Bushell set to compete for Canada this monthPhoto courtesy of Finisher Pix
When Jennifer Bushell isn’t just busy helping the Gee-Gees as one of the University of Ottawa’s athletic therapists, she’s training to compete in triathlon competitions all over North America.
As an athletic therapist, Bushell helps athletes improve through physical therapy. In her first year with the Gee-Gees, she had an influential impact leading by example through achieving excellence in her own sport.
After performing well in her first few triathlons in 2012, she was invited to compete at the Canadian Nationals in Magog, Que. this past July, where she clinched one of the top positions.
Having qualified for the Canadian national team, she will compete at the ITU World Triathlon in Chicago this coming year.
A strong runner during her kinesiology undergrad, Bushell represented the Dalhousie Tigers on their track and field team before graduating in 2007. After that, she went on to study athletic therapy at York University.
“I wanted to continue working with athletes,” she says. “I really liked the aspect of athletes having a lot better body awareness, and they have a lot more incentive and desire to get better.”
While working in North Carolina during the summers performing ocean rescues, as well as competing in the Canadian Surf Life Saving Championships, Bushell began honing her skills as an open water swimmer. She then worked as an athletic therapist for several of the University of Toronto’s women’s varsity teams, and eventually decided to venture into the NCAA. While she was working with the Division I University of Oregon Ducks and simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree; athletic therapy, she picked up cycling, completing the trifecta of her triathlon ambition.
“I wanted to buy a road bike,” she says. “I said, I’m going to buy a road bike, and that’s going to be that third thing. So I should try triathlons.’”
She says she got in touch with the University of Oregon’s triathlon team and jumped in.
“Once you start, you can’t stop,” she says.
Though she has only competed in six triathlon races in her career, Bushell’s winning mentality has allowed her to reach the upper echelon of the sport—and she’s still climbing.
“You always go in thinking, I’m just doing this for fun, doing this to compete, let’s just see what happens,” she says. “Then once you start, you’re like, well I’m going to win, I’m going to do the best I can.”