Tuesday, November 22, 2005

At peace and other tid bits!

Over the past weekend and after lengthly debate with a fellow USAT member I have concluded that I will no longer let the negative ills of USAT consume my time and effort. After reviewing the past history, all the way back to the beginning, of USAT(the Triathlon Federation), I find that it has always been in turmoil and many good men and women have wasted vast amounts of their time getting nowhere. Why is this? I have no clue since everyone I know professes they have a "love" and "passion" for the sport and the org, but invariably this is not the case. There are aways narcissitc, hidden agendas and the good of the sport is never at the forefront. Is this unique to the sport of triathlon? I really do not know since I have never been involved this deeply with any other sport. While I played college football and ran track I was "just" an athlete and I guess the grown ups took care of all this political stuff. Even after moving to handball for 12 years I don't remember dirty politics going on. Now, I am also involved in a bowling team every Wednesday night and the biggest issue we have is who is going to buy the next pitcher of beer and will it be Coors Light or Bud Light. So, for the life of me I don't understand why our sport has to be this way. I recall in 1994 when I walked away from the politics of the sport and stayed away for 10 years it was a great time. There was turmoil going on but I wasn't in it and triathlon life was great, I was "just" an athlete and "race director" minding my own business. Then I made the mistake of running for the board a few years ago and my triathlon life has never been the same. From the flawed election, the lawsuit against the Evil 3, the service on the search committee for the new executive director, the employment and part time residence in Colorado Springs as the interim executive director of USAT, the return to the normal life of West Texas, the watching of the split between WTC/USAT/IMNA, the new love affair going on with USAT/ITU(compared by me to the many love affairs of Elizabeth Taylor, passionate and hot but ultimately it ends), the division of friendships(similar to the Civil War but with no battlefield deaths) over the split, the confusion the split has put in the minds of the athletes, the possibility that there will be a new Federation of some kind, in this small sport and industry will blow anyones mind.

So, what I have decided is that, while I will not go away totally, I am not going to pursue the negative stuff that going on in the sport. What I have found is that it is not fixable and no one listens anyway. It reminds me of an automobile sitting on the side of the road with no wheels and no engine, hopelessly sitting there with the potential to go somewhere with some fixin but with so many agendas going on it just becomes impossible. My feelings of the board and executive director recent actions are still the same, but I can't do anything about it and no one really listens so why waste my time. On time, I remember very well when I was 27, 37, 47, 57 and now on December 16, 67. Boy time flies, and I don't want to waste any more of it on useless endeavors. This is not a resignation but a resolution and I will do everything I can to abide by this, even though I know my agressive behavior will try to prevail. While sense of urgency and persistence have always been my strong suits sometimes they do get me in trouble, not with myself but with others who don't dig these attributes. I would like to say f--- 'em but I promised Marti I wouldn't do that on this site, but it is getting harder each day to abide by that promise.

The following is an example of what I can't fix and where the underlying message is, that the membership will not get. Going back to my thoughts about the new Executive Director and USAT becoming the "goons" for the ITU and Les MacDonald. The recent ruling by the board on December 31 becoming your age for qualifying for the Worlds, etc., i.e. you qualify at Nationals for Worlds at age 39 but will be 40 by December 31, you compete at Worlds as 40 year old. Now, I really have no problem with this and really do not even care, but the underlying message here is that this was passed by the board to SATISFY THE ITU, not for any other reason. Again, pointing out that USAT is really a slave to the ITU/USOC machine and is obsolete for what it was originally designed to do, serve the Age Group and Race Directors of the sport. Now, that is not all bad since professional golf came to the same conclusion some years ago when their governing body no longer served the purposes to its' membership, i.e. there emerged the touring professional whereas the governing body was created to serve the club professional. So a meeting of the minds came up with the PGA to serve the touring pro and the USGA serves the club pro. While I know triathlon is not of the same magnitude as golf the correlation to the needs of the two athletes in the sport is the same, i.e. Elite/Olympian vs Age Grouper, Race Director, etc. There are two masters here and currently one is being caste aside for the other, while the casteaway is the driving financial source of the sport. The other aspect is the real power of the sport, the Race Director, whether they be the volunteer or the multi-event professionace race director. If these factions of the sport decide to unit and exercise their muscle in the sport it will bring down the National Governing Body, since revenue streams will cease for USAT and the USOC/ITU will bring down the axe. Sounds all bizarre, and science fiction, hide and watch because it can happen.

So on to other import things, Clint Eastwood, George Carlin, current movies, American Presidents:

Clint Eastwood says, On women, "She wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log."--The Enforcer, or On Democracy, "I hate the goddamn system, but until someone comes along with some changes that make sense, I'll stick with it."--Magnum Force, or On Violence, "Hell of a thing, killin' a man. Take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have."--Unforgiven, or On Diplomacy, "In this world there are two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."--The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, or On Crime, "When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and and hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross."--Dirty Harry.

George Carlin says, EUPHEMISMS: The March of Time. As we resume our look at the advance of euphemsms, we have to keep a close eye on the image-makers; advertisers, marketers, public-relations people. And to repeat an earlier point, it's important to remember that, over time, this trend toward softer language has only gotten worse. I don't know when the whole thing started, but I do know that at some point in my life, toilet paper became bathroon tissue. I wasn't consulted on this. I didn't get a postcard, I didn't get an e-mail, no one bothered to call. It just happened. One day I found myself using bathroon tissue. Then my loafers became slip-ons, my running shoes became athletic fotwear, my sweatpants and sweatshirt became active wear, second hand clothing became vintage apparel, toupees became hair applianes, false teeth became dental appliances. Other GC tidbits: If a safe is unlocked, is it still a safe? or Just because you don't have a lot of money to spend is no reason you shouldn't spend what little you have. or I had no shoes, and I felt sorry for myself until I met a man with no feet. I took his shoes. Now I feel better or You know what you never see? A really good looking homeless couple. or Stick around. China's gonna win it all. In conclusion, TRUE FACT: There is now a gay softball World Series.

David Letterman--"The other day Jeb Bush says he may run for President, I ask, can you start tomorrow?"

Bill Clinton came up for air during his latest non-sexual experience to say, "Sooner or later you figure out that pragmatisms are principles in a democracy. It's not selling out your convictions." From MG-I really like that quote and it is helping me get through my decision to not waste time on USAT fixless situation. I must say every 30 seconds, "Sooner or later------, Sooner or later, etc."

Current movies reviewed by MG: Hot-"Derailed", intrigue, murder, sex, violence, deceit, adultry, bad language, lieing, stealing, boy what more could you ask for?
Others I have seen in the past that are at the $2.00 movie house and I can't remember if I reported on them, here goes: Hot-"40 Year Old Virgin, sex, nudity, language, humor, weird plot but a plot in spite of itself, happy ending(he gets some). Worth seeing but has some off color stuff I even found offensive.

Look for irongirltexas.com, for newest race production of BSLT Triathlon Inc.

Off to Alabama for Turkey Day, yea that same state that asks you on your marriage license if you are kin to each other!(True)

Mike Greer


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