Sports

June 26, 2014

Airman excels on two wheels, continues to pedal forward

Tags:
Senior Airman Nesha Humes
11th Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nesha Humes)
Senior Airman David Flaten, a 811th Security Forces Squadron protective services member and professional cross-country mountain biker, trains June 18, at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Flaten is ranked 43rd of 250 according to USA Cycling, the official cycling organization responsible for identifying, training and selecting cyclists to represent the United States in international competition.

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) — It was summer 2007 in Wausau, Wisconsin.

David Flaten had completed his first mountain bike race through the nine-mile forest course with no prior racing experience and a simple knowledge of cycling. After regaining the feeling in his legs, Flaten said he knew he had fallen in love.

In January 2013, just three years after enlisting and eight years experience cycling, the now Senior Airman started racing professionally.

“I apply a lot of my military bearing in my training and racing; it’s important to treat every competitor with respect,” Flaten said. “I take pride in taking care of my bike and equipment, just as I take pride in wearing the uniform.”

He is currently ranked 43rd of 250 for cross-country mountain bikers according to USA cycling, the official cycling organization responsible for identifying, training and selecting cyclists to represent the United States in international competition.

Flaten participated in the 2013 Conseil International du Sport Militaire cycling competition in Belgium as one of two active-duty cycling professionals for the Armed Forces Cycling Team. In order to be selected for this elite group, a cyclist must be rated as a professional mountain biker or as a category 1 road cyclist.

Flaten is most proud of his continuous self-motivation and said he is “always pedaling in a forward direction.”

The 21-year-old’s training includes core exercises, stretching, and high intensity cycling on roadways and through mountain terrain. Flaten works out no less than 20 hours a week, though he said clean eating, staying hydrated and resting are a 24/7 discipline.

“The drive you have to force yourself to (train) is more important than being able to physically turn over the pedals,” he said. “I get a lot of satisfaction from the hard work I put in every day. I’m hoping that the top step on the podium someday will make it all worth it.”

Flaten attributes his successes to his family, friends, military leadership and his coach, 2003 Pan American gold medalist and highly decorated mountain biking professional Jeremiah Bishop.

When Flaten isn’t challenging himself biking through back country roads during a rough rainstorm or making a strenuous trek over sun baked mountains, he is working hands on with the 811th Security Forces Squadron. They are the Air Force’s largest protective services unit, providing primary escorts and inner-perimeter security for distinguished visitors on Joint Base Andrews.

“I’ve often observed Senior Airman Flaten excelling in his duties by providing direct security support to the president of the United States one day and then competing in a world-class cycling event the next,” said Maj. Aaron Rittgers, the 811th SFS commander. “He epitomizes the whole person concept by giving his all in every area of his life. His exceptional dedication and sacrifice have allowed him to excel both his professional and personal endeavors.”

This dedication to his job also led Flaten to be awarded 2013 Airman of the Year for the 11th Security Forces Group.

“The Air Force has certainly helped me maintain structure on a day- to-day basis,” Flaten said. “When it comes to work, diet and training, maintaining balance is key to my success.”

The military has played a significant role in Flaten’s cycling career, providing more than just a paycheck to cover his racing expenses.

“My leadership has given me encouragement to pursue my dream,” Flaten said. “They’re almost as invested as I am to get me to the Olympics one day. It’s an awesome feeling to have that kind of support and that is worth way more than any paycheck in my book.”

Flaten is awaiting acceptance into the exclusive Air Force World Class Athlete Program which allows active- duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel an opportunity to be released from their primary mission for two years to participate at national and international level sporting events. The program makes it possible for selected athletes to train and compete full time with the ultimate goal of selection to the U.S. Olympic team.

“Every athlete has a shelf life,” he said. “I don’t want to look back in 30 years and ask myself, ‘Why didn’t I give everything I had to be an Olympic athlete?’ It would be awesome to be part of a more than a thousand year old tradition.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin