Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Rant: Why Do You Race?

We race for many different reasons. Health. To beat someone. To challenge your own limits.

This last weekend I started to get offended by some folks who are having very good seasons. Why? The language choices they made regarding their race finishes at different races or workouts this last weekend.

I suppose it really made me mad because of the lack of gratitude for their a) health b) ability and c) rewards for their hard work.

Words like: "have to" when referring to a workout. You NEVER "have to". You do it because that is the "price of admission" to good results. If you feel you "have to" you might reconsider your commitment and reasons behind your efforts.

Comments like: "I won/qualified/PR'd etc. but it was a real shitty day." Any day you are racing, even if you finish dead last - is a good day. My Achilles tendons LOCK UP when I sit for 10 minutes. You have NO IDEA what pain I'm going through to race at even a LOW level again. Who knows if I'll be "back of the FOP" again or "front of the MOP". One thing I promise, you'll never hear me bitch about a workout here, on Facebook or Twitter. If I don't want to workout... I won't. I don't seem to have that problem.

I have had one client in and out of the hospital for the last six weeks. What do you think they would say about even my leg issues? At least I'm not in the hospital. I have three clients who have lost nearly 600 pounds. How do you think these folks feel about being able to participate? They have a new life. How about Jon Blais? 33 years old and DEAD from ALS. A guy who raced elite in triathlon reduced to someone wiping his ass before he choked to death on his own saliva because he couldn't control those muscles any longer. Complain about qualifying? How dare you. Try not to be such a self centered asshole. (My blog... I can swear if I want to.)

The TRULY GREAT athletes are grateful. That gratitude for simply being OUT THERE is something that is a differentiator of the great athletes. Secondly, PEOPLE are designed to move and be ACTIVE.

After I finished my fifth Ironman, I still didn't really understand or know why I liked to race Ironman distance triathlons. I suppose I never really needed to know. I just did 'em. For whatever reason, I needed to know at that point in my life. Now, I know why I do this type of stuff. I really understand it for myself. If my family doesn't understand that is really their issue. I just ask that they support me. I get that support. They get it. They get me. My suggestion if you find yourself saying things like the above - sit down and figure out why you do this. Really... why? Your reward will be far greater than qualifying or winning ANYTHING.

Tonight, I was able to run along the river trail a little over two miles in a pink, purple, and indigo sky. It was beautiful. I know why I do this. Why do you?


  1. RIGHT ON! Love those words you wrote! Right on!

  2. Jey Bob, someone said you might be marshalling at IM Florida next month?

  3. Bob, this blog really spoke to me man. I feel what you wrote. Thanks and keep up the blogging. Would be nice to hear more from you.


  4. Hi Chris - I am not sure if WTC will need me at IM Florida. I have told Jimmy and they guys that I am available if they need me. Usually, the folks who are local are available for IM Florida. They haven't "needed" me yet. Are you racing?

  5. No I'm not racing but I know 4-5 of people that will be there.

  6. Great post, man. Those athletes that "have to" do a race or a workout have simply forgotten their own WHY -if they ever had one.

    "The TRULY GREAT athletes are grateful." Well said.