Fast Feet Move Forward

Posted on June 8, 2011


 “If a tree falls in a forest, yet no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”


One of the great questions of our time that, from my point of view, deals with the universal difference of perceptions. Perceptions of experience. And doesn’t everyone have different experiences and perceptions of those experiences? It’s what makes humans so diverse, interesting and confusing at the same time.

Every race is an experience with a plethora of perceptions. It’s almost unlimited and yet, we often get caught in the hype surrounding the top competitors that we sometimes lose sight of the big picture. I fell victim to this at REV3 Knoxville and I was apparently battling it during the first bit at REV3 Quassy.

“What will people think of me if I get beat by a woman?”

“Do I deserve to be an ‘Elite’ if an age grouper is beating me?”

“If that guy is on TV and in the magazines is he beatable?”

“beat” –I was beating myself up over it all until I finally asked the right question;

“Who is it that I have to answer to?”


I am always appreciative of getting the opportunity to experience others’ perspectives. Since being the president of an over 100-member cycling and triathlon team (Team I interact with novices, enthusiasts, and amazing people. They keep me humbled, motivated and in touch with what these sport are really about.

Watching nearly 20 members race a sprint triathlon on Saturday was inspirational. I know that I’m sometimes just the name inscribed at the end of the many emails I send out but, I wanted to make an effort to show the team that I’m invested in supporting them; not just myself.

After watching the team, I drove over to Middlebury, CT where I met up with Kathy Poncelet and George Prisco, team members who are an enthusiastically athletic couple who offered their pullout couch to crash on for Quassy. Kathy had just completed her 1st triathlon that morning and was beaming! It made me think back to my first triathlon, which is always a trip since everything went wrong! And George raced the Olympic as well in the AM but as a warm-up to the Half on Sunday. Out of 940 participants, George was 1 of 11 athletes doing the double! So, talk about different perspectives, a novice, a Quassy-double athlete and an elite. I certainly felt fortunate to be in their company.

To sit of the sidelines of a 4-6 hour race takes appreciation to whole new level. My father, mother, stepfather and Kristine showed up to catch the end of my bike and run. Surprising me were my friends Adam, Michelle, and Tom and his wife Karen. It helps having them there since it’s a huge motivation and I’m grateful that they all came to see me!

At the moments of my deeper struggles during racing we often think of some profoundly strange thoughts. It’s a skill to not allow the negative self-talk to creep in and win. I could have freaked out that the winner was 4 miles ahead of me, that the women’s leader was in sight, or that my training is 1/3 that of where the top athletes are. But, and this is what it all boils down to, if you’re going to make it at anything, you have to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

And, from my point of view, that is what I did Sunday and ultimately it’s all I have control over.

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