I’m closing in on 500 original posts about triathlon. Seems like I would have run out of fuel a long time ago, but it proves to me this blog is about much more about the human condition than simply swim, bike, and run.
It kind of blows me away . . . mainly because I have stuck with it this long. I haven’t made money, but I’ve gained a better understanding of myself and how to deal with the intense ups and downs of training for Ironman and how that impacts our lives.
My blog traffic suggests that a fair number of people have enjoyed reading about my journey, but the truth is, there are always questions. Sometimes it’s like being all alone on your run at mile 19. You question the point and want nothing more than for it to be over. But as hard as that marathon can be, you have to keep moving.
I Don’t Know What I’m Talking About
As I write about triathlon there is always temptation to “start acting like I know what I’m talking about.” That’s what they tell you . . . “be an expert.” But the truth is, I am not.
I love to get into the mind. Play with the psychology. Explore the limits of this crazy pursuit. Find solutions and somehow get to the finish line.
The answers are never obvious and my opinions/strategies are constantly changing. But, the one constant is, “My body knows if I listen.” The truth is inside me fighting its way to the surface. Some days it may be different, and, in the end, I am pouring feelings, often unclear, onto the page.
Staying the Course
I’ve watched a ton of music documentaries in my life and there’s always a point when the band is getting popular and the label starts trying to control everything. But legendary groups stick to their guns and make the music that’s inside of them without compromise. That is how I want to approach my writing.
They say, “write what you know,” and for me that is passion. Passion for the sport, the lifestyle, and the quest to become a healthier person.
Do I want people to enjoy my website? Yes. Do I want to do whatever it takes to get the most views? Sometimes, but I would rather grow organically than by using artificial tactics that lose focus of the reasons this blog is important to me . . . and hopefully you.
“Marketing is Everything”
Ironically, I am a professional marketer by trade, but the writer in me refuses to listen to that asshole. Well, he’s not that bad, but like most executives, he has a tendency to overlook one very important part of the marketing mix: the product.
In my professional life, I spend a great deal of time writing what are ultimately lies, or at best, illusionary truth. Covering up flaws with beautiful words that hope to sway your opinion about something you don’t want.
That’s exactly the opposite of what I want to do here. I am fallible, vulnerable, impossibly human, and everything in this blog is a true reflection of those flaws. Those beautiful flaws that I believe everyone can relate to.
An Authentic Voice
This is about being real. Admitting my struggle, knowing that is ultimately the best way to get through it.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a ton of talented writers and musicians in Nashville. Great, creative minds that push the envelope with their thought. But often, that innovative soul is stripped in the name of commerce.
They pour music and words from their purest hearts, only to adapt mechanical approaches to please the masses. Their original material becomes diluted in the process of chasing numbers.
They learn nuances of “getting attention” and “manufacturing fans,” but it’s often a compromise that leaves them unhappy. This is where I struggle as a writer.
If we are quiet enough and listen to our gut, we instinctively know how to deal with any situation. But when “influencers” start impacting decision making, we tend to lose our way.
Are you willing to throw away your lyrics and your soul just to get a little attention? Are you willing to stop running just because it hurts?