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Guiding Light - Jessica Jones Meyers

Posted: Aug 15 2015

Duty, Honor, Country. It's the motto of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and to the graduates the words matter. They matter big time.  As General Douglas MacArthur so eloquently said, they teach you to not seek the path of comfort, to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, and to not substitute talk for action.  

In this day and age where so many seem to go out of their way to demand attention and say "Look at Me" and "Pay attention to Me", it is incredibly refreshing to come across individuals who put others first.

Case in point - Coeur Athlete Jessica Jones Meyers. Jess is a Mom, a West Point Grad, a Combat Vet, and a Professional Triathlete.

On Sunday, August 16th, she will be continuing to build her legacy of service as she guides Para-Triathlete and Olympic Contender Patricia Walsh at an ITU Race in Detroit. We asked Jessica to pen a few words about the experience and, as you might expect, she was glad to comply.

 Here's her blog entry:

"What a whirlwind this summer has been. After Ironman Texas I knew the chase for points to get on the start line for Kona this year was over. And after Four Ironmans in 12 months, I just really didn't mind. I was tired, slightly disheartened, and kind of over it all. As a goal oriented person, it was strange to suddenly be sitting in a place where I didn't have a goal in mind. It was definitely new territory, and frankly one I was pretty excited about. I knew I wanted to go back to my shorter course routes. I had a few Olympic and 70.3s in mind for the rest of 2015. It was during that time that I got to talking to good friend, Caroline Gaynor. Caroline has been heavily involved with Team RWB for years. Beyond that she has been guiding blind triathletes for even longer. Through several Team RWB Tri camps I've been able to witness several visually impaired veterans participate in triathlon. It's always something that I've wanted to do, but with my own goals in mind I figured it would be after I retire from racing professionally.

With no real hard racing plans, Caroline started texting me one day about my 5K times. I figured she was just curious. Then she texted a few days later that her good friend Patricia Walsh might be looking for a new guide to help in her quest for a podium finish at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. Patricia is not a veteran and has been blind since age 5. Caroline, a complete rock star in the world of guiding, had guided Patricia in the past. Caroline put us in touch and we chatted a bit and decided for Patricia to take a quick trip to Tulsa to see if we clicked. Luckily we got a long very well--which is incredibly important in the world of guide/athlete.

So now here I sit with Patricia on a plane to Detroit for our first ITU race together. Patricia flew in a week ago so we could get some more practice together. It's certainly a steep learning curve, but I can't tell you how exciting this is for both of us. I feel so fortunate to know people in the visually impaired world and para-athlete through Team RWB. And now that has introduced me to beyond the veteran world of para athletes. Getting to know Patricia is inspiring and this whole experience has already been life changing, and I'm just at the tip of the iceberg. And it's funny that whole thing about "closing a door and opening a window" couldn't be more true.

I wanted to give a special thanks to my parents, especially my mom. Each time Patricia has come to town, my mom flies in as well to help with Rowan and Gwyn so we can focus on our training. None of this would be possible without her. So mom, I owe you big time!!! We will race our little hearts out for you guys!"

 

Post Script

Jess wrote this on her way to the race.  We're so happy to announce that she and Patricia won the race!  Here's a picture of the two of them on the Podium.