Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A is for Ambassador

Thanks, Dave. 

Last year, I read a blog post. The author's goal was to write every other week, about topics in alphabetical order. I thought it would be a fun idea. I don't know how long it will last, but I present you with:

A is for Ambassador

We all have those athletes that we've met who have left a lasting impression on us. Over the years, I have too many to mention here. I've talked about the many many many people I've met at races who gave me insight into a course or gave me a tube or gave me a new idea. Sometimes, it's been a kind word at the right time. The list goes on and on.

These are the ambassadors of our sport. We will not be remembered for how much money we have or the type of car we drive. We will be remembered for how we treat others.

Whether you are the first to cross the finish line or the last, you can have a positive impact, and even inspire, other people.

Starting any new venture can be scary and even downright terrifying for some people. When they are starting the sport, that's when they can use the most support and encouragement.

Don't scare someone off by being an asshole.

Back when I started masters, I won't lie. That was the scariest day of my triathlon life. I taught myself to swim. I had heard that masters was the next step to helping me. I stood on deck that day, wide eyed, watching these swimmers who downright looked like Olympians. I didn't know anyone that day, and no one helped me. I didn't know what the drills were. I didn't understand the language. I couldn't read the board.

That day stayed with me. To this day, when I see someone new to masters, I introduce myself. I explain how things work, who the coach is (when they arrive) and help them with the drills. Obviously, people who have a swimming background or who have been swimming masters, really don't need help. For the people who are new, step up. Help them out. It takes some big fat kahunas to walk into masters where you don't know a single person and join the team.

Encourage someone.
Help someone.
Offer words of support.

Let them know that you....we all....have been there.

Be an ambassador.