As winter approaches and many of us wind down our 2012 seasons most of us take time to look back and reflect on the past few months of racing. Are we satisfied with how the season went? Did we meet or exceed our goals? What could we have done better? How can we improve on training for 2013? While these questions are all important there is usually one question that is not asked. How can I give back to my support crew?
While triathlon is by all accounts an individual sport its very rare that we get to the finish line without any help from the outside. We all need help in one way or another to get across that line. Now there are some obvious members of your support crew, like if you are lucky enough to have sponsors who provide you with free or discounted product. Other obvious members are your teammates who share your training sessions with. In some cases you spend days, weeks, or months pushing each other and helping each other reach that next level. Some of the less obvious members of your support crew can be your coworkers that may have covered your shifts while you were out traveling for races, or your friends for sacrificing time with you and encouraging you to follow your dreams. Most importantly don't forget your family for picking up your slack around the house while you are out training and chasing your passion and probably coming with you to support you at some or all of your events.
So its time to ask yourself after the months, weeks, or in some cases, years of support how can you give back? After all they deserve some reciprocity. So take your friends out for some beers, ask those companies that sponsor you how you can help get their message out to more potential customers. Buy your significant other something nice and take them out to dinner. They all spend their resources on supporting you all year, its time to give back and ask how you can use your resources to support them.
Formally I want to say thank you to Endurance Films for making me a part of your inaugural team, and surrounding me with motivated and inspirational teammates and the wonderful sponsors associated with that team(Aqua Sphere, Champion Systems, eco sports bottle, Kane Bikes, Sweatvac, and trainingpeaks), Pacific Swim Bike Run for providing me a place to train and call home and all the bike support a triathlete could ever ask for. And most importantly thank you to my wonderful girlfriend Erica who deals with me training day in and day out, picks up the slack around the house, travels with me to almost all of my races and gives me her 100% undying love and support no matter where I finish in the standings.
I'm proud to say after 8 years in the sport I'm lucky enough to have been able to find some great members of my personal support crew, and I am a better athlete and person for it. Over the years I have been able to form relationships with so many great people who have each had their own impact in one way or another on my journey thus far, and if you are reading this you are most likely one of them. So as I look ahead to my 2013 season which I hope is my best yet I want to say thank you to those who have helped out in the past and will continue to help in the future and I hope you will do the same.