This week, and for the beginning of second quarter, we would like to highlight one of our members Joseph “JB” Covington! Last year he completed his FIRST triathlon during Rock Hall with an Olympic distance, and already into 2018, and he has completed his second triathlon race in Smithfield, VA at the Smithfield Sprint! JB had another life milestone last year when featured on the TV show “The Voice!” with his church choir for their talents in gospel music. Even with all of life’s successes, there were also hardships. JB’s 2017 did not closeout the way he intended, and yet he still pushes through! He is such an inspiration and added value to the team! Read below on how this NY native, and Tuskegee University graduate, got into triathlons and continues his courage to keep going!
“How District Tri has impacted my life:
I have always had a zest and zeal for physical competition from football to swimming in my youth to running marathons in adulthood. A couple years ago I wanted something more challenging, something that would push me beyond the limits that marathon training had done for me. So I came up with the idea of doing triathlons. I wasn’t all to sure how to train effectively for such a sport so I did some research. After continually training I never signed up for a race. Fast forward a couple years I mentioned interest for the sport to an acquaintance and he introduced me to District Tri. Instantly I was excited to join the movement. I started going to all the workouts to just become a better athlete overall. But being a part of this team meant you had to put your money where your mouth is. When racing season opened up everyone began signing up for races. I had always talked about doing a race but never carried out the plan. Mid season when the majority of the team had completed their first race ever or first race of the season they began to call out those who had not yet accomplished the goal of completing a race. Questions began to be asked like what race do you plan on doing? When will you sign up for your first race? So i signed up officially for Rock Hall Tri Olympic distance. Trained super hard leading up to the race and conquered it! While training I noticed slight health complications but didn’t think much of them. I ended up completing the race but at the finish line a teammate noticed me bleeding from my side and I quickly attributed it to chaffing. Fast forward a few weeks found out I actually had CANCER! Everything came to a screeching holt. I ended up being hospitalized from complications. I told a few members of the team that I trusted what was going on with my health and was immediately supported. I then decided to go public with my diagnosis in order to be transparent to help others that might be dealing the same or similar situation. I then informed my entire team and from that point forward it was an overwhelming outpouring of love. This summer I had to find a way to get back to a place where my body was in shape to basic daily activities. I knew I had to have the heart of a fighter to see the progress I desired to see. By me sharing my story it gave District Tri a way to support me in ways I never knew I needed. Calls texts prayers and well wishes began to flow my way. Everyone just wanted to be a blessing in my life. Visitor after visitor teammate after teammate. The questions began to be asked to what do we have to do to get you training again? My answer was I have to get my left leg under control and back down to size. I wanted to train and workout but had a fear of being far from home by myself for medical reasons. The teams response to that was SAY NO MORE, before I could think twice Eddie brought over a bike trainer so that I could train from the comfort of my home. Now I could only do 10-15 mins initially but it was a start. I kept up with convo in our group chat with everybody talk about workouts and races. This began to ignite a fire inside of me that could not be quenched. With me being able to do more riding I started riding outside again. Then went from riding to running again. I began to share this info with the team and they encouraged me every step of the way. Eddie told me that it was in the suffering that I would grow and eventually maximize on my potential so I kept working. I decided to show a more vulnerable side of my process thru showing me at a chemo session. My point was to show that although it seems extremely bad I’m still going to find the good in all of this, smile and take it in stride. The team got me a t shirt with everyone’s signature and get well soon cards that fired my passion all the more. What many don’t realize is that had I not been exercising my recovery would have been 100x’s slower than what it has been. But what DT didn’t realize is that my passion came from them my fire came from words of encouragement, my zest zeal and drive stemmed from their competitive spirit. So I owe my healing and recovery to District Tri I am forever grateful for their love and support. For the pushing me to be the best athlete I will forever love my tribe my squad DISTRICT TRI!” – Joseph “JB” Covington