Sunday, May 30, 2010

Future morales?

I realize each day, more and more, that the decisions I make and apply to the kids on my TriJuniors team, affect their perspective and personal decisions, as well as those from their families. Wow... It simply reminds me of the incredible responsibility of being a coach.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yeah, thanks Floyd...

It became public late on Wednesday evening that Floyd Landis wrote a series of emails to officials in cycling, and other authority figures, naming names and blasting "a charade" of anti-doping programs.

Though the actual emails haven't been released yet, the details were laid out quite a bit in this Wall Street Journal article:

I stood up for Floyd back in the day, because his argument was solid, and the lab screwed up the protocols and procedures, as the evidence showed. In short, the system cheated to catch him, and that was a scary precedent. I wanted to believe he could be innocent and win, and my patriotism helped me cheer another American. As an aspiring professional at the time, it gave me hope that doing things the right way could still get me to the top.

It's not that I don't believe you, but why this now? Floyd, your team got snubbed from the Tour of California, and during the race you decide to steal the spotlight? Sure, you wrote them on the 30th of April, but still timely with the snub, and right with the race. You come across as bitter. Accusing a guy who supported you during the accusations, and I know for a fact supported a few of your friends when they were suffering from cancer. Sure, maybe he cheated too, but he didn't force you. You made your choices. Your tests came back positive, his negative. Now you're pissed. If you were still getting negatives, would we even hear about this?

Here's a few other things you're forgetting Floyd...

- You blame the system, instead of standing up at the time and admitting, "Yes, I cheated. There's no way to win this race without cheating. Let's clean up the system for real." Or even pre-emptively writing the emails when the doping was going on.
- You attempted to ruin the reputation and life of perhaps our only clean Tour de France champ, and drug-use opponent, Greg Lemond, having your cronies threaten him and his family history of sexual molestation if he testified against you.
- You ruined the reputation of one of the best coaches in the sport, Arnie Baker. Not sure if you've accused him of being part of the systematic doping, but if he wasn't, you've cast a dark shadow over his career and relationships.
- After you tested positive, you stole money from those who supported you and wanted to believe your lies. You held town meetings, fundraisers, and any other charade you could to get the money to pay lawyers to continue your deceit.
- Not long after your downfall, one of your best friends and an asset to the cycling community of San Diego committed suicide. Incredible coincidence, or from the strain of the deceit along with his other problems?
- Nobody asked Floyd Landis to come back to cycling. If you cheated, your legacy would have been better to clean it up back then. Or lead a crusade to clean up the sport, instead of racing. Get a desk job if you hate it. Your chance to really make a difference has probably passed.
-(LATE EDIT) You nearly bankrupted the US Anti-Doping Agency in legal costs and proceedings, which is the only real agency trying to fight the drug use you are so upset about now, and claim needs to help clean up the sport!

Bottom line Floyd, you're selfish. You want to expose others because you're not getting the money and opportunities you once had. If you were riding on Radio Shack, your mouth would be shut. But it's not about doing good, it's about the fact you cheated, and got cheated. But you're too selfish to see the fans and future riders all got cheated by you. Not just once, but countless times. And you do this when the sport enjoys its biggest moment here in the states.

Yeah, thanks Floyd.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

So what's up???

Wow, long time no post. And according to my statistics, still getting a lot of visitors, so obviously people want to know what the heck I'm up to.

Here's the bottom line for me, perspective. I mistook my competitiveness as a desire to want to return to racing. I'm very competitive, and love the sport, but I just don't have the hunger at the start line for myself to win like I used to. The key part of that statement is, "for myself".

This sport is so selfish, in so many ways. That's not a knock on it, but it's the reality of why the divorce rate among Ironman is joked about being high. I'm not the same athlete, with the same responsibilities and life that I had 5 years ago when I was a single guy who left his teaching job to race full-time. I now have a wife, who now helps me with my/our business, but this even more responsible for our family, as our business is the only income.

I had to balance time, work and everything else. In essence, I was suddenly a regular age-grouper, with a day job, trying to race. However, I remember how committed I was to triathlon in the past, and I'm just not that way anymore.

The problem is, my standards are high, and I can't stand on the start line knowing I trained sub-par. I was so stressed before the camp in San Luis Obispo, because of all the work I had to get done, get taxes completed, get packed for Desert Tri and the camp, so many things! I wasn't able to ride for 7 days, and ran twice, swam twice. Not exactly great prep heading into your first race of a comeback. I had bike issues, so wasn't able to ride my TT bike, and the race was not looking good.

Then I get into the race and swim fair, dropped from the lead pack of 5 or 6, but holding close. Then I get my ass kicked on the bike, (which was hard to stomach), only to get off and have the fastest run split of the whole race. That really surprised me, and I even beat my boy Mike Clinch on the run, who had been dropping me like a bad habit in some training sessions. Coach Bob Seebohar had me impressed with the things I was accomplishing.

I was starting to think maybe I was driving myself mad with the stress of trying to train, and having life create stumbling blocks. I got to the SLO camp, and had a few decent days of training, and started to realize I was coming back pretty good! Then we had a camper get lost, and I realized my focus had to change to them. I backed off my training, and went to Mallorca with the same mindset of focusing on the campers.

Funny thing happened once I made this decision. The athletes had a great experience and raved about the camps, and I found myself enjoying coaching more. I decided in Mallorca that I was done trying to train and race. I just need to stay healthy and in decent shape, never ballooning to 200+ lbs again.

After I made that decision, it's been amazing how my stress level has decreased. I have thrown myself more into my TriJuniors program, and I am seeing the results! The team has doubled in size, and looks to quadruple by the first week of June. Most importantly, I'm really enjoying it. I am running for fun, riding my bike because it's fun, not because of training, or feeling I have to or I will get my ass kicked.

I've found I can still be competitive thru my athletes and kids, and once in awhile throw down in a local sprint, aquathlon or even group ride or run.

Things are good. I'm not afraid of missing races anymore, or getting my ass kicked. I'm excited to see these other things grow, and excited that I can still swim, bike and run.