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.

SMI is proud to sponsor this month's athlete who embodies the spirit of Team Sheeper. SMI is a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of overuse injuries, optimization of human function and enhancement of athletic performance.

Amy McGaughey

May 2009 Athlete of the Month

" always a friendly and supportive team member. It is a pleasure training and racing with her!"
"Amy is an inspiration to me!"
"She is one of the sweetest people on the team, always positive, always smiling..."
- Fellow Teammates.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

My answer may surprise a few people, but I wanted to be a cop. I was more extroverted when I was younger and was drawn to the drama and action. I used to watch the show Cops and couldn't wait until I was old enough to get involved in the bust. I was also a youth explorer with the LA County Sheriff's Office where I was able to work with police officers and quickly realized the job was nearly as exciting as I had expected.

Do you have a spouse or children or pets to tell us about?

Many of you have met my wonderful dog Chili. I was lucky enough to find Chili at a local East Bay rescue a little over 2 years ago. He is most likely a Tibetan Mastiff mix but his background will always be a mystery. Who cares about the breed anyway? Chili is 93 pounds, mostly consisting of LOTS of black fur. He is a sweet, lazy boy who just wants to spend time with people and hang out outside although he does have a very stubborn and independent side that at times leads him to disregard my commands.

What other hobbies do you have?

If I am not training, I am usually working, walking Chili, or trying to get some sleep. I do enjoy cooking and often cook when I am not at an evening workout. I also love to travel. It is fascinating to experience different countries and their cultures. I make an effort to take one international trip every year or at the very least every two years. I have visited many amazing places and have a long list of adventures I hope to take in the future.

How did you become involved with Team Sheeper?

I was working in Menlo Park and living in San Francisco. I wanted to avoid commuting during rush hour traffic and was looking for a way to get some exercise either before or after work. After a bit of research on the internet, I found Team Sheeper. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time but it has been a great experience.

What is your athletic background?

I was always active in sports but never really focused my energy in one particular sport. I played a lot of tennis as a child and continued to play all the way through high school. I picked up tennis again for a few years after college and enjoyed playing with all the old timers at the tennis club. I began running in college for fitness and did my first marathon in 1998, the year I graduated college. Ultimately, the aches and pains of running led me to triathlon.

What motivates/inspires you?

I am inspired by all the talent on the team. The many talented athletes and their words of encouragement motivate me to improve my own skills. I can assure you I would have quit the team in the first few months after joining, if it had not been for team members, like Derrick and Keith, who always encouraged me and motivated me to keep at it. It can be very discouraging to be dropped at every ride and change your first flat on your own. It is a great feeling to see the consistent, hard work pay off and I am motivated to keep improving.

What races are you planning for the remainder of this year, or the future, that you are gearing up for?

Ironman Canada. It has been a whirlwind year of triathlon and no better way to end the season than with an Ironman. I will say the Ironman training is brutal and I much prefer training for half ironmans. I just hope the end result is worth it. I recently participated in a swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge, which was a great experience. I also plan to do Vineman 70.3 in a few weeks. In the future, I want to do more long distance, open water swimming events and adventure racing.

What is your favorite Tim Sheeper quote/story?

I will never forget waking up on the 3rd day of the Death Valley bike tour and hardly being able to walk. Prior to the tour, I had never ridden 100 miles on my bike in one day and I was about to begin my third day of over 100 miles each day. I approached Tim at breakfast with my concerns about physically being able to ride my bike at all and he told me to get on my bike and get started. He did not waver in his confidence that I would make it and, in fact, did not seem the least bit concerned about my ability to complete the ride. He gave me a few pointers and sent me off on the bike. I was able to complete the ride (minus one climb). As I often lack the confidence in myself when embarking on these new adventures, I appreciate Tim's unwavering confidence.

What is your favorite Team Sheeper workout or memorable moment?

Of course, the most challenging events stick out in my mind. The fearsome tri was extremely difficult for me, especially climbing back up to Skyline on my mountain bike. I had several moments during that climb where I questioned why the heck I was even involved with Team Sheeper. I also remember my first team workout, which was a Tuesday night run. I thought I was a reasonably fit individual until we started running and I could hardly keep up with anybody in the group. I did not know the route and it was pouring rain, so I had to work as hard as possible to complete the run. I spent the next couple of months running on my own and with the Tattersols before showing up to another team run.

What would you choose as your last meal?

Cheeseburger medium rare
French fries
Cold Beer
Ice cream and lots of it

What scares you?

I am scared of running injuries. Over the last few years, I have struggled with running injuries and have not been able to enjoy running the way I used to in the past. There is nothing more rejuvenating, relaxing, and therapeutic than a long run (I’m sure my idea of a long run is different that all the crazy Sheeper folks, I was thinking about 10-13 miles). I hope I can get stronger and avoid running injuries in the future. I would love to feel great out there on my runs!

Amy McGaughey