At the age of 24, I became a bi-lateral amputee. A work-related
accident in which I received a double dose of 13,000 volts changed my
life forever. I awoke from a month-long coma to learn that both my arms
had been amputated in addition to burns on over 40% of my body.
While blessed to be alive, it was frustrating to hear doctors assure
me that I would one day be able to do basic actions like button my shirt
and brush my teeth – things that one learns as a child. I grieved for
the part of Hector that had dreams and goals that involved an active
Derek, now 31, has been cancer-free for nearly four years. The
survivor earned his highest placing as a pro at Wildflower 2015 and
hopes to continue his success in the 2016 competition.
In 2012, just after Derek Garcia had earned his pro card and
completed his first race as an elite training squad, he received a call
no one, and especially an athlete, wants to hear – he had testicular
The devastating cancer diagnosis brought Derek’s infant career to a screeching halt.
“It was incredibly scary,” Derek recounts. “We had two boys at the
time, had just put a huge amount of time, money, and commitment into my
new career as a professional triathlete. Everything was put into
question. My major concern was how I would be able to take care of my
family if things got bad.”
Did you know that prostate cancer will take the lives of nearly 30,000 men this year alone? To help end the second leading cause of cancer death in men, we at Tri-California Events have partnered with ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer for the renowned Wildflower Triathlon in April and for the return of the iconic San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz in August. ZERO will be featured as a charity partner for both of these events as a part of their ZERO Endurance program.
It can often be tricky knowing the best way to adjust your training for a taper week, and it is important to remember that this will involve some trial and error as different taper strategies work better for different athletes. So, here is an example of a swim session you could test out during race week to see if it works for you.
Eleven years ago, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Chemotherapy saved my life but it damaged my heart, leaving me with
heart failure. My heart progressively declined for the following seven
years, and each day I wondered just how much punishment one body could
endure before it gave out. Finally, four years ago, a generous soul
chose to save my life by donating their heart when they no longer needed