Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meet Staci Brode

Playtri owner, Staci Brode, has been involved with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for over 15 years.  Staci says, "I continue to be involved with Team In Training because I love everything about it.  Losing my dad in 2012, brought me back to LLS because I now have a very deep personal connection."  Sarah Sherman, Team In Training Campaign Staff, sat down with Staci for a little walk down memory lane.  Here's their conversation. 

Why did you originally get involved with LLS / TNT?

     I had recently moved to Dallas and I received a flyer in the mail about the Hawaii marathon.  I was new to the area, looking to get in shape, and meet people.  I went to the info session and decided that 26.2 miles was a long way to run.  Then the Triathlon coach stood up and started talking about the triathlon options and I thought that sounded more fun.  I didn’t really know much about the sport but was anxious to learn.   I didn’t even have a bike yet.  At the season kick off, they gave us a list of everything that we would ever need for a triathlon and off I went to the bike store. I met our team captains there and they fitted me on an entry level road bike and loaded me up with everything imaginable for the sport. I went out and rode a bike for the first time in about 18 years.   

Why is LLS important to you?
     I participated in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in 2001 with TNT and had an unbelievable experience with all of the training and all the people that I met. I then fell in love with the mission by meeting the people that were literally dealing with these blood cancers.  It was an amazing combination of getting in shape, meeting new people and feeling great about myself.
     Getting to meet the honored heroes throughout the season was key for me connecting to the mission. It made it so much more personal.  At the time, TNT was the only game in town. I didn’t know of anything else like it. They were the crucial to the growth of the sport. The timing was right and TNT was doing great things. 

     I finished my first race and I immediately signed up for my next event.  Over the next few years I served as a mentor, captain and then a triathlon coach. It seems like everyone who has worked for me at Playtri (race coordinators, volunteer coordinators) all started with TNT. It’s amazing to me how many people have been touched by TNT in the sport of Triathlon.

      I lost my dad in 2012 to Multiple Myeloma so LLS became very important to me because I now was personally impacted by a blood cancer.  That is why I enjoy working with LLS  now.  I want to give back and support the mission because it has affected me on a very personal level.  The sport has changed but I still think LLS play a crucial role in the sport and giving back to those patients.
What experience does TNT offer that you can’t get anywhere else?
All the triathlon clubs now are social. Everyone likes to feel like they belong to a group when they go to an event. Training partners are a nice bonus also. TNT gave all that meaning. TNT gave us the ability to do something that you love and get to give back to others at the same time. Nobody has duplicated that even though many have tried. TNT has been around for so long and they know how to do it so well. I think that TNT was the pioneer in that style of fundraising.

What exercise / training product could you not live without?
Favorite exercise product is my bike.  The QR PRSix.  It’s fast and looks pretty.  It’s way faster than I am but I can look good even if I’m at the back of the pack. 

Favorite flavor of GU is Salted Carmel
Favorite drink is Gu Brew Watermelon Flavor

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