Getting to Know T1 High Performance Athlete, Eric Dokter
A long time ago in a galaxy similar to this one, a triathlete was born. Well, not really. I wish I could tell you I’ve been doing triathlon since I was a kid, but that’s just not the case. Like 90% of boys growing up in Canada, I started skating before I could even walk. I played hockey from age 4 until I was around 19. A bit of high level competitive, and a bit of low level fun. I loved hockey but by the time I was out of High School and starting University, I came to the realization that I had plateaued in where hockey could take me. I stopped playing hockey and instead took up the fine sport of eating way too much and drinking a lot. This ultimately led to gaining weight and becoming fat Eric, my alter ego. A friend of mine started competing in triathlon around this time and I went and watched him race. It seemed interesting, and a serious challenge to chain all these sports together into one big event. I signed up for a race the next year and I was completely hooked. My first race was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I loved the idea of pushing my absolute limits to see what my body was capable of.
I’ll skip my years in University as it was pretty much just me training randomly with no purpose and not really going anywhere in the sport. I did race in a few pretty awesome places like Hawaii and Arizona, but looking back on it I was just a lost age-grouper trying to understand this crazy sport. In my final year of University I met T1 High Performance coach, Kyle Jensen. Kyle was working at the university and was a pretty accomplished triathlete and had competed at World Championships. I turned to him for coaching and I haven’t looked back.
Flash forward 3 years from where I began and you have a fitter more determined Eric no longer lost and ready to start his journey to an Elite athlete. I moved home after graduating from the University of Lethbridge and joined the Kronos Triathlon Club. Kyle had just accepted the head coaching job for the club so I thought it was fitting for me to join as well. This is when I met my second coach, Lisa Mensink (2008 Beijing Olympian, I might add). Lisa has been paramount to my growth and improvement in triathlon and having the two of them working together, I soon saw amazing progress. I raced 2 years under the Kronos Triathlon Club competing at many North American races, 2 ITU World Championships, a top 10 and a top 5 at Nationals, and many podium finishes.
Now that you’re all caught up, here’s what I got going on for the 2018 season. I’m still training with Kronos this year, I’ll probably never leave. 2018 is actually planned to be my first official year as an Elite, competing at the ITU Continental Cup level. I plan to apply to as many races as I physically can and soak up as much experience as possible. This year is going to be a learning year, no doubt about that. Now, there aren’t a lot of Continental Cups for my to apply for, so to fill my racing calendar up I’ll be racing as many non-drafting olympic distance races with a pro field. Again, the whole idea of this season is to learn as much as possible and the fastest way to learn is to do so I plan to race as much as I can against a high caliber of athletes. I may not come out of this season draped in gold medals, but I’ll be stronger for the future. My goal since starting sports way back when has always been to excel. No matter what sport I’m in, I want to be the best and I want to push myself to the absolute limit. My favourite part about triathlon is learning just what type of person you are when you’re 2km from the finish and 20 seconds back from first place and all you want to do is quit. That is where you find yourself, and that is why I love this sport.