Saturday, March 19, 2011

Near miss at the YMCA

I hit the pool at the YMCA this morning while my boys were in karate. I suveyed the pool and saw 4 lanes worth of swim lessons 2 full lanes and one lane with two ladies doing water aerobics? (playing jumprope with the noddles). So I took the last lane. This is normally the adult activity lane (ie water walking, etc) but there was no sign this morning and there was circle swim only sing either. So I hugged the lane line and provided plenty of space for folks to come join the lane. Did a HIM swim and got about 1000 in until it got interesting. A group of swimmers took over the water areobics ladies lane and not so politely asked them to move to my lane and just about the same time an old guy walking joined my lane. So the water aerobics ladies joined my lane and we all peacefully coexisted. Then another dude come to the lane after the ladies got out, watches me for a few laps and then joins in. Obviously, I'm splitting the lane and hugging the lane line up and down. Well imagine my surprise when I nearly have a head on collision with this dude coming back. "Come on Man." was all I said. Lets just say he gave me plenty of space for the rest of the swim. It charged me up for the rest of the swim and got me to put alot more effort into it and lap this guy a few time.

However, afterwards I wonder if I overreacted. Communication is important and the person joining the lane is responsible to make sure both swimmers are on the same page (Ie split or circle swim or you get a head to head situation as we had.) Big scheme of things it wasn't a big deal as we avoided the collision and other than 3 words nothing was said, but I sort of felt guilty for snapping at the guy (even though I felt justified at the time) .

So was I in the right or wrong? Thanks for your feedback.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A letter from the Commissioner.-RANT ON!

Going through my e-mails today and I got an e-mail from Roger Goodell,the commissioner of the NFL [actually it was thru, but I felt important for a few seconds :) ]. On a day where people are fighting for there lifes in Japan following the earthquake and Tsunami, and even a day watching a bunch of college Basketball Players playing to win a trip to the dance and about a week until the government might be shut down and me and a few million government employees may be placed on furlough (IE no paycheck and no unemployeement benefits), getting a letter from the head of a group of billionaires asking me to feel sorry for them really rubs me the wrong way.

So Mr Goodell, Jerry Jones, and all the rest of you poor billionaries who voluntarily opted out of the collective bargining agreement so you could make even more money, do not dare ask for my sympathy. If you want my support...make sure you put a product on the field. Otherwise Shut the BLEEP UP!!!

The email is attached below:

Thanks for allowing me to vent. Rant off!

Dear NFL Fan,

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players' union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players' union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that was, among other things, designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players’ financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.

The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.

We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

While we are disappointed with the union's actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our League. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.

Roger Goodell

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winning isn't everything!

Winning is everything, or so they told us. The thrill of victory was supposed to be the be all end all, but was it? While I was never the star athlete or the top dog at anything, looking back I can say I have had a pretty good resume. I ran some impressive times in high school, as a 7th grader in was running Varsity Track and X-Country at a Junior Senior High School, I moved to California and ended up as the 4,5, or 6 guy on a USA Today Honorable Mention Team, Northern California State Champs and Top 5 in the State my senior year. In my post, high school days I took up triathlon at age 33, have been fortunate enough to compete in 5 Iron Distance Races including Kona and 4 marathons including Boston. Along the way I won a single X-Country Race, several track races, and won a 10K overall, and even have been able to win my age group as a 39 year old and 40 year old in a few local 5ks, but the memory of those races hold almost no significance in my mind and heart. What I remember fondest is competing with my teammates, pushing each other to get our best, pushing myself to not let them down and the sense of team and camaraderie. My most vivid memories are of a warm night at UC Davis where I ran a race I consider to be perfect, and finished 5th, but I qualified for the Section Meet as an individual my final goal as a high school athlete. Even getting outkicked didn't knock the luster off that memory. Nothing is more satisfying that reaching a goal you worked your tail off to achieve.

Triathlon has fortified this belief. I have done things I thought were impossible. I've covered distances which boggled my mind, persevered through days when I had every right to pack it in, found myself in a place I truly had no business being at. But each time I found a way to rise to the challenge. Rev 3 Knoxville where I finished 192nd and 26th in my age group is one of the most vivid memories of my life. Getting up off the ground and finishing that race was special and I can take you through so many vivid details to this day. To see the race to its end under those circumstances was an amazing experience. Overcoming my fear, my pride, and the pain taught my so much about myself. I will treasure that experience forever as bizarre as it may seem.

Finally, I take more pride in a 1482nd place finish than any victory. Floating down Alli drive some 5 hours after Macca and Chrissy Wellington was the culmination of a dream I had ever since I was a 12 year old watch ABC's Wide World of Sports. So many incredibly improbable things had to come together for me to be there, but against the odds there I was finishing the greatest race in the world being welcomed home by Mike Riley. Nothing you will ever do can compare to achieving that impossible dream. I'll take that over a victory any day.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Race T shirt scenario- Why this reaction?

I need a ruling from all my triathlete friends.

I went to the SouthEast Pennsylvania Multisport Expo this weekend, brought my two boys and had a great time. We hit the Tri Columbia Tent (Club that puts on the Eagleman 70.3 and Chesapeakman Endurance Festival) and got into a nice conversation about Eagleman, which I am signed up for this year and did before in 2007. They had some really nice Technical T shirts with the Eagleman Logo which I mentioned I liked and then she gave me and both my boys an Eagleman T-shirt and a Aflac IronGirl Tri Tshirt for my wife. I thought that was very nice and gladly accepted the gift. My oldest son immediately put his shirt on.

Well for the rest of the the expo, Adrian got the "YOU did Eagleman!!??" comments from a lotta folks and I noticed the shirts were event shirts from the 2009 race. Some folks seemed downright offended that my son was walking around in a race Tshirt and he had not competed in that race. It sort of reminded me of the reaction we got at an Iron Maiden Concert Last summer where Adrian was wearing a replica T shirt from the "Killers" Tour which took place about 16 years before he was born.

SO the question is..1) Is it Ok to give a race Tshirt (actual event tshirt which the racers get not a souvenier) to someone who did not do the event; and 2) Is it OK for me to wear a Tshirt for a race I have done albet a different year? 3) What is with all the haters giving my 13 year old son a hard time? (Don't get the attitute at all.)

Thanks for your opinions in advance.