Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crash, Boom, Bang

My foot is still sore, but getting better. I was very tempted to run today as it was feeling really good though still a bit on the tender side. In a moment of rational thought I decided to stick with my plan to wait until my foot is totally pain free. I think I may be able to run on Sunday.

I have been training in the pool and a bit on my bike as a distraction and to keep me from losing my mind. I have a lot of energy and I need a non chemical sedative to maintain order in my life. Tuesday night I swam one of the hardest workouts I have ever swum. The hardest part of the workout was a set of 5 times 100 butterfly with fins, at the 2900 m mark of the workout. I could not feel my arms by the end of the set and I was very concerned I was going to vomit in the pool. It was awesome. In total, over the past 4 days I have swum around 12 km!

Last night I swam with my friends in our informal swim group. Moving from the Aquatic Centre to the Second Beach Pool presents some difficulties. The people who frequent Second Beach Pool are often naive to the etiquette of swim lanes. If you are slow do not go into the fast lane. If you are doing breast stroke with no goggles then you may not belong in the fast lane. Children who are unsupervised often wander a bit close to the training lanes causing havoc at times by swimming into lanes. There is also the aspect of the sun and the lack of flags.

I was working on my backstroke last night. Fresh from the indoor pool with flags to signify the upcoming wall, I was lulled into the rhythmic nature of a smooth and easy stroke. As I lifted my arm to reach back to grab some water I hit the wall, literally, at full speed. Unfortunately I was also beginning to tilt my head back to see where the wall was. The result was a giant goose egg on my forehead and a good cut on the bridge of my nose from where my goggles hit the cement. I still managed to finish my backstroke set.

Today it hurt to wear my bike helmet and every time I tried to push my hair out of my eyes it also was a bit painful. Only I would happen to acquire a brain injury from swimming into a wall. I have been suffering a bit of a headache as well. The worst aspect of my collision was the good number of attractive men at the pool. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was an attractive guy. With a giant bump on my forehead I felt particularly hot.

I decided to take today off as I was very tired when I got home from work. Tomorrow I hope to go to the gym and hit the pool for an easy swim. I am really enjoying the new training and lack of required workouts. I am also starting to get my swim stroke back and gain some strength in the water. I am starting to feel the water and I hope to be back up to my former swimming self in a few months. I am even entertaining the idea of trying a swim meet this fall!

Sponsorship Revisited

First, thanks for all the comments! I believe disagreement is a good thing and stimulates meaningful discussion.

I continue to believe that being an outspoken, flaming homo precludes me, to a certain extent, from support from any shoe company. The thing about sponsorship is that it is not on how fast you have run but on who you may know or be able to influence. It is not that I have not been considered for support. I have been in touch with many individuals involved with shoe companies over the years with others being in touch with me. The comment I have gotten on several occasions is something along the lines of, 'we don't know who this guy is and we would rather give stuff to someone we know.' Last year I was 3rd in the BC Timex series, 12th in SunRun and ran sub 31 minutes. At the national Timex series race they had me placed in the top 3 (I heard this second hand so it may not be true). I have been on a National Championship Winning Cross Country Team, been team captain for 2 years in university, have run multiple national championships at the open, university and road race levels, I volunteer in my community and work in a career that has required long hard years of study. I have my masters degree and work to enable people to reach their potential in the areas of self care, leisure and productivity. Every day I give everything I have to both help others and improve myself through continued hard work both physically and intellectually. I guess I do agree with one aspect of the comments, maybe I do deserve a pat on the back or some minuscule support for taking a risk and putting myself on the line. I may just deserve a little something as a reward for taking the hard road and trying to be good. Not just good but great.

As I sit here typing after slightly less then 2 weeks off running, while also contemplating a life without the stress and pain of elite competition, I am confident I will not be getting sponsored any time soon. I no longer have the drive to schmooze and handshake to get the prized box of free stuff. I would also worry if I were to run poorly or get an injury while sponsored. I also want to continue to write and do whatever the fuck I wish. I do not want to worry about what brand X would think if they saw me messed up and dancing with thousands of half naked men. I would not want to be worried about whether or not to wear my brand x singlet at the gay pride race. I want to do things that have meaning for me and that I want to complete. I do not want to participate in activities that others think would be beneficial or will make me more 'marketable'. I am incredibly proud of everything I have accomplished over the years. It was never in the hopes of free stuff or recognition. It was for me. It was the only way I knew how to build a body of evidence so that I could look at myself and say 'yes, I have value.'

I believe in myself. I guess I do not need a box of free stuff to reinforce that belief.

Happy Training!


  1. Sweetie! Your poor goose egged little noggin! I shall send you an internet kiss to make it better. Mwah!

    Your blog post is very interesting. I've often wondered if athletes compete for some of the same reasons that actors perform; is it a search for some sort of approval from others, or is it an attempt to prove one's own self worth? Or is it perhaps something entirely different - some sort of spiritual high? I often wonder whether runners are metaphorically running from something in their lives, or towards something. Interesting.

  2. Hello. I recently came across your blog a few months ago. As a runner and with many friends (gay inlcuded) who run at different levels, including sub-elite, I find that your attitute towards sponsorship and other aspects in your life at bit deluded. Although, I do not have to read your blog and this truly is your space to express yourself, I feel that someone needs to be honest in a sincere way. Therefore, I will say my peace and leave it at that.

    Many runners label themselves as 'elite' and therefore expect the same treatment and perks as many elite runners do, but in all honesty, if a race isn't paying you to run in their race, then you're not 'elite.' Your master's and career has very little to do with whether you deserve sponsorhip or not. Your desire to work hard and study and have a great career is very personal and irrelevant to sponsors. You have chosen that path and get paid to do your job. Why should that be a factor in sponsorship? Yes, it can be about who you know and your ability to schmooze. Although it may not be for everyone to do this, in the end, that's what separates those with sponsorship and those without sponsorship; the ability to swallow their ego and just go for it.

    I would like to believe that your sexual orientation has little to do with your lack of sponsorship. There are many successful gay athletes out there. I don't think Asics or Nike will care if you decide to have a night of debauchery at Celebrities for the reason that people don't know who you are as a runner expect for your peers. As a sub-elite runner, your personal life has very little impact in the world of running.

    Ultimately, I feel that your comments on running, sponsorhsip, and your inability to find a partner stem from expectation and alot of ego. Self worth shouldn't be determined by whether or not you're a good runner or have a great career. That's something you have to cultivate on a spiritual level, in other words being completely accountable and honest with yourself. I will recommend two resources of great support: A therapist (He or she will not only put you in your place, but widen your perspective and I'm speaking from experience) and the other is a book called 'Love, Freedom, and Aloneness' by OSHO. Good luck.

  3. Thanks for your comment. Very thoughtful and well written.

    I really want to convey that I do not believe I deserve 'sponsorship'. And I did not place the term elite on myself, it was what I was deemed by someone else. I am fully aware that I am a hack runner in a very small pond of fish.

    The dilemma for me is crossing the finish line having run faster then many runners who are getting support from various companies for their running. When I see the equivalent runner who I continually beat and run much faster than with full kit and multiple pair of shoes it can be frustrating. In the end, the important aspect that I am learning about myself is that I need to run for myself, and when others start impacting how I feel about running I need to take a step back and evaluate why I am doing what I do.

    If I was running 28 minutes it would be a whole different story.

    As for being gay impacting sponsorship I would disagree in a global sense.

    Thanks for your comment!