When and how did you get involved with triathlons? How many have you participated in?
Tell us why triathlons are so important to you.
Christy next to their RV that says "Ironman CDA Bound"
What’s your favorite racing memory?
I would have to say my favorite racing memory was in 2010 when my boyfriend and I borrowed my father’s RV and drove cross-country from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to compete in our first Ironman together. The journey to the race site was such an exciting adventure. The open road was beautiful and I truly enjoyed waking up each morning in a new little town in the middle of nowhere. Each morning we would head out for a run and discover the local community before hitting the road again. However, what truly stands out as the best memory from this trip was crossing the finish line of Ironman Coeur d’Alene and seeing my entire family there cheering me on. My family traveled over 2,200 miles to support me at the race and having them there to see me accomplish my dream meant more to me than words can ever convey.
You mention in your story below all the great scenery you get to see during the bike segment. What was your favorite race when it comes to the scenery and why?
Coeur d'Alene Swim Start
Yes, I do love to run with music even though headphones are not allowed on race day. My running playlist is made up of a lot of upbeat, fast-tempo, pop music. I find that I run faster when training with music, so I try to find songs with a beat that matches my running pace. I create specific playlists that I listen to when I want to run faster and others that I use for longer, slower runs. Right now Katy Perry’s song “Roar” and “Hall of Fame” by The Script are at the top of my playlist.
Is there someone who motivates you and why?
Most people are inspired by professional athletes who have mastered their sport and continually break course records. However, the athletes who inspire me the most are the senior women age-groupers who are still out there competing in triathlons. My favorite is Sister Madonna Buder, the 84-year-old Catholic nun who started racing triathlons at the tender age of 52 and has since completed over 325 triathlons including 45 Ironman distances. Her motto is “I train religiously”. Then there’s 78-year-old Harriet Anderson, a 21-time Ironman Kona finisher and the oldest woman to complete the prestigious Hawaii Ironman World Championship. These women truly exemplify the expression “Anything is Possible”.
Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard with Christy Greenwood after presenting her with the 15-year Service Award.
I am an avid triathlete and can relate my 15-year career with The Coca-Cola Company to the three disciplines of a triathlon: the swim, the bike and the run.
Years 1 through 5 - The Swim (1998-2002)
August 26, 1998 – The starting gun is fired and my career with the Tax Department begins. Like the swim start of a triathlon, things were a bit chaotic at first since I started with the Tax Department in the middle of a very busy tax season. I got jostled around in the choppy waters but quickly learned what I needed to do to stay afloat. After a few years, I began to freestyle and find my own rhythm. The most important thing that I learned during my first five years was that sometimes you just need to stop and tread water in order to catch your breath and stay on top of things. Before I knew it, I was out of the water, back on steady ground, and promoted to a Manager level position where I could help others navigate through the rough waters.
Ironman Texas Finish
With triathlons, 80% of the race miles take place on the bike. In this segment, you cover a lot of ground and take in a great deal of new scenery. During these years with the Company I did just that! I took on many new projects, implemented new tax systems, and worked with new leaders. Years 5 through 10 provided me with great learning opportunities and I got a lot of mileage out of my career. At this point, I was comfortable in my role and knew that I was in for the long ride. In 2006, I changed gears and began to take on more work in the Federal Income Tax area. This experience helped me realize that if you don’t change gears and shift your weight you will get saddle sores! I also learned that you have to gain momentum in order to succeed on the uphill climbs and that the descents of the downhill rides are only temporary. With that, I found my groove, coasted along and moved up another level in the Tax Department.
Years 10 through 15 – The Run (2008-Present)
The run portion of a triathlon is my favorite of the three disciplines. During this stage you put on your comfortable running shoes and do whatever is needed to keep moving forward. This is similar to my work in the Tax Department; I am comfortable with what I do but I strive to move our processes forward and make them more efficient. However, when my pace begins to slow the cheers from crowd supporters like Dan Lockridge and Bill Hawkins help keep me motivated. An important lesson that I learned during this period is that sometimes it is better to let go and let others run with things when your sneakers are worn out and need replacing. The success that the State Income Tax team had with Operational Excellence is a perfect example of this. Finally, I found with the 2010 CCR transaction that even though the course is clearly marked and measured, it can sometimes change and you must change with it or you will get lost. During this phase of my career, I was awarded with a Director position where I coach the State Income Tax team and keep things running smoothly.
Today as I pass the 15-year mile marker of my career with the company, I continually remind myself to enjoy the journey as I look to the horizon for the final finish line!
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