Mr Bondy (Stephen Bond) Part 1
To start things off, could you please tell us a bit more about yourself?
Ambassador’s, thank you for this interview selection and kind words, but I much prefer reading about others rather than me …. Ah, about myself, well I am a parent and father of 4 children (now adults – 2 boys/2 girls), am ‘Poppi’ to 4 grandkids, I have enjoyed a working career in Business Finance and am a CPA. I have been involved with scouting for 30 years, specifically as a Cub Scout leader, have lived in Melbourne in various suburbs but currently at Bayswater and prefer an active and outdoor lifestyle. I also spent some years working in Darwin after the 1974 cyclone & travelling through Kakadu. Which leads me onto my active interests of fun running, bush hiking, travelling, camping, canoeing and more recently to the world of triathlons! Being an accountant I also have an interest in collecting notes and coins.
We all know your wonderful daughter, Michelle (Bondy), and believe that this was how you found your way to Tri-Alliance, are we correct? Yes, it is! You have done your research?? Why triathlon, what made you want to give it a go?
I started training Michelle over 5km, 10km and half marathon distances until she ‘morphed’ into the triathlon event. I did resist giving it a go for several years but was finally attracted in supporting Michelle’s races to the image and challenge of achieving 3 disciplines in one event. Eventually Michelle persuaded me to try it ….. and here I am!!
Tell us about your first triathlon.
I am only a recent convert to triathlons and my first “mini’ distance tri was in January 2016! How did I feel? Anxious, excited, out of my comfort zone and trying to breathe in a wet suit! I recall the start line looking out at the turn can thinking &[email protected]% … well we can’t print that!! T1 on land couldn’t come quick enough, but I have learnt how to calm and avoid ‘the blur’.
Podiums are good but I have learnt that participating is achieving. I was fortunate to podium in my first event only because I was in the “upper age” groupings!
So, now you are not only racing short course but about to give your first half distance a go. How are you feeling?
The training itself has been challenging, the travel has been wearing! Like preparing for ultramarathons, follow the programme and you will make the start line. Sadly, you cannot programme emotions and now the anxiety and seriousness of the challenge is a little confronting, but keep calm and breathe!
What made you decide to give the half distance a go?
Michelle will tell you that her dad always tries to push a little bit of the envelope ….. get to ‘comfortable’ and then go just a bit beyond. It’s a personal thing, but there is always ‘one more road to explore’, so having participated in mini’s, sprints and Olympic distances, I committed to experiencing a long course event with Ollie’s and the General’s training programme and regime. It’s not an easy pathway and that’s the challenge! I also need to say that I have had a lot of support/advice and motivation to achieve these goals.
We know you don’t mind a duathlon and have heard you have a passion for running, can you tell us a bit more about this?
My goodness Ambassadors, so many questions and so little time, this is an ASIO interrogation! But I’m happy to share some stuff …. My back ground is running (and school sprinting way back), and over the last 25 years I have completed many races in different locations and many distances from 1 mile up to 50km ultra marathons in Canberra. I have completed the Six Foot Track Marathon (fire trails only), the Sydney pre-Olympic Marathon, Sweat (me) versus Steam (Echuca paddle steamer) race, Puffing Billy Great Train races, have run over the Golden Gate Bridge, into Death Valley and Central Park NY. So the Duathlon format was different for me first time last year and all on land! It’s very much a cardio race, there is little time for oxygen recovery during the format, it’s all a straight sprint – just do it!
Share with us some of your secrets, favourite wine? Favourite country to visit? Favourite beach in Australia? Favourite thing to do with Michelle?
Wow – secrets?? This is nearing confidential and “need to know” territory …. Wines, I would favour a red -shiraz or cabernet, there are lots of countries to visit (no favourites) and have enjoyed the UK, western Europe, LA and New York. Having spent 8 months doing the around Oz coastal trail several years ago, there are many beaches we enjoyed as ‘favourite’! There are several things Michelle and I have experienced – walking the Kokoda Track is probably the most rewarding.
We think you have a lot of wisdom to share with us all, are there any tips or advice that you can give to other athletes both new and experienced?
OMG – age is not always wisdom! You young people need to get a grip on life!!! ha ha ….. seriously, we probably need to be aware of others in relation to ourselves in the big picture. Look to yourself before blaming and look to others when rewarding, life’s a balance of giving and taking, extremes only lead one way. I try and teach the cubs this outlook and mantra … life takes patience and tolerance!
Life takes patience and tolerance! I have observed that the world of triathlons and triathletes can become somewhat self-absorbing, time consuming and selfish. It is all just part of achieving our personal goals so we all need to be cognisant that our non-tri life deserves our attention in balance! How’s that for a D&M message, Brazil?? Thanks to you both for this opportunity, the TA group life is embracing and supportive, let’s keep that positive tri culture going! We are all champions in our personal achievements ….. just enjoy!
Thank you for taking the time to answer our MANY questions, Mr Bondy. We have nothing but the upmost admiration and respect for you, and it has been great to get to know a bit more about you.
We cannot wait to watch you race this weekend and look forward to checking in with you after the race, for part 2 of our interview, to see how it all went! All the very best for your final week of preparations, have a great race, and we will see you there to cheer you on!
Eddy and Steph.