This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on thirty-eight-year-old triathlete and swimmer, Tanya Maslasch. Tanya is the founder and CEO of GOTRIbal, a website and organization aimed at empowering women and promoting triathlon around the world. Check out Tanya’s in-depth interview below where she dishes on the Half Ironman in Hawaii, patience, pizza, and chocolate peanut butter shakes.
Sport(s): endurance sports – triathlon
Hometown: San Diego, CA
High School/Middle School/College: oh man, that was too long ago to remember
Position: Founder, CEO – GOTRIbal
What’s your fave sport? Swimming – triathlon
How many years have you been playing your fave sport? 9 years tri, 25 + years swimming
What was your fave sporty moment or memory?
Finishing Hawaii Half Ironman triathlon. I had a major foot injury I got 3 days before the race, but had returned to Hawaii to race with friends who had encouraged me to try triathlon 6 years previous, so I just didn’t want to back out.. I was so fit, and so ready, I figured I’d enjoy the swim and bike, and decide what to do once I jumped off my bike in transition. It hurt like heck, but I felt incredible doing that length of a race, especially after I thought the longest I’d ever run would be 3 miles.
What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing your sport?
Patience. (and I’ve got way more learning to do!) As a competitive swimmer through college, I’ve been mentally and physically trained for a relatively short season – which basically means, you might swim 6+ miles a day, but your competitions are quick and your season is over after 7 months or so. Not so in long distance triathlon! Patience is a virtue!
What lessons have you learned about work ethic from your sport?
Sport really offers so many important lessons! For sure, discipline, focus and recognizing the value of constructive feedback (and support) are two biggies.
What have you learned about teamwork?
Even in an individual sport like triathlon, there is so much teamwork that goes on. I would argue, regardless of ability, it happens with women at a whole different level. Elite athletes have it, newbies have it – and because the mental part of sport is just as critical, the emotional and psychological support I’ve witnessed among women (again, regardless of ability level) has been empowering and incredible – for the giver and receiver!
How do you balance school and sports?
When I was in school, it just was a part of my life – basically it was like brushing my teeth, it just “was”. Now, as an owner of two businesses, it’s become more challenging! But I get cranky if I go too many days without my training, so my body and mind remind me to get out there and play!
List some awards or accolades you’ve received.
I think I won the “Girl Most Likely To Meet a Tall, Hot, Athletic Dude” when I was in high school….or wait, maybe that’s what I nominated myself for.
Who’s your fave athlete, both male and female?
There are so many incredible women athletes! Two of my fav’s are Chrissie Wellington and Gabrielle Reese. Both women exude a comfortable and proud confidence, are humble humans, they each empower other women to be strong and confident, and are wicked smart chicks. I gotta say, for the boys, I’m a big fan of Gabrielle’s husband, Laird Hamilton. Besides seeming to be a pretty down-to-earth guy, surfing HUGE waves, and having incredible athletic abilities, the guy married Gabby (so he, too, appreciates a rockin chick when he meets her)!
What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature question)
I’m a huge fan of a deliciously decadent shopping spree, complete with chocolate-peanut butter shake break, and a girls sesh on our surfboards, with our favorite boys joining us for pizza and beer post-surf.
Thanks, Tanya!! I’m so impressed and inspired by GoTribal and the triathletes. I agree with you – love Gabrielle Reese. Best of luck with your amazing site and competitions!
Do you or someone you know want to be spotlighted? Send an email to Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.