Gabi's Incredibly Inspiring Journey to Ironman Maryland


For those of you who know Gabi, you know that this photo is about as serious a snapshot you will see of her. With her exuberant smile, Gabi was the life of our workouts at Meech this Summer! It was such a joy for me to coach Gabi along her Ironman Journey.

When Gabi came to me for coaching, she hadn't completed a triathlon yet. Doing an Ironman before trying a sprint is not something I would usually recommend.

After our first meeting, I knew that she had the fitness and grit that she needed to get it done!

Being a military member, she has the discipline needed to follow her program every week. She completed her scheduled training through the good days and the tough days.

Gabi's tough days are something most of us thankfully may never understand. 

Then the worst case scenario happened for our Tremblant IM athletes. The race was cancelled and the land border to the US was closed. Gabi quickly made plans to pack up a bike box and convince her Dad to join her to fly down to Maryland and stay in a tent!

Maryland IM wasn't exactly what she signed up for, though. Although the course is much flatter than Tremblant, the jellyfish scene that she described sounded unbearable! Stings on her neck, throat, hands, feet and face!

The worst part was that it was hard not to get bits of the jellies in your mouth....ugh!!

The result was that Gabi had the fastest swim of her life! Many people were ill and 10% DNF'd. Gabi felt the stings on the bike but persevered and came in 30 minutes earlier than expected. Once the run started she felt the ill effects of the jellies on her gut and it slowed her down, but she was ever so determined to get to the finish line. She smiled and kept her thoughts filled with gratitude for being able to get to the start line after a rough seven years.

Congratulations Gabi on completing the Ironman in Maryland!! We couldn't be prouder to call you an Ironman!!


"7 years ago I lived through a traumatic event while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. I began developing symptoms of what would later become a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorder. I was incredibly sick, and slowly losing myself completely. I realized I could no longer continue living like this, so I reached out and asked for help.

What followed were years of intensive therapy, and a two and half month stay in residential treatment for substance abuse and PTSD. While I was in rehab, I had three goals: to find relief from my symptoms, reconnect with my family, and rediscover playing.

Today, I celebrate just over 2 years and 9 months of sobriety, and I am an Ironman! I am incredibly humbled and grateful to be surrounded by people who love me, and who want to see me succeed. I cannot thank my wonderful coach, Julia Aimers and Team Triumph enough for guiding me through my Ironman journey. I have found my tribe in this team, and they will be with me forever.

To all my family and friends who have stayed with me throughout this journey, I love you and I share this Ironman victory with you all! And to my absolutely amazing wife Dusty Arizona, thank you for continuing to love and support me, through all the good, the bad, and the ugly, and for still believing in me. I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I cannot wait to continue sharing this beautiful life with you.

I hope my story can help inspire others who might be struggling with PTSD or substance abuse disorder to reach out for help. You are not alone, and you are so loved. Keep on keepin’ on my angels!"


Julia Aimers is the Founder and Head Coach of Team Triumph Triathlon Club and Online Store.

She is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist, High Performance Specialist, Accredited Training Peaks Coach and Certified Triathlon & Cycling Coach.


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