So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Following Your Bliss

It's definitely "beer o'clock" here in the P'handle. Been up since four a.m. & in a state (fairly much) of "on-the-go" since five-ish. Not much difference between the wake-up time for participants of a triathlon & the workers & volunteers who make it possible.

There's always (so it seems) some sort of crisis, some kind of "oops, we gotta get this issue worked through" moment...and we had a little bit of it this morning, but it was all right...once we got the solution. While it's tiring, maddening, frustrating, and sometimes even boring, it's also rewarding. I think every race participant should work with a race promoter at least once a year, & I'm not talking about one of those 'two-hour, packet pick-up' cushy, beer-in-one-hand, marker-in-the-other jobs. Ride the back of a rental truck setting up & picking up cones. Hand out water at an aid station of a marathon, or a 70.3. Tear down & put away speakers, tables, & various/sundry supplies.

It makes the thank you of the back-of-the-packer that much more sweet...if you hear it. It definitely warms the heart of the race director, just in case you hadn't figured.
FOLLOW-UP, Monday, Oct 26:
The need - or my need to rant - about volunteerism is as much aimed at myself as the next person. More often than not, people are in the throes of training for a long-distance triathlon are predisposed toward selfishness & self-centeredness. I used to have a t-shirt that summed it up precisely: 'as a matter of fact, the world does revolve around me.' It might still be tucked away in one of my dresser drawers.
I guess last week was either National Volunteer Week, Make A Difference Day, or one of those marketing ploys to get people off their behinds to do something they probably should be doing anyway...helping their fellow man. You'd have thought I'd have caught the message through the weeks' comics. It took until some time around Thursday for me to figure it.
To follow on to the 'marathoning' post from a few days back, someone posted a comment about how much different the triathlon community is from the running community. In many ways I cannot help but agree. Many tri-geeks are personable and approachable...a couple are grade-A type-A...ain't going there right now... But, some are tightly focused on their own training, & can't/won't take time to teach newer tri-geeks some of the tips & tricks which make racing less painful and more fun. In the back of my mind, I think it would solve some of the 'on your left, on your left, oh, $#!+...' moments you hear about, especially on the bike course.
(I can't help but feel grateful to a number of local tri-geeks who I've managed to corner at local shops...they've provided great advice/counsel and helped me get past the intimidation factor of the long-distance event up to this time. Thanks again, dudes & know who you are!)

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