- Competition getting tougher
- Travel expenses rising
- Sponsorships becoming tougher to get
- Prize money staying the same, or in some cases going down, (XTERRA)
I was starting to look more at the opportunities triathlon was costing me, and not what it was giving me. I left teaching to race professionally because I loved the sport, not because of money. Somewhere along the line that changed, and I wanted to go back to loving the sport.
I saw so many things the sport needed, which I had a desire to chase and make happen. I came to realize triathlon didn't need another pro-triathlete. What triathlon needed was leadership. Leadership in coaching, teaching, journalism, development, and growing the sport.
Since this realization, I've forged ahead with the same effort and intensity that I brought to my training and racing, near its peak. Some of these things have been:
- Coaching a weekly track workout on Tuesday nights, trying to grow the event and make it a learning experience for the athletes, not just a hard workout
- Coaching an open-water swim workout every other Wednesday, because it was clear the community of athletes were lacking race-specific skills
- Running my first training camp in Tucson, in March
- Clinics on a variety of skills
- Giving monthly talks on training topics at B+L Bikes, on heat training, using GPS and power meters to monitor and track training, swimming, and much more
- Expanding into other regions of the country to do the same things, (Chicago, Orange County, and soon New Orleans)
- Coaching and working with elites, like Renata Bucher, to help her make the jump to the top step of the podium this season, (hopefully)
- Working with celebrities, (Parvati Shallow and Matt Hoover), to bring more attention and new exposure to the sport
Last night at the open-water swim workout, two people from USA Triathlon happened to be walking by, in town for a collegiate conference, and saw what I was doing. They came up and talked with me for bit and seemed impressed with what I was doing. It was assurance that I am doing the right things, which the sport needs.
So tomorrow, I will announce the next step in this personal mission to be a leader in triathlon, and help raise the profile of the sport. I'm excited, and I think you will be too.