ASPIRATIONS, Chasing the Dream: An Interview With AJ Anderson

Beginnings

My first ever triathlon was a sprint distance race located in Cairns Australia, where I won my age group wearing a pair of red speedos and riding a matching red bike! The taste of success and a new found passion prompted my premature retirement from the Royal Australian Navy to pursue my dream of becoming a professional triathlete. I took an opportunity to train alongside the National Swiss team in Australia and Switzerland and then moved to Thailand to train with another squad of professional athletes. Since then I have competed in triathlon races all over the world from Sprints to Ironman.

 

What are your motivations and aspirations?

As an athlete knowing that I have the opportunity and ability to achieve a high level in triathlon motivates me to develop the necessary skills. I continue to strive to fulfill my ambitions and achieve my potential. As a coach I want to pass on the benefit of my own triathlon knowledge as well as the experience gained from training with the world’s elite. Seeing my athletes achieve their individual goals is so rewarding, particularly those that juggle demanding careers and families.

 

What is your biggest challenge in a busy city such as Hong Kong?

As a full time student at Hong Kong University, as a coach and an athlete I find time management plays a major role if you want to be successful in anything. I try to get my training done in the morning before classes’ start, which eliminates any stress of trying to fit in sessions later in the day. Avoiding the traffic by getting out early is the key to riding in Hong Kong it also sets you up for the day making you feel energized.

 

What is your most memorable/favourite race?

My very first Ironman holds some fond memories, forgetting my race number in a port-a-loo and running back to find an outstretched arm holding it! The Laguna Phuket Triathlon isalso a favorite, which takes place in December, this is an end of the season race and has one of the best after party’s in Asia and plus you get to run down the finishers chute with an elephant!

 

As a coach do you have any advice for those taking up the sport?

Keep it simple, learn the basics and filter what you hear and read. Consistency is the key, training week in, week out improving and developing as an athlete takes time. For those

high achievers, I always relate their triathlon goals to the climbing of the corporate ladder and ask, ‘how much hard work and how long did it take you to get to the position you are in now?’ 10,000 hours is a good starting point. Hong Kong is such an amazing city with lots of distractions and temptations. Surrounding yourself with others in the sport will help you to focus and stay motivated. Ultimately being healthy and active outside of the office can have such a positive impact on your performance in the workplace too, which can only be a good thing.

 

HEADHUNT is a proud sponsor of AJ Anderson, who inspires & motivates us through his passion and spirit of excellence.

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