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Home (noun): The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household; one's place of residence; the social unit formed by a family living together.

Home (adjective): Of, relating to, or being a place of residence, place of origin, or base of operations.

They say that when analyzing a culture, you can get a pretty good sense of how important something is by the number of different words there are to describe it. A quick online search of synonyms for ‘home’ offers over 100 alternatives so, we’d venture to say that home is, well, a biggie. But what makes home…home, and what various journeys have we all taken to get here?

In 2019, Paula Findlay and Eric Lagerstrom were looking for a place to call home, a place that would provide inspiration through beautiful settings and be well suited for their training demands, and they chose the high desert plains of Bend, Oregon.

Nestled at 3,600’ above sea level and located on the eastern – and drier – side of the Cascade Range, Bend is an outdoor-minded paradise which offers an endless network of trails, both paved and gravel roads, and a beautiful mountain backdrop; truly a perfect place to swim/bike/run (and ski, and hike, and…) at a really high level.
But sometimes training – and the demands of being a professional athlete – can make it a lonely sport, especially as training becomes more and more specific to the type of race for which you are training. So Eric & Paula formed an online community – That Triathlon Life – which not only focuses on training and racing, but building and connecting with a community of athletes who have built their lives around sport, and how to approach your goals with a balance which fosters not only happiness but longevity in the sport.

In 2020 they made a goal of creating a weekly YouTube video, sharing their stories and experiences as professional athletes, insights into training and their daily lives, and their love for the sport, and their perspective on what they wanted it to become. It has since evolved into a global community of athletes who realize that it's not all about performance or winning all the time, but also about enjoying the process, the lifestyle, the exploration, and making sure you’re having fun along the way.

This community has also become something Eric and Paula tap into as they travel to races around the world; a support network of people who help each other get the most out of themselves, inspiring each other as well as Paula and Eric in the process. Essentially, a community which creates a sense of home away from home, wherever they may be.

Which is pretty much what started all of this in the first place: trying to replicate that feeling of doing something, of experiencing or achieving something new, getting back to the parking lot and high fiving each other and talking about the story, the experience, and making plans to do it again.
The ultimate dream is to bring it full circle and invite this online community to Bend, OR, for an organized event or camp, highlighting their local roads and trails, in real life, where Eric and Paula can share this place they love, this place they call home.
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