I had a pleasant surprise today with a call from one of the co-coaches on my “final exam” team from USAT Level 2 Certification Clinic in San Francisco a few years ago. He called to tell me he was in Colorado Springs and has been named to the USA Regional Junior Develop Team to coordinate/direct it. He wanted to thank me for my input several years ago, when over dinner (after a very, very long day in the classroom), the two of us along with Laurie (former pro triathlete & who was also on our final exam team), chatted about his interest in an Ironman. Being the most experienced one of the group in the world of Ironman on the team, I advised him to take up short course & XTERRA instead.
Ironman is an expensive sport, at the time his wife was the Daddy Warbucks of the family, so it would be tough to pull off Ironman racing if you aren’t up for spending a lot of money. Also, as a new dad, he wouldn’t have the time to coordinate the training that would suffice to please his palate for the level he hoped to achieve. His body type just seemed more like a club rugby player than an Ironman type. In addition to living in East Coast area where winters can be harsh—for Ironman you really need to train all year to reach a high level. He wasn’t able to do many long rides outside in the “off season”. Apparently, my advice was go for XTERRA/short course racing knowing all the above—when I diagnosed for him his best path of action (in my opinion it was the best path), in addition to trying to work with juniors more. For him, it led to meeting someone at a race who asked him to take part in the Regional Development Program—which led him to Colorado Springs and the chance to work with and directly coach a group of juniors. He was quite happy and just wanted to thank me for having a direct influence on his direction of travel within the sport. This in turn, affects those he gets to work with, influencing them in a positive manner in their development of the sport. He really wanted to know if I somehow saw the future like a “palm reader or in a crystal ball.” Funny how over a burger and shooting the breeze with off-the-cuff observations can impact the course of one’s life for the better. In the end if it helps someone positively, that is really all I need to justify what I do.