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* Special thanks to Mike Fielding for the Operation "Caryn's Smiles" logo design!!

power you have to make someone feel special. The ability to make someone feel like they were worth the time, effort, and endurance to wait for hours just to cheer as they ran by. It has always been the free gifts in life that make the most impact. Thanks Amy for your heart. Thanks for your energy. Thanks for mentoring and taking the sidelines to cheer us on. You made us all feel like celebrities. You rock!!

Thanks to Nathan, Miles, Mike, Andrea, and Maria for being so BADASS!

A special thanks to Nathan whose post (read below) took away all excuses: Hey, I have a 3 WO (with intervals) my coach wants me to complete tomorrow. However, If some of you are nervous about the rain, I’ll stay with you and complete it after. I promise we’ll get through it and keep everyone safe. Rain isn’t ideal, but last year, almost every weekend it rained. Most of my races were wet ones. I watched way too many people opted out of the race and go home. We can work on this together and make everyone stronger and more confident for race day!

Nathan - you are BADASS!!

May 12th, 2014 - Team Triathlon Training Season

Saturday I made the next step in my triathlon career…my first Half Century ride (technically it was 49.4 but we all know GPS units aren’t accurate so we will go with 50 miles). I was REALLY anxious leading up to it because not only was it long but it was supposed to rain. Biking + rain did not = fun to me any way I looked at it. I thought we would cancel. People were dropping out of the group ride like flies. I was waiting for the excuse “I can’t do it alone” to be true so I could stay home. BUT…

Team Triathlon Training Season pros said NO EXCUSES! So, despite threats of terrible weather we gathered to ride. The energy in this group was amazing. I felt confident thanks to THEIR confidence. I felt BADASS because there was no doubt they were BADASS! They made sure we knew the route and then we headed out. They finished way before me but I rolled in, 50 miles under my belt, and they were there smiling. No rain. Lots of fun. Lots of smiles.

May 19th, 2014 - Amy Van Deusen Henseler 
This past weekend I raced my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I was excited to FINALLY reach this milestone and a little sad my favorite cheering squad couldn't make it. It felt a little lonely. Until...I heard someone screaming my name and I saw a sign with MY name on it! Amy Henseler was on the sideline cheering on (loudly and with GREAT enthusiasm) every single member of the Peachtree Tri Club that was racing. She made individual signs for us all. Somehow, I have no idea how, she knew when I was coming each time and she cheered as if we had been friends our whole lives (when we only met once a few weeks prior). Never underestimate the 

2014 Caryn's Smiles Awards

Caryn's Smiles Awards are given in recognition of athletes caught fostering an inclusive environment.  They help newbies, encourage others, and offer smiles/high fives at just the right time to ensure everyone is able to reach their fullest potential. They live the Caryn's Smiles Pledge...even if they do not even know what the pledge is!