Welcome everyone to the first blog by moi. This Blog will be a bit like that famous line in Forest Gump “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”.
This past year has been an absolute whirlwind (and I’m the wife☺). Both Pete and I are often asked “has life changed since Kona last year?” When I first heard this question I thought ‘wow, Pete is World Champion what the???’ It still takes a while to sink in. Secondary thought was , ‘what a silly question’. I now believe it was not the question that was lacking, although my interpretation and understanding of just what Pete has achieved and just as importantly how he has achieved it. The answer is Yes, life has changed.
It is through this, along with reading Adharanand Finn’s recent publication ‘Running with the Kenyans’ that I can truly appreciate what an elite athlete encompasses and the expectations commercially and socially placed upon them. So this is what my initial blog will encompass – a brief insight into the world of a professional athlete (from a friend/wife aspect).
Leading into Kona last year ‘consistencies’ and ‘change’ married perfectly. Pete consistently ate the proteins and fats that worked best for him, he trained consistently and so on. Change inevitably followed. Geographical change in that we moved from Sydney up to Noosa. Societal (role) change in that I left my job in an effort to provide some extra support. Credibility Change in that Pete’ credibility rose within the Triathlon community to World Champion status with the win in October. Commercial Change – demand rose, sponsor commitments increase, media requests increase (if there are any media related personal reading, we love it, please keep sending them in). Perceptions Change – people read deeper into tweets, blogs, posts, interviews, questioning the path ones on and so on.
What does not change is the expectations our athletes place upon themselves.
What continually blows me away is their ability to have 100% confidence in themselves. Along with their ability to shut the external opinions out. Their courage, their ability to self educate & intuitively function day after day, year after year. Yep you thought it, whilst treating their bodies ‘like a rental car’.
My point is Pete the Triathlete is no longer just that. He is now a Business Manager, Sales Manager, Finance Manager, PR assistant, Social Media extraordinaire, Marketing Manager, a Strategist, a Business Development Manager, a Meditator, a Mentor, A Role Model, a Brand Ambassador a Confidant and more. (Obviously Evan Pete’s manager is the king of the above (no Evan you can not add to this list hehe) and myself assist).
There is no Degree, no Rule Book. It is one steep learning curve (now that’s an understatement). The professional athlete of today relies on his/ her body. In addition that professional athlete also takes on the above roles. A balancing act of chaos.
In Finn’s recent publication he travels to Kenya in hope to discover the secret to the Kenyan’s international track and field success (especially long distance running). He discovers amongst other things that successful Kenyan athletes have a short professional career averaging 2 years. They then make their money, fund their family, village and future, living with life long legendary status. The hunger is gone, the feast is had, there is no need to keep gorging on success.
So this brings me to a few questions for our Western high profile athletes “what keeps the hunger alive?” What makes a successful athlete, pointedly a Triathlete? And what keeps them coming back for more?
For now a big cheers to all our professional athletes out there, you are doing us proud☺!!! Looking forward to the 2nd edition☺ Thanks for tuning in!