Welcome to TeamJames.org!
Hello! This page is intended to provide some quick background into what I'm doing, explain my goals/motivation, tell you where support is needed, and to introduce the sport to anyone not familiar with the Modern Pentathlon.
Where the story starts...
Growing up, I was active in a number of sports, always with the full support of my parents. They always encouraged my pursuits, no matter how out of the ordinary they were. This followed me right into my career, from touring with the band (at one point ending up in Salt Lake to play at the 2002 Winter Olympics), to my current position as owner of the Guitar Cities music schools, which has now grown internationally. If I had a passion for it, they would never advise against it.
In April of 2009, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. The tumors were found to be quite aggressive, and she passed away in October of the same year. Following that experience, I began to look for something that could both change my life and be dedicated to my mom. I decided to pursue the Modern Pentathlon.
I chose the Modern Pentathlon because it would expose me to a number of disciplines I had never tried before. The sport consists of:
- horse jumping
More details can be found here.
I played soccer, basketball, tennis, and baseball growing up, so this endeavor was going to be a difficult one -- exactly the sort of off-beat but challenging goal my mom would still support.
I began training for the events and began pushing myself more and more. I entered in an escalating amount of races and tournaments. In early 2013, I received 2nd in my division in a 5k, finishing 17th out of 1,129, and a 1st place in my division in the State of Illinois in fencing, earning a trip to Columbus, OH, for the fencing nationals. I have also begun training for triathlon, and have earned a spot for Team USA in the ITU Triathlon World Championships in 2016.
After these positive results in 2013, I spoke with the coaches for Team USA and registered for Olympic development camp. Training became more of a priority, so I had to take more time away from work, as well as upgrade the equipment I was using and spend more money on private instruction.
When the camp finished, I was told that qualifying for Team USA was possible if I was to continue and increase my training. As my aunt wrote to me, "your mom would be chuckling."
Where I am now...
I have now begun competing internationally for TEAM USA in Modern Pentathlon and Triathlon!
In June of 2016 I received Gold in the Master's Division at United States Pentathlon Nationals. I have also started training to compete in triathlons, and qualified for the ITU World Championship Triathlon for 2016. I have altered my work/training schedule so I can pursue this goal. I have moved to the east coast to train with some of the best fencers in the United States, and have coaches for all the events I am competing in. I am working on covering the costs of everything, but could really use support. I will be continuing to train and attend camps at the Olympic Training Center, so am looking to find sponsorship/donation opportunities. The support page can be found here.
I am hoping this page explains to friends/family what has been happening and gives potential sponsors or those who wish to donate an idea of what I am looking for to achieve this goal. Your assistance will help me take this pursuit as far as I can take it.