“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” –Ghandi 

I’m not really going to talk about politics.  But I’ve noticed something missing on my Facebook feed this week and think it’s important.

Like you, I have been bombarded with chaos.  Gloating posts from the elated, and scathing retorts from disappointed.  But what really stood out was . . . how little of this banter is coming from my triathlon friends.

Triathletes haven’t been immune, but for the most part they seem to have abstained; and I think it’s because they understand who ultimately controls their outcomes.

This certainly applies to more than triathletes, but this is a triathlon website and I know that training for Ironman creates ongoing challenges that force us to face problems and dig for solutions.  Only one person can stop us, and that person is in the mirror.

I’ve never believed the president impacts my life.  I’m the one who gets out of bed and decides to kick ass or wallow in illusion of pending doom.

Maybe it’s easier for me to say because I’m a middle-aged white male.  But, I’m not immune to obstacles.

I’ve always dealt with depression and addiction.  I’ve always struggled with money and relationships. I come from a long line of alcoholics.

Because of these things I tend to turn inside.  I also isolate and that usually makes things worse.

But without darkness, there is no light.

It is easy to project negativity on the world when things aren’t going my way.  I’ve worked hard to keep that in check because selfish reactions have consequence on more people than me.

Regardless of how I feel, I always know the truth in my heart and do whatever it takes to “get myself back.”  To remain positive.  And most importantly not blame other people for my situation.

For me, that’s at the core of what’s going on right now.  Raging on Facebook or Twitter is simply another form of quick fix.  It’s an addiction that makes people feel better in the moment, then ultimately worse.  And, it’s selfish.

I think most people understand this because the posting is losing some edge.  There have been a lot of apologies.

Maybe it’s because the world didn’t end, but it’s more likely because “the rush” from the outrage wore off.  Their lives remain the same and they still face the real work inside.

We’ll be a lot better off when we realize telling people to change never works.  The only thing we can do is “be that change” and hope they notice.

Speaking of politics, check out the Crushing Iron podcast, “Triathlon: The Good, the bad, and the ugly,” for honest discussion between an age group athlete and his coach.  

Triathlon and Politics (Not Really)