What a stretch.
Never before have my crew and I been hit like we have over the past 8 weeks. Namely, producing Escape the Cape and IRONMAN 70.3 Atlantic City within 2 weeks taking a crazy amount of planning and preparing. I have to give credit where credit is due: KRISTY THALL (also known as KT), you have crushed it all summer long and nowhere was it more evident than the silky-smooth flow of both ETC and IM70.3AC... well done.
It's funny, you know? You would think after producing one of these events there would be a sense of gratification and calm, kind of like crossing the finish line, but for some reason lately, that has not been the case. Almost instantly after the last runner crosses the line and I know each and every athlete has been accounted for, all I can focus on is how fast we can pack up and go home. Kind of anti-climactic right? To me, breakdown is a contest and I want to see how fast we can move, and we have gotten exponentially better in 2021.
But aside from breakdown, as I'm driving home, or towing a trailer back to the warehouse, I think of all the areas in which we can be better and how they all boil down to one thing: me. My crew, without question, is the absolute best in the biz. I DO NOT go into transition and tell Ralph what to do. I ask him what he needs and provide if possible. Get it? I rarely reflect on what was good, only what is annoying the hell out of me and wondering, "How did I not get that done” or “How did I miss that?" It gets to the point where I become obsessed and I can't let it go. I'll bore my kids with stories on trailer organization (like they could care) or the inefficiencies of prep on Wednesday of race week and all they want is dad. You feeling this yet?
I don't care how good you are. I really don't. In fact, if you're really good, sometimes I wonder if you spend too much time training and not enough time on other areas of your liking. Yeah, I said that. All I care about is that you are taking the lessons from training to racing and applying them to your life. I think I need to take my own advice. I still need to work on getting better at that. I still get emotional when thinking about time missed with family. I still know I've got a lot of work to do both professionally and personally. It's weird, I leave every venue with a chip on my shoulder and literally talk to it (yes, I talk to the piece of real estate in which we produce the event) and say, "You just wait till next year, I'll have it figured out." I look like a lunatic and at this moment realize it's all about insecurity and not wanting to fail. Jeez.
So, I've got marching orders for you: In addition, for you to signing up for every event we do in 2022 (HAHA!), reflect on what you have been through, all the difficulties you've had to overcome, maybe even some finish lines you haven't crossed and recognize that you are still here today. You are battle tested. You are more experienced. Today, you are wisest version of you that has ever existed and that is something to be celebrated. As we say at the office when we have got a challenge in front of us, "We always come through, that's just what we do." Take care of yourself, forgive yourself, do your best to spoil those who have helped you along the way and learn to enjoy it all.