I do not have a sponsor and to be quite frank, I never will. I will outline the reasons as follows.
- I am not fast enough: I do not deserve to have a sponsor or to get any free stuff. I believe that one should run at least sub 30 minutes to have a sponsor. I am not ranked nationally and I will never run international. I am a hack and thus do not deserve to have a sponsor.
- I am gay and vocal: If I was a hack but a reserved gay then I would may be in the running for some shoes and a new outfit. I am gay and not afraid to show it so I will never be sponsored. If I was straight then I might have a chance.
- I volunteer with the gays: A teammate was telling me one day that I needed to get 'involved in the community' if I wanted to get sponsored. Another of my mates responded with 'it depends what community?' People do not want to support someone with questionable morals or an alternative lifestyle.
- I am not a suck up: I am the worst schmoozer on earth. It was ingrained in me as a child to not tell people how great you are. I find it difficult to say anything positive about myself without somehow adding a disparaging comment to deflect what one may perceive as arrogance.
In situations of personal growth I look for ways to change my behaviour or strategies to improve outcomes. The question I grapple with is how to balance the need to conform with my desire to be who I am. I do not foresee myself ever walking up to a shoe rep and telling him how wonderful I am. I cannot show any community involvement without reporting I'm gay and any promotional engagements have all been gay oriented. Gosh, I have been on the second page of the Globe and Mail twice in the last 6 months and my image is currently touring North America after a stint at Pride House as part of the Olympics. If I was not a runner I would not have been represented.
Things do not come easy for me. I have been very fortunate in my life to have been given amazing opportunities. Upon realizing an opportunity I have worked hard to maximize the opportunity to reap all the rewards possible. I have worked incredibly hard for everything I have and I foresee continuing to work hard into the future. I do not foresee sponsorship, that would be much too easy.
Life is work, it is a grind. Right?