HK: Hello A.J.
AJ: Hello Herb.
HK: How are you?
AJ: I’m doing well Herb. Just got back from a few weeks at sleep-over camp in Clermont, FL. Back in Boulder now.
HK: (fuming) Aren’t you going to ask me how I’m doing?
AJ: How are you doing Herb?
HK: I’m slightly less irritable than normal. Most people would consider my current mood the worst day of their entire life, but for me I’m at about an 8 out of 10.
AJ: Okay. So… do you have a question?
HK: Sure. Tell us about your winter training. You had so much fun partying with Dark Mark and The Real Starky in Kona that people wonder about your dedication. How is training going?
AJ: Well Herb, lucky for me, no one in Boulder is as dedicated to drinking and disorderly conduct as Starky and Dark Mark. Without their terrible influence, I’ve actually be able to get quite a bit of work done this winter.
HK: So what is your plan for 2015? Please describe your A-F races.
AJ: In all honesty, I’ve been pretty focused these past few months. My main goal is for you, Herb, to consider me a professional triathlete by the end of the season. I’m headed down to San Juan next week for the first race of the season and will follow that up with a handful of 70.3s including Wildflower, New Orleans, and Chattanooga. After that, I’ll focus on Challenge races for the rest of the year.
HK: We hear that you are in a loving monogamous relationship with a woman. It saddens me to see a bad-boy who has been a lover to so many women settle down. Please explain why you would make such a terrible error in judgement. Also, with your heavy endurance training workload, are you able to regularly perform as a man?
AJ: I can see why that would bother you, Herb. I actually won Tinder over the summer. With that victory on my resume, finding a nice young lady to shack up with through these cold winter months made sense. She’s a quality girl and looks insanely good naked, so that makes it all worth it. She’s also never dated a triathlete, so she is still learning that, as lovers, we are selfish, lazy and can only get it up on recovery weeks.
HK: Are you in love? Will you be getting married?
AJ: A picture is worth 1000 words. I’d say it’s love…
HK: Serious question. In order for you to feel like 2015 is a successful season, what do you need to accomplish?
AJ: I’m not fucking around this year. I’m training hard, working to get my weight back down, and am much more focused than previous years. My swim has made a big leap this off season, and I plan to be a factor in every race that I enter this year. Most people won’t take that seriously, but I’ll let my fitness do the talking this season.
HK: Let me be more specific. Do you need to podium or win races in order for 2015 to be a success?
AJ: My goal is to stand on the stage after every race this season. I’ve had a couple years where I finished in the back end of the money or just out of the money. I would love to win races, but I need to be realistic and keep climbing the ladder. I still have many years in the sport and need to focus on moving in the right direction.
HK: Is there anything else we should know?
AJ: Such a specific question. Your interviewing skills are getting better and better every year. I suppose there are a lot of things that people should know about me, but really Herb, where do we draw the line?
Beer mile photo Credit: Timothy Carlson of Slowtwitch.