Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ironman Florida, George Carlin, Dr. Weil, and other stuff!

Just returned from a glorious week in Panama City, Florida. Our mission was to exhibit the virtures of the Buffalo Springs 70.3 race for 2006, and the new Iron Girl Sprint race for women only, and secure entries if possible. Talked to Graham Fraser on the first day and as he said, marketing, marketing, marketing, 24/7. So, we were in good company and really enjoyed seeing and talking to the athletes that frequent our race and they ones who want the challenge for the first time. Of the more than 2000 athletes competing in IMFL, there were many who have done BSLT and look forward to coming back for more, we appreciate that very much. My observation of this IMFL is that it is very popular and by the number of athletes that keep coming back, they are very pleased with the product that Ironman North America offers and will continue to compete in this race. From the expo, to race registration, to the race itself I feel that it is very well done and the customers seem to agree, since they sign up for the next year at a very rapid pace. If they weren't pleased then surely they wouldn't come back for more. Which of course this brings me to the next thought relative to the National Governing Body of the sport of triathlon, USA Triathlon. Where were they during this race? Well, no where to be found, seen or heard. Maybe they were hiding behind the bushes or something. But, as someone ask, "Who is USAT?" Wow, have we got short memories or what? The magical thing about this big triathlon weekend is that everything went well without the red, white and blue(USAT this is) being there. So, I suggest something get done fast to mend this division or it will be proven that life can move on with the largest single customer of USAT(20-30,000 athletes) getting along quite nice without them. To me it is very weird that this huge event, in this small industry, can be presented in such a way that the absence of the NGB not even be noticed. But, trust me it really was!!!

George Carlin says: "Guys don't seem to be called 'Lefty' anymore." or "In the expression 'topsy-turvy,' what exactly is meant by 'turvy'?" or "I think they ought to have black confetti. It would be great for funerals. Especially if the dead person wasn't too popular." or "If you really want to put a faith healer to the test, tell him you want a smaller shoe size." or "The police in Los Angeles said recently that some man had been stabbed in the San Pedro area. Believe me, I know how painful that can be: I was once bitten there by a dog. It's expecially painful when you go to the bathroom." or "You know how you can tell when a moth farts? When he suddenly flies in a straight line." or "I often think of something my grandfather used to say. He'd tell me. "I'm going upstairs and f--- your grandma." He was a really honest man. He wasn't going to bull---- a five year-old. or "In the United States, anybody can be president. That's the problem." or "This is just one more way of starting a sentance with the word "this" and ending it with the word "that." or Odd Slang: A woman who has sex with a priest is said to have "taken a ride on the holy pole."

Now to Dr. Weil, boy what good stuff his book has. If you have not bought a copy yet, please do so. You will enjoy it and it makes good since. More quotes from his book, "Our attitude toward aging and our responses to the changes in appearance that aging brings are totally colored by our knowledge that we are moving inexorably toward death. It is not my intention to write about death or the fear of dying in this book, but I find it impossible to avoid mentioning them as the soure of our negative feelings about aging, which are entirely based in fear." My comments, "Real happiness in aging is when we can truthfully say, this time of my life is the best it has ever been, then age doesn't matter." The Dr. continues, "Suppose some power could grant your wish for eternal youth and health along with unlimited years. How long could you stand that? Writers and philosophers throughout history have speculated on the possibility of immortality; almost all have concluded that it would be intolerable." My comments, " I had a urologist a few years ago tell me that I was so damn healthy I was going to be a very lonely man when I grew older because all of my friends would be dead." My reply back to him was that my motivation for staying healthly was not to outlive everyone, but simply to be healthly for each day I am alive." In conclusion from the Dr., on immortality, the following questions was presented to Miss Alabama in 1994 at the Miss USA Contest, Q: If you could live forever, would you and why? A: I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, than we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever." My comment-go back to what I told the urologist.

Since I have mentioned in my previous posts about USAT doublespeak I thought I might elaborate a little on that term. That would help in understanding what the boys and girls of the National Governing Body are talking about when they have their very intellectual news releases. Please note that there are four kinds of doublespeak. The first is the euphemism, an inoffensive or positive word or phrase used to avoid a harsh, unpleasant, or distasteful reality. My comments-in the opposite vain from this the executive director describes the actions of his largest customer as a "mockery" and "revenue driven motives" in his press release and certainly violates the definition of euphemism. The second kind of doublespeak is called jargon, the specialized language of a trade, profession, or similar group, such as that used by doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, or car mechanics. Jargon can serve an important and useful function. Within a group, jargon functions as a kind of verbal shorthand that allows members of the group to communicate with each other clearly, efficiently, and quickly. My comments-none at this time. The third kind of doublespeak is gobbledygook or bureacratese. Basically, such doublespeak is simply a matter of piling on words, of overwhelming the audience with words, the bigger the words and the longer the sentences the better. My comments-read the letter from the executive director, USAT, July-August, 2005 issue. Enough said. The fourth kind of doublespeak is inflated language that is designed to make the ordinary seem extrordinary; to make everyday things seem impressive; to give an air of importance to people, situations, or things that would not normally be considered important; to make the simple seem complex. My comments-read the letter from the executive director USAT in the September/October 2005 issue, also see review in this blog site.

Okay I get it, I promised to get off of USAT screw ups and give them a break, but my desire to get back on this subject was inspired after seeing the great sport of triathlon, being thoroughly ignored by the NGB of the sport. It should be pointed out that this was the case at the "World Championship" in Kona and Panama City.

It has been pointed out to me by a very astute and well thought of person in the triathlon world that the arrogance and ignorance of USAT is not all the fault of the executive director and that I must lay some blame where it is really due. So, guess where that is, yep I get it, the Board of Directors for USAT. Afterall, the executive director was hired by them and reports directly to them. When I was the interim executive director for USAT(seems so long ago) I made the statement more than once, to myself and others, that 98% of the problems with USAT were as a result of the egomaniac driven current board of directors. The other 2% could be attributed problems brought on by the previous board. Since the board sets policy and is responsible for all long term goals and policies who else could we blame. Also, when the apology was needed by the exective director for the press release mistake concerning the World Triathlon Corporation the board should have demanded that the apology be extended immediately. So, future posts concerning USAT will be directed at this totally enept board, with the worst leadership it has ever had.

New movies to see: Hot-The Greatest Game Ever Played, Legend of Zorro, North Country. All hot as buttered popcorn. Seen by MG in person.

Toby Keith said it all, "I may not be as good as I once was, but I am as good once, as I ever was." Off to the pool to tone the swimming muscles!

Mike Greer


Blogger Roger W Gartman said...

Greer, you always amaze and amuse me! Your comments about USAT are always insightful and make one give thought to the workings of the governing body. I haven't really ever thought much about the BoD. I've voted regiliously over the years for "someone" that I thought might be good in the respective position but never gave much concern that they had the power over the Exec as you stated in this post. I think that the main issue is that the membership base is NOT aware of how the system workx and don't have much interest in knowing. They are more driven to what the rankings of any given year are. So, my thoughts are that we (those of us involved as deep in our sport)need to bring more awareness to the current and future members about the governing body and what the overall processes (does that sound literate) are and what we as a "custmer base" can do to get resolve for the issues at hand. Hope I'm making sense in my writings (?). I think I will make a link from my own personal website to your blog so that others can read and view your thoughts. I think it needz more exposusre. Until next time, Roger

7:17 AM  

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