It's been just over eighteen months since I started this blog. When I think about the time that has passed, there's a disconnect - A year and a half isn't really a long time, yet the day I started the blog seems like it was ages ago. This feels strange to me as I usually have a pretty good perspective on the passage of time. But maybe this is how time should feel after I've spent the last two years of my life being more active than I've ever been while still trying to maintain the rest of my life, only to usually end up piling on more.
The truth is that when I got into triathlon, I immediately sensed that it was more than just training and racing - it was a community. And this was a nice stroke of luck because I really needed a community. It had been a rough couple of years - I was suffering from an awful case of self-doubt and was questioning everything about how I had lived my life up to point. I jumped in with the hope that it would help me both build a new future and forget the past.
One part of "me" that has generally proven itself equal parts beneficial and detrimental is my predisposition to take something I enjoy and try to commercialize it. When I was growing up, music was all consuming. So when I was given the opportunity for a career where music was a focal point, I naturally jumped at the chance. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that opportunity was not always sunshine and ponies and has definitely had it's ups and downs.
When I got into triathlon, I couldn't help but also look at the business side of it as well. There are many parallels between the sport and parts of the music business I have been involved in - they are both emerging "scenes" with a lot of innovation happening. This was exciting to watch, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I might be able to do to get involved. Looking back, I wish I'd had the sense to stay focused on the sport only.
I must admit that originally this blog was a center-point of my ulterior motives. I had Google ads. I used the blog to try and launch a clothing line (failed). I then used it to try and launch an online social network (also failed). I did my share of product reviews. Essentially, I was trying to build myself up as some sort of "brand" or "expert".
I lost interest in all of the business stuff a few months ago, mostly because it just wasn't fun. Ultimately, the failures were the result of a lack of passion. But I was passionate about triathlon and having a lot of fun - so why complicate things? In fact, I was having so much fun with triathlon that I was starting to enjoy working in music again. The thought occurred to me that maybe it made sense to not mix business with pleasure anymore.
There where early warning signs of the discontent that in hindsight I now realize I missed. Example: About a year ago Kovas and I reviewed some a fortified chocolate milk drink that was being pushed as the "ultimate recovery drink". I remember thinking that the stuff was OK. However (and I don't remember if it was me or Kovas), one of us mentioned to the marketing guy that there was a concern about how high in calories it was. The marketing guy's response was somewhere in the neighborhood of "there are other athletes that are less concerned with calories that we will be focusing on." Basically, Kovas and I were called fat (in marketing speak) by some a**hole because our review was a little less than glowing. Great.
I'm also turned off when someone comes along and saturates the blog world with offers of sample products in return for blog coverage. CSN comes to mind, as does some company that was trying to sell signs. I know that I might be putting myself on a slippery slope with some of you here. And I'm certainly not against blog giveaways and contests, because they are fun. But over time, I realized something - there is a lot of advice out there in the world for the taking. You know what, though? The best advice I get consistently comes from the blogs. And I think this is because we all have a lot in common. At the end of the day, we are all amateur athletes. We all work. Many of us have families and children and all the responsibilities that come with that. Many people would call it a day right there. But we don't. We find the time to train, race, push, learn, improve and share. So for me it comes down to this - I'd rather hear what you have to say rather than what someone else wants you to say.
I'm going to keep it simple going forward. No more hair brained business schemes. And I'll be wearing this blog on my sleeve; no more ulterior motives. I'm going to focus on doing my best to keep generating content from the first person. Hopefully you'll like it and will continue to put up with my occasional twisted sense of humor. Sure, if I come across something I really love then I'll tell you about it. But I believe that the most authentic thing I can do is make my little corner of the community as white-noise free as possible. Lord knows there is enough noise in the world and it's doubtful we need more. Some of you figured this out a long time ago. Well played.
And then I'm going to train, race, enjoy and repeat for as long as I can. Sorry about the missteps.