I was inspired to become a triathlete/Ironman/etc.
I was inspired because I loved the camaraderie of the sport. I loved that support that fellow triathletes had for one another.
When I decided to become a part of the sport, I decided to combine my new passion for triathlons, with my passion for fundraising for pediatric cancer research.
Now that I look at some of the responses that people have had to Lance Armstrong racing in the Rev3 Half Full disgusts me. I might be overstepping some boundaries here, but I am no longer being PC...
We as a sport get stereotyped as being egomaniacs. We are validating the stereotype by making triathlon just about rankings, sanctioning, and more.
The very reason that inspired me to become a part of the sport, is seemingly getting lost amidst some petty issues.
LETS CLEAR THE FIRST MISNOMER FIRST:
Rev3 doesn't profit from Lance Armstrong racing Rev3 Half Full. They don't own the race and they don't profit from the registration fees.
Rev3 decided to lend their support to a cause they felt passionate about.
Charlie Patten, the owner of the Rev3 Triathlon series said the following in a personal email to our team,
"It's important for EVERYBODY to know that this race is not ours. It belongs to Ulman. Ulman decided that it would help their mission to have him participate as a survivor. We have an oponion, which we shared with them and the decision was made to allow him to race.
Take sport out of this. This is about young adults fighting cancer. The PR generated today has brough Ulman a level of exposure that is significant. If this is able to help just one more person fighting cancer, the I'm for it. Sometimes my busines, Rev3 is about people and not about triathlon."
I hope now that people should understand his reasoning, commend him for making the choice to support children fighting cancer, rather that ignorantly criticize his choice to support the Ulman Cancer Fund's choice to allow Lance to race.
SEPARATE THE LANCE FROM CYCLING FROM THE LANCE OF LIVESTRONG:
Lance revolutionized fundraising and branding for cancer. Whether you like him or not, he has changed/affected many lives for those who have been affected by this horrible disease. Did he dope, I DONT CARE. What I do care, is that people are willing to compromise the Ulman Cancer Fund and Livestrong to make a stupid point.
Nicole Kelleher in her blog discusses the importance of separating the "two Lances". I could write about this, but she hit it spot on. www.nicolekelleher.com
SECONDLY, I HOPE THAT TRIATHLON FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU IS ONE OF MANY PASSIONS
I love triathlons, but I am more than a triathlete. I am a friend, a son, a grandson, a passionate fundraiser, and more.
IF MY EPITAPH SAID: TALENTED TRIATHLETE, I HAVE FAILED IN LIFE.
I want to be remembered for the true accomplishments that I have made that will transcend my time on Earth. I want to know that when I leave this place, that I have positively impacted the lives of those around me.
Ultimately, I think it is so easy to get caught up in petty things. Trust me, I am guilty of this.
The following is an infamous quote by Anne Frank, "It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."
I hope that Anne Frank was right. I hope that each and everyone of you can look beyond yourselves and beyond the sport of triathlon. Put this stupid Lance talk aside. I am talking about the real race, the race called life. Find real purpose and meaning in your lives. Winning a triathlon, PRing, or qualifying for a world championship bring you instant gratification. Changing the life of another for the better...there is no comparison.