Posted by: David D. Daggett | September 27, 2010

The Maturing Athlete

The Maturing Athlete

        When do athletes mature? No, that is not a trick question related to me turning gray and slowing down. When do we grow up and look beyond ourselves? Perhaps an indicator is when we have as much satisfaction supporting others as competing ourselves. If that is a part, I think I have taken two giant steps forward.

“Lizzie, you are an angel!”

Last week at the Angels Race our whole family worked the finish line. Riley and Emmaline cut off timing chips and fetched bottles of water. Cindy worked the computer. Annecy sorted the special angel announcement forms on the fly and fed them to the announcer. I announced pre-race (6:00 – 7:30), raced, and announced the rest of the race after I finished (9:30 – 12:30).

Announcing- not racing, placing, or finishing- was the highlight of my day. I loved welcoming all of the competitors to the finish line. Calling them each by name, having a special story for many, and working with our whole family made my post race the best part of my day.

Of course there were many special finishers and causes. Perhaps my favorite was when I first laid eyes on Lizzie when she came within eyesight in the last quarter of a mile. She was one of the very last finishers. I met Lizzie for the first time several years ago when she volunteered at a race I was in. She told me some day she would do a triathlon. That was 100 pounds ago!

During the race Lizzie’s husband told me she was out there. Then I saw her – I was full of tears but still had to announce. Several spectators and competitors who had already finished ran out to meet her and help her home.

It’s the same in all aspects of or lives. We mature when we enjoy the successes of others more than our own. In business it is surprising the number of leaders who don’t want others to succeed. They are doomed to always be unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Watching and helping others succeed can’t help but make our lives more positive professionally, socially, spiritually, and athletically.

Bact to Lizzie. Thank you for teaching me a life lesson. She was once there for me and now I was there for her. My voice cracking, and now close to gone after many hours of announcing, cracked as we whooped up the crowd and brought her home – “Lizzie Windsor – you are an Angel! …and, You are a triathlete!”

Maturing,

David

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Responses

  1. I totally agree! During each of my seven Ironman I’ve dedicated the race to someone in need. During the race I’m always in tune to how I might help someone else.

    I love training and racing! The lifestyle is awesome but I must admit, I would quit in a heartbeat if I were someone not able to help another.

    God bless you my fellow gray hair IM tri-geek!

    Michael

  2. I have had the joy of watching Lizzie lose her weight and start training. I met April after a shoulder reconstruction surgery and 30 post surgery pounds. Her dedication to us and helping me heal wasn’t something I could keep to myself and now Lizzie trains with April too. I’ve gotten two tri races in and I actually enjoy running again. Playing softball in college took the fun out of working out, but Lizzie’s path lead me to April and now I have bigger dreams to tackle. We are all connected by a small tread and I am so thankful,= Lizzie, April and you too David have all become a part of that web for me!


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