'Zinc Out Loud' with Jamie Brown, pro triathlete training for the 2021 summer Paralympics
Meet and welcome, pro triathlete Jamie Brown to Team Zealios. He lives and trains right here in our backyard in Bend, Oregon! While there is no shortage of pro athletes in Bend, Jamie has overcome more than your typical athlete’s tough race or heavy training load. Jamie was born with fibular hemimelia - a condition leaving him with only two fingers on his right hand and the amputation of his right foot at 11 months old.
Growing up with a family that didn’t treat his condition as a disability provided Jamie with all the motivation and drive to pursue sports and an active childhood. At age 20 Jamie was also diagnosed with diabetes, adding yet another opportunity to overcome an obstacle. With his natural athletic abilities and love for competition, Jamie began competing in triathlon as a para-athlete about 10 years ago.
Fast forward to today, Jamie is on Team USA and preparing to race and re-qualify for the 2020 (now 2021) Paralympics in Tokyo. We met up with Jamie to hear how he’s shifting his focus and training given the change in the race plans.
Photo credit @treelinecinematic
Zealios: With the 2020 summer games postponed to next summer, how are you feeling?
Jamie Brown: The postponement is to be expected at this point as all other sports have shut down. The method used to qualify for triathlon in the Olympics is based on a qualifying time period. Those qualifying events are not happening now. The only thing we can do is control our response to the situation. We all need to focus on humanity as a whole and get through this together. The Olympics will come at a later date.
Para athletes are placed in categories for competition called sport classes, here's more interesting info on the complex categorization.
Z: Have you had time to develop a plan around training for the games now that the event is over a year out?
JB: At this point, I am in a holding pattern as they decide on the new dates for the Olympics as well as all of our qualifying events. Since I race under the world series to qualify, we will not have a schedule for racing until the whole world is doing better. We compete globally for our Olympic spots, not just against our American competitors.
Note: the International Olympics Committee recently announced the 2020 Summer Olympics will be held July 23rd - August 8th, 2021. More information can be found here.
Z: We’re all social distancing and living somewhat in isolation, how’s it affecting your training? And mental state?
JB: I have always trained solo anyway. Triathlon is a very individual sport so you learn to spend a lot of time alone in your head working on your own mental game. I have my bike set up in my garage with my dogs (all 6 of them) to keep me company.
Z: 6 dogs?! Well, we know you’re staying busy.
You’ve overcome a lot in your life and athletic career, any tips to share on how we all can view this difficult time differently and find some positivity and possibly an opportunity within it all?
JB: It is all about our reactions to events and each other. That is the one aspect that we can control - our response. It is similar to a poker game, it’s not about the cards that you are dealt but how you respond to them. We have to choose to stay positive and continue to connect with others.
Z: Any daily routines you’ve adopted to keep your mind at ease and ready to tackle the day?
JB: Nothing new. I have always focused on mindfulness and always preparing for the tasks at hand. I learned a lot during my time as a baseball player. Focus and determination.
Z: How about any newly acquired hobbies? Maybe bread making like the rest of America? :)
JB: Spring means time to mow the lawn, that’s my current hobby.
Z: We ask all our athletes to make this difficult decision, which Zealios product is your favorite and why?
JB: Honestly, the Swim & Sport body wash is my favorite product. It doesn’t dry out my skin which is a big deal for a diabetic living in the high desert mountains.
Z: We’re stoked to have you on the team and excited to follow along on your Olympic journey for next summer!
Follow Jamie on social @jamiebrowntri
Or check out his website: https://www.jamiebrowntri.com/