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enjoyed it,” Stevens said. “A few triathletes would sit above and watch me swim at the gym on campus. They kept coming down to tell me I should do a triathlon and I told them over and over that I don’t own a bike and I don’t like to run.” Triathletes are known for having persistence and those indi- viduals kept asking until Stevens agreed to do her first su- per-sprint triathlon in Bixby, Okla. Surprising herself, she loved the experience and took on several more events throughout the summer. During this season in her life Stevens met her future husband, a fellow athlete. “We were both running a 10K in Norman and we met in the


middle of the race,” Randy Sadler, Stevens’ husband, said. “She caught me about 3½ miles in and we ran the rest of the race together.”


Sadler agreed to be a running partner for Stevens and they have been together ever since. One constant in their lives outside of the racing world is Dash,


their Whippet. Appropriately named, the medium-sized Greyhound is always ready to train with Stevens. “We spend a lot of time taking him on walks,” Sadler said. “We joke that he’s the glue that holds us together. You can come in from a bad day or a bad race, and this little guy is always happy.”


After winning the national championship for her age group, Stevens received a call from the Olympic Training Center want- ing her to train at their facility. She originally turned them down, but they persisted with the offer for a year and Stevens took a leave of absence from medical school to train in Colorado for two years. When she didn’t qualify for the 2004 Olympic team, she returned to Oklahoma and finished her medical degree, graduating in 2006. “After graduation, I gave the Olympic Trials another go and trained for a year and a half until the 2008 Olympic Trials,” Stevens said. “I missed the team again so at that point I decided to do a few bucket list races.” Through the challenge of missing the Olympics another time, Stevens discovered her niche in the triathlon world: longer races. “Amanda has always been positive—if it doesn’t work, she gets


up and tries again,” Sally, Stevens’ mother, said. “She’s always taking the next step forward instead of a step back.” Stevens pursued Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) races for two and a half years before she stepped up to the full Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run), which she focuses on today. The Ironman World Championship is in October and Stevens’ goal is to win. Sadler, a runner himself, said watching his wife race is incred- ibly nerve wracking.


“I’m super proud of her,” Sadler said, “but I’m tied to her emotionally so when she does really well, I’m doing really well and when she has a bad race, I’m having a bad race.” The self-proclaimed key to Stevens’ success ties directly to her


love for the sport and a natural talent that is continually refined.


“I ride a roller coaster of successes and failures with a lot of lessons learned along the way,” Stevens said, “but at the end of


Continued on Page 34 JULY 2015 33


Stevens rides her bike five to six hours each day she trains as a triathlete.


Amanda’s Top Tips


for a Healthier Lifestyle Nutrition:


1. Eat REAL food: plenty of fresh vegeta- bles, good protein sources, and fruits. Avoid processed or packaged foods as much as possible 2. Eat plenty of GOOD fats such as avo- cados, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, nuts, etc. Avoid vegetable and hydrogenated oils 3. Drink plenty of water. Add in coffee and/or tea. Avoid soda (both regular and diet), fruit juices and other sugar-laden drinks


Stevens says her dog, Dash, is always a willing training partner.


Exercise: 1. Get out and MOVE! 10 minutes of walking each day can work wonders. Make it a habit and gradually add more time 2. Park far from the door to work, the grocery store, etc. and WALK. Take the stairs instead of the elevator 3. Find something ACTIVE you enjoy doing. If you have kids, make it a family affair!


Stress Reduction: 1. Take three deep breaths to start off the day. Try to breathe in for a count of three, hold for one count, out for three, and hold. Gradually increase from here 2. Take three to five minutes each day to clear your mind, be present, and be grateful for at least three things 3. Smile and intentionally try to make at least one other person smile each day!


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