Anyone familiar with the Bellingham triathlon scene either knows or has heard plenty about Mo Trainor, of Train-or-Tri Coaching. In this special "2017 Lake Whatcom Triathlon" blog post, we wanted to share the heartfelt gratitude and respect of a small handful of triathletes who have worked with Mo. Their words say it loud and clear: "Mo, WE LOVE YOU!" 

“I had always dreamed of completing a Triathlon and so when 9 years ago at a age 47 I met coach Mo at a Team in Training sign up I could not believe this elite athlete was rubbing elbows with ME - my background was dog paddle stroke and riding a single-speed banana bike! I was last out of Padden that year.  Mo had stayed by my side singing "Hello Dolly" across and back, all with the crowd cheering loudest, as they do for First and Last!  I have a magazine article of both of us climbing out of the lake that day with huge smiles and I carry it with me at all Tri Trainings. Mo is humble and gives back and I thank God for putting her in my life!  I continue to love team "Train or Tri" and now even my grandchildren are enjoying the 3 disciplines with me.”
--Sharon Loeppky

 “Two years ago I met Mo after joining her public spin class.  Immediately I was struck with her welcoming and encouraging attitude for everyone-and I mean everyone!  She was thoughtful, kind and clearly knowledgeable.  She met everyone exactly where they were and knew what to say to them to support their individual needs.  After a year of spinning and getting to know her and the energy of her Team, my son and I joined the TOT Team last year.  Mo was also amazing with my 10  year old son.  He took to her coaching immediately.  We had chosen to do a relay in the competitive division and got a friend to be our swimmer.  My boy ran and I rode.  I continued to be impressed with how she relates to EVERYONE, especially my son. She has inspired him to continue to pursue his passion for running and believe in himself.  As an only parent I count on my village to support my children and she has been such an important addition to his village mentors.  Her genuine open heart and loving support is authentic.  We all feel it and that's why we keep coming back.  From the youngest of our Teammates to the oldest, she celebrates our accomplishments with us and helps pick us up encouraging us to try again when things get hard.  Her skills are only surpassed by her passion and heart for the individuals and the community she has built.  Ask any Team mate or anyone who knows Mo -- She is Coach extraordinaire and an exceptional human.  I feel lucky to  know her, to call her Coach and now a friend!”
--Jen Mallett

 “I signed up for the team on a whim. I had never done a triathlon, but a coworker had trained with the team the year before and just loved it, speaking very highly of the training program and the team. Mo and her crew of mentors instill that you are an athlete, regardless of your physical abilities. During training, Mo consistently instructs you to perform at 80/90/100% efforts — which is different for everyone of us! She also loves to share little bits of strategies and techniques, to help you make the most of your efforts. She taught me how to pedal my road bike to get more power per stroke … little things that have made big impacts! My very favorite thing that Mo has said (more than once), is that the actual event (the Padden Tri) is the celebration day for all of my efforts in training all season. I repeated that in my head through the tri last year, and plan to use it again this Saturday!”
--Julie Lovell

 “What I love about Mo is the way her eyes and face light up as she shares the wealth of information she has acquired through her years of competing in triathlons. I have learned something new in every one of Mo's coaching sessions during these past 5 months of training. Most of the team have done triathlons before but as a total newbie, I hang on to every bit of wisdom she imparts, such as her description of how other swimmers will swim over you, kick you, knock your goggles off (so wear them under your cap)... how to swim around the buoy efficiently which will have the other competitors wondering what the heck you are doing… how to put on a wetsuit properly... how to take small running steps when first starting the run portion… how to have your bike in a low gear to start the biking portion… to, "You need a smaller size shorts.....they need to be tighter!" (That comment was directed to a man who came to her store to buy a pair of tri-shorts and she had him model them!!) And most of all, "You can do this!"
--Lynda Churchfield

 “Mo is awesome.  She's one of those people that you feel like you have known forever.  She is encouraging and inspiring, I believe I can do it when she tells me I can.  Because, really I can.”  
--Zane Barrett (12 years old)

 “Mo does an amazing job of encouraging everyone at their own level without the typical ‘push harder’ mentality.  I have really appreciated the group workout structure and everyone being supportive and encouraging as we have been struggling through just getting to the workouts some days.  I would recommend Mo and the Train-or-Tri group to anyone that is thinking about doing their first triathlon or wanting to PR.”
--Rob Woods

 “I started this program to persevere and complete an Olympic distance triathlon. Because of my training with Mo Trainer, it has taught me to not give up through thick or thin, through hot and A LOT of cold. I now am closing in on my goal to compete and complete the Lake Whatcom Tri.”
--Sandy Janson

 "I appreciate being part of the environment that Mo creates. It's about sharing and encouraging others to do more than they have in a while or thought that they could. I think it's about overcoming individual boundaries and realizing that you're stronger than you thought you were. At the same time you build a sense of community with like-minded individuals that hopefully will share some of those principles with family and friends. Yes, she also creates an environment for very talented athletes and provides them an opportunity to race for her at an elite level. Those individuals are extremely talented and hard-working. I think her ability to stretch on both ends of the spectrum is truly a gift.”
-- Becky Prikril

 “Mo has built a crew of mentors to provide support to athletes of every level. She won’t leave anyone behind, no matter what.  Everyone (truly, everyone) who is willing to put in the work ethic and their best effort, is welcome. If your best effort is running a 15 minute mile, she will be by your side and coach you like the athlete you are. She has built a community through her work at Train or Tri and has changed so many lives! Amidst a rough Spring, I haven’t been able to train as I had hoped. Mo has been encouraging to me, just to do what I can. To reach my best efforts towards whatever I can do, without being too hard on myself. To celebrate each moment of effort and reach, no matter where I’m at. It is so easy to be self-critical, but her voice is always the one reminding us that each day is a new day, to put in the work, listen to our bodies and be a student of the sport of triathlon.  And to enjoy the process!”
--Elizabeth Hampton

 “Last year I competed in a triathlon and had no one there cheering me on - except Mo! It made such a difference to hear her rooting for me. That’s when I decided to join her team, and I’m so glad I did. She’s extremely supportive and inspiring, no matter what your level of competition is. She’ll sweat along with you in spin class, jump in the frigid lake, and encourage you along on your run even when she’s sick. She’ll even buy you a pastry on a long bike ride in the county. She’s funny, knowledgeable, and a bad-ass to boot. I’m proud to be a part of her crew.”
--Diane Ripper

 “Mo has an unbridled passion for triathlon that she gladly shares with anyone who reaches out with an inquiry. Something she conveyed early on is that in taking on a sport with such high endurance demand is not only a test of the full body but largely of the mind. The body is the machine getting the work done but the brain being the driver can either make or break your day. There have been many times in training where I thought I couldn't go another mile or push through the anxiety, but with the guidance and support of the team I absolutely did. My favorite thing Mo has ever said, is that triathlon is for those capable of tenaciously pursuing personal growth.”
--Alesha Allard