Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Calling Someone A Quitter: You Have No Right

Very rarely do I get so fired up to write something publicly and if I lose any announcing assignment as a result of it, so be it.

I strongly believe in what I am about to write.

Over the last few years, I’ve done my best – in a totally volunteer capacity – to promote the endurance athletes of Montgomery County and Spring – a place where I live and socialize the most.

I have a trivia question:  How many people who call or have called Montgomery County home have finished both an Ironman and a 100-mile endurance run?

The list is pretty short.

These are ones that live in the County and have recently (both in the last five years):

Karen Felicidario  (Ladies first, of course)

Curtis Hooper

Dan Jordan

I’m not certain if Allen Wrinkle lives in the area anymore.  I know that he used to.  (I just checked.  His Facebook still says “Spring, Texas”.)  Allen has completed some nasty 100-milers as well as Ironman Florida and Arizona.

Yep, count Allen too.

And, of course, there’s the legend:  The Woodlands’ Jim Braden.

Two Western States 100 and (at least) 11 Ironman finishes, including seven straight in Kona, in his 50s.

If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know.  (I looked at all of the guys and gals in the area who have finished 100-milers – John Powers, Troy Pfeiferling, Rick Cook, Patrick Shannon, Les Ellsworth, Bill Dwyer, Lynnor Matheney, Matt Zmolek, Bill Cox – and they haven’t finished an Ironman.  Yet.)

So if any one of these five decides to call any event of any distance a day before they cross the finish line, who has the right to say anything?

Or, heaven forbid, call them – *gasp* – a quitter?

The way I see it:  ONLY the other four (or anybody else who has accomplished both of those feats) can.

I don’t care if they boasted that they could break the Guinness record in some athletic endeavor – even when they didn’t have a chance of doing so or their effort, training or preparation suggested otherwise.

Sure, it may make them look foolish, but it certainly doesn’t justify somebody who hasn’t completed the feats that they’ve already accomplished to either outright call them a quitter or imply it in some other form or fashion.

If you think it does, you’re certainly taking these sports – and yourself – way too seriously.

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