Lance Was Right

Lance was right on when he said “It’s not about the bike”. It’s not about the bike as physical matter, or cycling as an activity, profession, or way of life. But what is it about? Is it about family? Is it about maintaining a sense of self love while focusing on selfless acts to others? Is it about health? Is it about kindness? Is it about humility? Is it about perseverance and triumph? When a homeless person asks you for change, what do you do? Do you walk away? Do you toss him some change? Or do you walk around the corner with him and buy him the first real breakfast he may have had in years? Or are you so moved by what you see that you make life altering decisions to help make a difference in the world by leveraging your passions and using them as super hero powers to right the wrong in the world: or in the City of Philadelphia, as Anne Mahlum has done with her organization “Back on My Feet” which gets Philly’s homeless on their feet and running for a better life. Anne gets it.

A lot of multisport athletes in our region “get it”. I think by nature, most do in fact. They understand that their race times are really irrelevant in the big picture and what matters most is finding ways to make our sport better from the humanitarian side of things. How can we use our sport to make things better in the universe? It’s not necessarily about how much faster a race director can design a bike course, it’s about how a race director can design an event that in and of itself will create a fostering and empowering environment for athletes of all walks of life to have a challenging yet positive experience. An event that can change a person’s life. But at the same time, you want the mission statement of the race director to spread virally to all of the athletes so that they can turn around and use their tools, passions, and skills, to also make a difference. It trickles down and everyone plays a part. It sounds like I just described organizations like the Columbia Triathlon Association, Richmond Multisport, or the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon team.

They all get it. As do many others. Like Midge and Tim Kerr. For decades Tim Kerr has used his Avalon New Jersey road race as a major charitable event which the city and athletes have embraced and are proud to be a part of. In recent years Midge’s multisport events such as the Avalon Islandman, and her Youth Multisport Series have taken hold and are garnishing the same success. The Kerrs get it…. All seven of them.

Is it about spreading good karma, just because? Is it about all of the above and volumes more? Yep. But how does one attempt to be all and do all of that? Is it active or a passive? Does one need to make a conscious decision to engage to do and be all of those things that matter? Or does it just happen? Is there one common denominator that, if possessed, will allow someone to not only understand what it’s all about, but actually live and BE what it’s all about?

The short answer is yes – there is a common denominator that sets people apart. A common thread that people who “get it” have; or actually lack. It is sometimes a learned trait developed over time but a person can be born with it as well. If you have it, you can usually spot it in others in a matter of minutes. The common thread that identifies and unites these people to focus on the right things and inherently just “do what’s right” is the fact that when faced with a choice or when faced with a situation forcing them to react or respond, these folks fail to ask W.I.I.F.M. (I’ll explain later)

Be great out there but be humble. You can be an excellent role model by never asking the question W.I.I.F.M. and by asking the questions, “What’s the right thing to do”? and “How can I help”? Race and train with that mindset, live your life with that mission and the good will come back to you in triplicate and you will make a difference in the lives of many people just by “being”.

And oh yeah – “W.I.I.F.M.” simply means “What’s in it for me”? If that question is NOT in your vocabulary, you will flourish.

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"Be the change you wish to see in the world " - Gandhi
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