Athlete of the Month
The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.
You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought. When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.
Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.
March 2002 Athlete of the Month
Team Sheeper is pleased to announce the March Athlete of the Month, Aaron Schenone. Aaron has impressed everyone on Team Sheeper with his natural athletic talent, his work ethic, and his compassion for those around him. One of his teammates was most impressed with his willingness to stop and help her on a group ride when she had a flat tire. Tim Sheeper describes him as dedicated, consistent and highly motivated. He has improved quickly and is on a path for continued success and improvement.
Aaron burst onto the triathlon scene during the spring season of Team in Training, 2001. At the ripe old age of 19, he finished Wildflower Long Course in a total time of 5:51, to win his age group. He was humbled by the difficulty of the Half Ironman distance, and couldn't imagine being able to do an Ironman at that time. He then joined Team Sheeper and began training for Ironman New Zealand. During his time with Team Sheeper he has distinguished himself in his age group, and overall, with impressive finishes. His times include 2:16 at the L.A. Triathlon, 2:35 at Millerton Lake Triathlon, 4:59 at Half Vineman Triathlon, and 2:10 at the Sentinel Triathlon, all good enough for a first place finish in his age group. He capped it all off in March by completing Ironman New Zealand in 10:53:59, for an 18th place finish in his age group.
Aaron is currently a physical therapy assistant at San Mateo Orthopedic Group, and a college student at Foothill College. He is presently studying biology and sociology, and he hopes to finish his education pursuing orthopedics and sports science. Aaron was first introduced to Tim when Tim coached him in swimming as a youngster. He took some time away from swimming and started running on his own when he was 16. He played golf and water polo in high school. He traveled with the Junior Sharks Water Polo Team while in elementary and middle school, and competed in many tournaments including the Carnival in Quebec, Canada. In his spare time, Aaron also enjoys fishing, camping, golf and hiking.
When asked what he enjoys most about triathlons, Aaron says it's the people. He says that accomplishing individual goals and aspiring to succeed are great things, but without enjoyment and friendship triathlon wouldn't be the same. The people he has met, and continues to meet live healthy lifestyles that celebrate not only race victories, but also their health and happiness. He also says that together we all achieve more and enjoy racing more than we ever could by ourselves. He enjoys the team and the community because, he says, triathletes share common bonds and personality traits that help them to support each other to achieve personal victories, whether that be winning their age group, or finishing a race. Aaron feels it is important to succeed in your own eyes, as Tim talked about in the last hot sheet. He wants to continue to improve in the sport, and to continue to enjoy the sport.
Aaron hasn't focused on one race distance more than others. He tends to sign up for a race, focus on it, then move on to the next one. He tries not to prioritize performances, but wants to perform particularly well at Wildflower Long Course and Age Group Nationals this year. Look for Aaron at these races, as well as the California Half Ironman, Vineman Half, San Jose International Triathlon, Donner Lake Triathlon, and Sentinel.
As far as his most memorable moment during training, Aaron describes his attempt at the four day/100 miles per day bike tour that is recommended by Team Sheeper in preparation for an Ironman. Unfortunately, he had to attempt it by himself, and in the dead of winter. He describes it as follows:
"I was on Mount Diablo trying to go through the four day tour rides by myself. The day was cold and windy, but it wasn't raining too hard until I was well into my ride. By the time I knew I was in trouble I was three fourths of the way up Mount Diablo and it had started to snow. I was already extremely cold and the wind had put me in the middle of a blizzard. The wind was gusty and snow was blowing all over the road, in all directions. I had four water bottles on my bike and I was still getting lifted off the road. I did all I could to fight off the conditions and make it to the top so I could descend. I was afraid if I stopped I would freeze up on the mountain and never get down. Somehow I descended past the hazardous conditions, called a cab and got home. I found out the road had been closed where I was riding my bike. I sat on my trainer for the next three days for 16 hours. The trainer might have been boring, but I had had enough excitement to last me through the year on the bike. I could use some boredom in my life."
Team Sheeper wishes Aaron the best in his coming races, and in his education and career! We look forward to following him for many years to come.