Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another Look Behind The Curtain

I have some time to reflect this morning, which I don't take enough time to do.

I think a lot of times people think I race announce for me.  I don't.  I do it for everybody else.

I have a God-given and family-directed (my grandfather) talent for it, which I'm thankful for, but it really is a way for me to express love - in a friendly sense, obviously - towards other people and what they're doing in their lives.

What's a challenge, though, is the side of event production that people don't see.

There are times that I want to walk away for various reasons - some of which I won't go into because they're truly internal.

Externally, the market for races has gotten a little cut-throat, which is discouraging, and there are producers that I work for who are the target of that negative competition.

How do you respond to that on behalf of the people that you work with?  Well, you work harder, smarter and build alliances that are mutually beneficial.

Even what I do has a little competition.

For the first time this year, I've had somebody else who does what I do "sniff around" about some of the events that I work.

It has put a little pressure on me, even though I've been blessed already with a great professional career.  (Translated:  I don't need to announce to pay the bills.)

And, yesterday, as a result, I stepped up my game - and energy (remembering an RD that i work for now saying that "he liked the energy" that somebody he used to use in a prior position) - working the sixth annual Green 6.2 for RA Sports Management through WinWin Events.

When you work with a new race producer, it is human nature that while you want to do your best for yourself you also want to be pleasing to others with your performance.

Especially when those around may be able to use your talents at other events.

Although, one of the co-owners of RA Sports Management, who I hadn't met before yesterday, commented after the race to me about my professionalism in my work.

That, actually, meant the world to me.

And the other was when I was introduced by a professional peer (and friend) to somebody else on their team as being "a great father".

And that, honestly, is why I keep pushing through the rough spots.  I get to provide for my daughter - and others - through what I do.

In the last two years, I've been asked:  What do you charge?

Initially, it was a tough question to answer because I did what I did as a labor of love.

However, because of the quality of my work, it became just that -- work.

Work that I had to invest the right amount of time to earn that label of being "professional".

I certainly don't want to go into the detail of all of my arrangements with various event producers (because it is different for those that I started working with before I charged for my time and efforts), but from what I earned in 2013-2014, $3,900 was used on various ministry efforts or charitable giving in 2014.

And already I've put down $2,000 towards Waverly making another trip with New Hope Initiative to Kenya and Tanzania in early June -- and return to the slums of Kibera and see a young woman whose education that she sponsored in 2013-2014 and we did jointly (because she wasn't working while going to college) in 2014-2015.

I'm thankful - and fortunate - I'm able to do that.

Yet I still have to perform and I will.  And I also couldn't do what I do without the great support that I receive from others - individually and from the many event production teams that I work with.

The sport(s) of running - and triathlon - have opened many doors and created many friendships and opportunities for me and my daughter.

It is just a daily challenge to figure out what things - in the future - that I want to do in the free time that I have available to me.

Believe me, it changes constantly.

Have a great Sunday and the week to come, especially those that will be participating in next weekend's BP MS150 and the Boston Marathon.