An XTERRA Braveheart Out West

Mar. 11, 2016

You’ve got to be “all-in” if you want work with two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson’s Braveheart squad.

Trina Psenicnik, a 43-year-old acupuncturist from La Jolla, California, knows all about it. As a former competitive figure skater and US National Figure Skating Coach, Psenicnik was comfortable with competition side of racing, but just picked up on triathlon after her move from the east coast to California.

“I fell in love with triathlon from the start,” said Psenicnik. “After my first year I saw Lesley speak at a triathlon night at Nytro (bike/tri story in Encinitas, CA) and everything she talked about resonated with me. She had just started coaching triathletes and I was at the point I needed a coach so we met up one day shortly after. I fell in love with Lesley’s bubbly personality, feisty spirit and positive personality and decided to team up with her and Braveheart!”

Paterson coached Psenicnik through her first full Ironman and then the real fun began.

“After a few years I felt I needed a bigger challenge and a new adventure and Lesley suggested XTERRA. I loved trail running and swimming, and mountain biking was something I had always wanted to do so why not? I bought a used 26er and started riding last March. My first two XTERRA races were Renegade in May and Laguna in June - Lesley let me borrow the 29er she had ridden when she won her first World Championship to race! I couldn't stop smiling during the races and even though they were super challenging I ended up on the podium and fell in love with XTERRA.”

Psenicknik said going to XTERRA Nationals in Utah last year was “by far the hardest thing I have ever done and my first race at altitude but for sure it was the experience of a lifetime! I love the people, the venues, the hills and the trails!”

This year she has her sights set on Maui, and wants to qualify for Worlds by winning the West Region.

“My goal is to make huge improvements on my bike times and overall times as I just got my first new mtb last month! I’m super stoked to have a bike to practice AND race on…should help a lot! I am for sure trying to win the West Region and qualify for Worlds! As long as I’m having tons of fun racing, trying my best and passionate about racing I will be happy … be grateful and you will race great!”

Most of all, Psenicknik says she’s just happy to have found such a great sport and group of people to enjoy it with.

“Braveheart is a family that supports each other, trains together and races together. It is perseverance, strength, commitment and unity. No matter what the obstacle there is always a way to overcome it and Lesley and Simon are always there for all their athletes! Braveheart has taught me to embrace challenges and that anything is possible and Lesley leads that by example!”