By dynamics I mean varied levels of intensity. Training hard doesn't mean ride around at threshold everyday blasting by everyone in sight. Training hard means being consistent, going easy when your body needs to go easy and going medium/hard when your body is ready to go medium/hard. If you listen to your body and you stay consistent, you will get faster. It's that simple.
My (or I guess I should say Josh's) final thought: If training isn't fun, you're doing something wrong. I was training too hard every day. I was starting to dread training and was always looking for excuses to cut workouts short. Josh told me I was missing the whole point. He said, "this is supposed to be fun." I've since began listening to my body and only pushing myself if I feel like it. It's only been a week since Josh left and I've already rediscovered a new love for training. If your training isn't fun, think about what you are doing.
5. Josh Amberger is Next Level
This is another one of those Aussie sayings. If you are "next level" it means you are awesome or great. I say Josh is "next level" because he is. When you sponsor an athlete, there is only so much you can learn about that person in an interview or through email. I guess in some ways you trust your gut instinct and hope that they are the person you want representing your brand.
After spending two weeks with Josh, it's clear to see that he's a class act. Josh is kind, well spoken, educated, good with people, insanely talented, and very keen on furthering his career. He's young (only 23), but his desire and his willingness to learn about developing his career is refreshing.
I think the success Josh has seen in this sport is only just beginning. I believe there is a very bright future ahead for this young man and I wouldn't be surprised if you see him on the top of many podiums to come. As a start-up company, we are certainly not the biggest sponsor Josh has, but I can tell you that we are incredibly proud to call him a FLO athlete.
I hope you have enjoyed this inside look at living and training with Josh Amberger. Leave your comments, thoughts, and suggestions below.
September 21, 2012
Here is our annual Interbike Gallery. Interbike 2012 was a great show. We spent the last five days between the Outdoor Demo, Cross Vegas, and the Interbike show. If you missed our gallery from the Outdoor Demo, you can check it out here.
Enjoy the pics and make sure you keep the drooling in check =].
|2013 Teschner SL10 with FLO 60s|
|2013 Teschner 703 TT with Front FLO 90 and FLO DISC|
|Ruster Sports Diamond|
|Ruster Sports Diamond|
|Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 2013|
|Shimano Dura-Ace 11 Speed Cassette 2013|
|Old school bike. Really old school.|
|Giro Air Attacks in Flag Paint Jobs|
|2013 Look 695|
|2013 Look 695|
|2013 Neil Pryde Bayamo|
|Da Vinci Tandem|
|2013 Pearl Izumi W Tri Fly IV|
|2013 Pearl Izumi Elite RD III|
|2013 Pearl Izumi Tri Fly Octane|
|2013 Bianchi Pico|
|2013 Bianchi Oltre|
|2013 Scott CR1 Line Up|
|2013 Scott Plasma Premium|
|2013 Scott Foil Line-Up|
|POC Aero Helmet|
|Josh Amberger in the POC|
|2013 Argon 18 Krypton|
|2013 Argon 18 Gallium Pro|
|Rotor Power Cranks|
|2013 BH Aero|
|2013 Zoot Women's Shoes Line-Up|
|2013 Zoot Men's Shoes Line-Up|
|If you couldn't tell, we love Sapim.|
|2013 Cervelo P5|
|2013 Cervelo R5|
|2013 Focus Line-Up|
|2013 Focus Line-Up|
|2013 SRAM Red|
|2013 QR Illicito|
|2013 QR CD0.1|
|2013 Garmin Edge 800|
|2013 Speedplay Line-Up|
|2013 Campy Super Record EPS|