Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Team Mentality

Last night I got a message that I was not selected as one of the finalists for the 2012 Team Evotri spot. I was disappointed. Excessively so. 

It's really not about the free stuff that can come with being on a team.  I had considered joining a team where the "free stuff" was just being part of the team and I would have had to purchase my own kit.  I decided against it, hoping that I would make the cut for Team Evotri- the deadline for the other team overlapped the notification of the finalists by just a couple days. 

My great sense of disappointment caused me to think hard about why I want to be on a team so badly and wonder how I can create my own sense of team with the resources readily available to me. 

So why do I have such a strong desire to be on a team? 

I feel very much alone as a triathlete in my small town. I am (as far as I know) the ONLY triathlete in my town.  Why?  Well, not having a pool in town makes training a little difficult. I drive over 30 minutes to a pool. 
I have tried to spark some interest in a running group.  I know there are plenty of runners in town, I see them out all the time.  I got ONE person to say they were interested and another that said she would be if she weren't injured.  Now, I know every group has to start somewhere, but really?  Two people?  

I feel that I would benefit greatly from the support and knowledge of experienced triathletes.  I've been a runner for a long time, but triathlon is still very new to me.  I just finished my rookie season.  I love to soak up ideas about training, nutrition, racing, and race venues.  

It would give me credibility and a platform to influence others in endurance sports.  I'm not sure why I think I need a team for this, plenty of the women that influence me are not affiliated with any team.  I guess I just feel like I would be taken more seriously if I were attached to a team.  

What can I do to create a sense of team?

GOTRIbal: These women are amazing and supportive and really truly awesome. Nationally, GOTRIbal women are everywhere. They are elite athletes, newbies, and everyone in between.  On my trip to San Diego, I met three GOTRIbal women. Two of them took time out of their day just to hang out with me!  I need to look at ways that I can help bring a larger GOTRIbal presence to the Midwest as well as continuing to cultivate online relationships. 

Greater Mankato Multisport Club: It's hard for me to join in all of their group rides/runs since I live over an hour away, but I need to just get a sitter and make a commitment to go twice a month. 

Explore other avenues that will give me a credible platform. I have already been published on gotribalnow.com and espnW.com. I have been a featured Fitblogger. There are other ways for me to get involved and positively influence others in endurance sports than by being on a team. I need to seek them out. 

Engage local athletes. Let others know when I am going to run or ride and invite all comers to join me. If no one shows up, well, that shouldn't stop me from doing my planned workout that I would have been doing by myself anyway. I am also coordinating with our local community education to lead a Couch to 5k type program. (I present my proposal to the board tonight, wish me luck!)

So really, the name of this post comes from this: Being part of a team doesn't have to be a formal arrangement. It can be the way you view your relationships with others. It can be engaging other athletes in a positive way. This is the "team" that I am going to try, no, not try, that I WILL be a part of in 2012. 

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