Meet teamTBB's newest star Christie
Hi My name is Christie Sym. I was one of those kids that wanted to do everything, 100%, like a bull at a red rag. My over enthusiasm almost always resulted in trips to the doctor for stitches, the dentist to repair chipped teeth, and the hospital at least once a year for more major repairs. My sporting history includes everything from soccer, water polo, baseball and netball to cross country running and swimming, but mostly I liked tearing around the neighborhood on my department store bike. Bottom line, I wanted to race bikes from a very young age.
I studied business at university where I gained my bachelor in accounting, majoring in financial management, small business and sports marketing; more importantly it was here at uni where I met friends who would eventually lead me into the sport of triathlon. My first tri was as the swim/runner in a team at the Mooloolaba tri, before borrowing a bike destined for the junk yard to win my first sprint tri. Within the next 12 months I won two junior state titles, in between being taken out by a car and it’s box trailer in a hit and run. Deciding I didn’t like cars that much anymore I was soon convinced to join an adventure racing team, where I discovered mountain biking and paddling. My first race was 3.5 hours, 2nd 24 hours, and within a year I had raced 48 hours straight and 5 day staged epics. I was 20 years old and getting through on passion and determination alone. My body quickly adapted to the demands of this grueling sport and I achieved much success including 3 national adventure racing series titles.
In 2006 I was selected on the Australian Institute of sport cross-country mountain biking talent ID team for the London Olympics. Whilst I enjoyed the structured training, which was new to me, I really missed my running and paddling. So back to adventure racing, until 2009 when I wanted a new challenge, and entered my first Ironman in Busselton. I had one goal, being to beat as many of the professional females as possible. I finished 2nd overall to Gina Crawford after losing 9 minutes in the swim! It took 6 months of convincing after this but I eventually quit my job, packed my bags and headed to the States to race over the summer. Since then my race highlights include 1st at Ironman 70.3 Racine & IM 70.3 Cancun, 2nd Alcatraz Triathlon, 3rd Challenge Wanaka and 5th at Ironman Canada – one of the hardest results I had to fight for as I was very sick and suffered all day.
Prior to joining the team I experienced a lot of health issues, including heart surgery in 2008, being diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2009, and at the end of 2011 was on the verge of having my gallbladder rupture whilst still trying to race. After spending some time in the emergency room in the USA I rushed back to Australia to have my gallbladder removed, what turned out to be an emergency procedure. Having been in the sport only 2 years and with huge dreams yet unrealized, I was at a turning point. I seriously considered giving it all in. Then I contacted the doc.
I’ve trained and raced with many of TBB athletes during my short time in the sport, heard a lot about Brett’s coaching, and love the hard work ethic and professionalism displayed by the team. I have huge respect for the results Brett has achieved over his coaching career and trust him to guide me towards my goals and dreams. When it comes to training I’m not one for details, and prefer to just put my head down and go, the less thinking the better; so I think Brett’s coaching will not only suit me but also keep me in line, and teach me how to be a true professional athlete.
I’m incredibly excited and thankful to Brett and the team for believing in me and giving me this opportunity, and I intend on making the most of this. My main goal for 2012 is to gain consistency in my training and racing. A few wins along the way would also be nice :)
Best of luck this year, we can't wait to watch you race!