THIS IS MY YEAR...the insider scoop on Leborne Coaching's newly crowned Pro Triathlete, Danielle Dingman.
“This is my year"...the mantra that motivated 4 AM wake up calls, sleeping on a friend’s couch 3-4 times a week, and a racing schedule that including everything but the kitchen sink.
But what does that phrase really mean?
From a young age, Danielle always wanted to be a professional athlete. She played multiple sports in high school, ultimately finding success in running, and earned a full scholarship to run for Baylor University. After a successful collegiate running career, these hopes seemed possible until a sickness sidelined Danielle for a year. She used cycling to get back into shape and within three years found herself racing on the national racing scene. Once again, her dreams of professional racing were taking shape. In the fall of 2014, however, Danielle had a bike accident that resulted in a fractured back and fractured psyche. She began questioning if going after lifelong dreams was worth the time away from family, the expense, and the threat to her health. She decided those dreams had brought her to this point, given her good life experiences, and that it was time to move on.
Deep inside though, Danielle knew she had more to give and receive from sport. Although the dream still existed, she ignored it. As she describes, "This dissonance in my spirit led to a depression that separated me from friends and family. 'This is my year' means that 2017 is my year to take back what depression stole from me. It is my year to kick open the door to becoming a professional athlete, which is exactly what I did with the help of Leborne Coaching."
"In March of this year, I started working with Scotti and Ernie to focus on triathlon. They understand the mind can make or break an athlete. My mind broke me last year. But that brokenness sparked a motivation that led me to balance a full training load with a full-time work schedule and a weekly 8-10 hour commute, which I cut down by sleeping on my training partner’s couch a few nights a week."
This balancing act led to winning three national titles in Long Course, Standard, and Short Course Duathlon, a third place finish at USAT Age-Group Triathlon Nationals in the Olympic Distance, fifth in the Sprint Distance, and first place female in the amateur division (6th overall female) in Danielle's first Ironman 70.3 in Cozumel, all within 10 months of training.
In 2018, Danielle will step onto the professional triathlon stage focused on Ironman 70.3 races. She says, "I have never been more excited or happy! Allowing these dreams to come alive has given me peace and confidence in the journey; peace of mind knowing that I am following my heart and confidence knowing I have a team of people that make this possible. The love and support of my family, friends, teammates, sponsors, and coaches is at the core of this journey. Because of this, I am convinced 2018 will be a great year!"
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