Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Very Good Problem

The past 2 weeks have been pretty exciting as far as the "business" side of my athletic career is concerned. I've been engaged in an ongoing discussion with the manager of a new professional triathlon team that will most likely make it's debut in 2008. The team will boast an elite crew of no more than 8 long course athletes and is currently in the process of securing a handful of co-sponsors, all of whom are industry leaders.

The problem: This past Thursday I got a call from the manager of yet another team; the (arguably) biggest/most recognized elite tri team in the world. He offered me a spot on their pro squad. The deal includes every piece of gear that you could imagine (free!) + monetary incentive for top performances at the 70.3 and I.M. distances. I'm flattered by the offer and humbled by the caliber of athletes that I'd call my "teammates." The squad is nothing short of world class: Multiple time IronMan champions, national champions, course record holders...

To be honest, I'm still in a state of disbelief. I know that I'm closing in on, and almost ready to start beating, some of the biggest names in the sport, but I don't view myself as anything "special." I know, and am very open about the fact, that I'm not blessed with an extraordinary amount of natural ability. Most of the top Pros out there are genetically gifted and could most likely bounce between running, cycling or any other endurance related sport and experience a high degree of professional athletic success. For me, I have to work my ass off day in, day out and maintain a laser focus in order to compete with these guys. I also have to dig a lot deeper during races, hence my slow recovery times (I'm beat up, mentally and physically, for at least a week after a half IronMan). There's no way in hell that I could ever successfully hit 2 half IronMan races in 2 consecutive weekends the way that someone like Craig Alexander or Chris McCormack can. Bottom line is that I have to pick and choose when I'm going to race, train specifically for the event and then unleash hell on race day in order to have a chance at "pulling it off."

However... it's a great thrill to feel as though all of my hard work and results are finally being recognized by members of the triathlon industry. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the offers that are being extended my way. What a thrill!

So, I have decided to make my decision by this Friday and will announce which team I am signing with at that time. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, we're enjoying yet another snow storm here in Gloucester, MA. No matter, there is work to be done, so looks like I'll be running in a Nor' Easter today.

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