Professional athlete and 3-time Ironman champion

An Apology, of Sorts

Hello readers....all 3 of you!

After my last post, my "Weight Room Rant", I got a lot of positive reaction and more than a few laughs. But I also got a single response that had me a little taken aback. One reader wondered if I’d gone too far - be it with sarcasm, perhaps the hint of improper language. This reader wondered if I had offended my sponsors. I was saddened by this reader’s reaction and have actually given it considerable thought. Clearly I’d be horrified to have offended anyone, MOST OF ALL, my sponsors.

So I thought about it. A lot, actually. I gave thought to removing the post because I care deeply about my reputation and wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize it in the slightest. I decided to leave it up, but thought I’d post my response to this reader, lest anyone else be offended.

" Wow.

Um. Well, I’m not sure, actually. Your message has taken me aback a little and my knee jerk reaction was to say "oh, crap....I better take it down."

But then I thought on it honestly and here’s what I came to.

Was it 100% politically correct? Perhaps not.

Is my blog usually 100% politically correct? I don’t really know what politically correct is, but I know I try hard to write a blog that is anything but your standard "Today I swim 5 x 1000 as my main set at the pool. The middle 400 of the 3rd one was a bit sluggish, but otherwise, I was able to maintain exactly the 1:08.7 aerobic pace coach told me to. I then went out on the bike for an 80 mile ride with the group where I consumed 5 bottles of my Infinit Nutrition blend and capped the ride off with some 1st Endurance Ultragen...." and blah, blah, blah.

I think I approach my blog from a different perspective. Oh, sure, a lot of people think it must be really cool to be a pro triathlete, and they are spot on correct. It is. But I like to talk about the lifestyle of being a pro that people may not consider.

What triathlete hasn’t gone to the gym and not been intimidated by people who look like they live there? What triathlete doesn’t intentionally go to the gym at distinctly low traffic times so they don’t get "the look", as if to say "That’s all you got?" And what person, regardless of sport background or level ISN’T frustrated by someone who can’t manage to return weights to their proper place when they are done using them? It’s a common space, and as a common courtesy I think it ought to be treated as such.

So do my sponsors appreciate it? Again, I don’t know.

(Insert Name), I’ll be the first to tell you....I am far from the most talented athlete in the world. I’ve spent the better part of my life as an athlete of one kind or another, and never a particularly good one. My first sports "award" if you will was a "Persistence and Determination" award I got at summer camp because I was the only darn kid in camp that couldn’t pass a single skills test in one single sport. Canoeing? Nope. Tennis? Not even close. Archery? I think the camp counselor still has the scars to prove....not even a little. They felt sorry for me and gave me the "PD" award. In middle school, I played some basketball, but the practice schedule got too demanding and I had to decide between swimming and basketball. I labored over the decision, not sure which to choose. I ultimately and belaboringly chose swimming only to have a high school swim coach tell me I better study harder if I wanted to go to Stanford. My Stanford coach told that I clearly lacked talent, so it was a good thing I liked to work hard. ....come to think of it, that "PD" award was a lot easier to swallow than the head coach of the US National Team, US Olympic Team and Stanford University telling me I had no talent.

So what do I do with my talentless self? I work my tail off. Day in and day out. No excuses. And I compensate for my lack of talent with a self-deprecating humor. I can’t tell you where that sense of humor came from, but it’s what I got.

So my sponsors may not have loved this particular blog. I honestly don’t know and I’d be embarrassed if they were offended by it. Clearly that is not my intent and I rest easier knowing that I think my sponsors know me and know that was certainly not my aim.

What I do hope my sponsors think is cool is that they have invested in someone who is thoughtful, smart, articulate, genuine, approachable and while not the best, at least one of the most consistent performers going. I hope they think it’s cool that I know my place in the world. I don’t have a sense of entitlement, I work tirelessly to give back to the sport, I care tremendously about my reputation in the sport and I know that while we all work hard, no one works harder.

So maybe I was off the mark with my most recent blog. Clearly I was with you and for that I apologize. Truly. I can only hope that my sponsors will see the forest for the trees.

Sorry to have offended.


Persistence. Determination. Love. The Journey!

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