A year full of wins and personal bests, Jennifer Walker swam, biked and ran through the last 365 days and is ready to begin 2015 with goals just as large. From her first Ironman in 2009, winning her age group at Austin 70.3 this past October to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria this fall, and now being ranked 3rd in the world for her age bracket at the 70.3 distance Jennifer is taking over the triathlon world like flannel does Zilker Park during ACL.
Despite Walker’s distinguished ranking the thing most impressive is the drive behind her Wattie Ink gear, the brand now sponsoring her through race season. Being struck by a car just six weeks before her first Ironman, she stepped up to the start with two fractured vertebrates. An injury that would set most back a full season, Jennifer hardly flinched (at least not where anyone could see) taking matters into her own hands to race. We sat at a table for two over lunch where she recounted the story as a normal occurrence, one of many instances she has encountered with grace.
Jennifer chalks up her determined attitude to the sport itself, saying though that first race was the most difficult thing she had done at the time, the moment her feet crossed the finish line she was hooked for good. The things that would have most running for the hills: bloody bike crashes, instant IV tent visits, and the (reality of pushing your mind and body to the limit, are all another challenge in Jennifer’s brave coated world.
“It’s about pushing yourself forward when everything else in you says you can’t do this.”
Like most athletes, Walker knows to enter each race hoping everything goes as planned and preparing for nothing to at all. Training two-a-days with her coach, Stephan Schwarze, and learning to set and obtain realistic goals Jennifer has been able to move mountains in the racing community with a ritual to zen out and zone out.
Jennifer understands the importance of giving herself time to breath the night before a race, along with keeping herself rehabbed through the season and making sure to catch a massage a week or two prior to the big day.
Perhaps this ornate quality to keep such a level head comes from her ability to compare the racing mindset to real life task and goals. She said this world has helped her learn to reach for full potential in her personal and professional life as well as make work the juggling act racers so often have to learn.
With even more ambition to podium and take her sport to the next level, we can’t wait to follow Jennifer’s journey for years to come!