This entire blog was a discovery and a commitment that the things that pass through my mind as I train for and reflect upon big-deal events shouldn’t be kept to myself and the family and friends close enough to hear my stories. Sharing here refines me as a person as I transcribe them, and it keeps me humble.
The concept of a race report has evolved. If you google “triathlon race reports,” you can find lots of places where folks dump their “Here is what I did. Here is what happened. Here is what I learned.” commentary. These writings now are a mini-part of history, and based on feedback I have received over the years, they make a difference to you.
Media tries to pull competition reports out of athletes during post event interviews, often before the athlete has processed what happened. When the camera is running, the athlete defaults to a script of, “we played a great team today,” or “We were able to maintain our focus,” comments, knowing good and well that whatever they say would be held against them. Truth be told, the athletes themselves have yet to formulate a coherent thought about what just happened. How can they? They haven’t debriefed in a safe environment with their peers and coaches.
When I watch my TV interview after my first World Championships, I see that I had no idea what I was saying. The only thing I remember was committing to return one day, with my wife in tow, as I know she would love Portugal and Spain. Hopefully, I will be able to honor that promise in 2019.
My race reports started when I got to participate on stages that I never dreamed of being allowed to stand on. The primary reason I put them to pen was to address the fact that I was telling different parts of the same story to many different people. And, my propensity to let my 2-foot-long fish to grow into a 3-foot-long fish by the end of the story’s third telling gets royally squashed when I put the details to pen.
A short and sweet race report often happens to my wife via text message after the event. “Race is over. Alex and/or I won our age groups. Going to Waffle house.” Sometimes, it takes the social form of a post on FB or Instagram. I like stupid poses the best-reflects my own blend of silliness and discipline. See above.
And yes, we really like Waffle House. And yes, we know that you just fired us.
However, it is over that meal at Waffle House when we discover what happened and what we can perhaps do differently next time, to get better. Amazing thing how such low-quality food cooked behind the counter can really change our thinking. I’ll take another hot tea, please.