Most of this season is in the rear-view mirror. What a blur.
What started out on the streets of New York City at the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon in Mid-March will culminate on the streets of Rehoboth, DE and Savanah, GA at the Rehoboth Marathon and Savanah Bridge Run respectively. Through the course of this season, I've come to realize what it is "DelMo" is all about; more importantly what we are, and what we are not. The road to self-actualization for a company is a lot harder than it is for any single human being. The reason for this is that a company has many humans to consider whereas all "we" need to do is worry about ourselves. During the course of this season there were some huge failures on my part of which I'm outlining below. But, I don't hang my head with these, I lift my chin knowing I have grown through each and every one of these failures and we're a better company in the long run for it. Here goes:
Make the Pain Stop Sooner: Next season will be my 20th in event production. One of my favorite quotes of all time is "It takes 20 years, to gain 20 years' experience." Although I like to hang my hat on being an innovator and trend setter in our sport, I do have to take my medicine when needed. We are a triathlon production company at our core. It's what we do best. I've traveled to places and far and away and I have witnessed many events and I believe what we do is of the highest quality and I can take the mirror test with 1000% confidence. If any of you have noticed, in 2019, we had a robust calendar of events in DelMoLand, however, if the last three years have taught me anything it's to quadruple down on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. Change is in the air.
Been More Honest: I'd like you all to think everything is 'honky dory' in the event world but the facts remain...the facts. Numbers were down across the board in the endurance space. Everyone from Ironman, to DelMoSports, to Rock n Roll, and a host of other major event production companies in the region were, and still are to a certain extent, coming out of the pandemic. THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT: This is the first winter in three years we have the opportunity to market events without COVID being the #1 topic of discussion. If you noticed anything from us, you know we did NOT market mass participatory events at the height of the pandemic, we just didn't feel it was the right thing to do. Did that hurt us? Yes, of course. Would I have changed my mind looking back? Nope. The one thing I might have done differently is simply shared that information with you, not for sympathy, but to let you know we are as vulnerable as the next company and without your support, we don't exist.
Said No: This is a big one that has more to do with me personally, than it does "DelMo" as a company. As I stated above, getting through the wormhole of COVID was no easy task. There were tremendous sacrifices and adjustments my wife and I had to make in order to keep this thing running. With that said, when the event world came back last spring and permits began getting mass approvals, we were one of the companies left standing, which meant our phones and inboxes began blowing up. I ain't gonna lie, I took every job offered under the sun. I booked multiple events on the same weekend, then would look at the calendar and say, "How are we going to get all of this done?" Easy, if you say yes to one thing...you are saying no to something else. Here's the hard truth, that 'something' I said "No" to was 100% of the time my family. It was the great conundrum of 2022, as much as I wanted to be present for them, I knew I had a responsibility to provide, not just for my family but for the families I am responsible to here at DelMo. That's the price you pay when you decide to start a business, you don't always have the luxury of saying no.
I love talking about my failures. They're all true. It what makes me real. We live in a world where most people only chat up their successes, they never share the tears and the pain of what it took to get from "here" to "there." We have had tremendous success at DelMo because we've had near catastrophic failures. I said near...The one thing that we have never done is quit. We never will. We'll morph, we'll adapt, we'll take a few on the chin, but we will never ever quit which is what excites me the most about our past and ultimately our future. You see, I know I can take it. I've been in some very dark places and I have seen some breath-taking vistas and I'm still the same person at the core only now, 20 years in the game, I'm better equipped to handle both.
You still here? Guess what? 2023 is going to be our best year yet, like I said, Change is in the air.
Be grateful everyone, just existing is the gift.