Not Your Ordinary Goal!
Volunteering at a triathlon.
Michael Pate of
you have started at least thinking about your goals for the 2004 season.
How many races do you have on your list? What are your personal goals? How
can you maintain balance between training, family life, and your job?
Are you only focusing on racing and training this season?
since we are setting our goals, letís think about setting a goal that many
of us have never thought about - much less achieved. What am I talking
about? Well, you will leave your race feeling a sense of fulfillment that
you may have never felt before. Still donít have a clue? Sign up to be a
race volunteer! Okay, now I have made some of you feel uncomfortable and
you might be saying that you would rather do hill repeats for hours than be
a race volunteer, but give me a chance.
of my past race memories are because of some great volunteers. Letís
think about what is accomplished at most races by volunteers:
Coordination of race with local government officials
Transition area set-up
Transition area tear-down
the list could go on
first thing that I can imagine hearing is, ďHow you can you volunteer and
participate in a race?Ē Well, let me tell you how it can work. If a
race is not a priority race for you during the season and is held in your
local town, ask the race organizers if you can help put race packets
together. Ask them if you can come the day before the race and help lay out
the transition area. Still think that you canít do this and race? I have
personally seen one of the best racers the Southern Region show up before a
race to volunteer and then still place first at the event the next day. I
have seen the same triathlete helping tear down bike racks after a race.
donít want to do a race and volunteer some time, think about going
to a race that you are not competing in and volunteering there. I think
that it can potentially serve a couple of purposes for you. If you have
never competed in a triathlon, this will give you an up close and personal
chance to see what goes on at an event and will give you the possible
opportunity to experience things that you might not as a spectator. If you
have previously competed, you have a lot to offer. As a previous
competitor, you can be a valuable asset for any race director because you
wonít need to have as much direction as someone who has never been to a race
before. You might even be able to serve as a volunteer coordinator for part
of an event and free up the race director. Your opportunities basically are
you probably are thinking that is easy to write about being a race volunteer
and might wonder if I have actually have set this goal for myself. Well,
the first triathlon that I ever attended was in the capacity of a
volunteer. Since I have started racing, do I still volunteer? You better
believe it! This year I have volunteered for four races and I will
volunteer for at least that many, if not more in 2004. Why, you might ask?
When I race, I get a great sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, but when
I volunteer I get a great sense of fulfillment also. I hope that by doing
the little things like giving someone a glass of water, running an extension
cord, or just helping with registration I have made someone else have a
great experience at a race like I have had. Sometimes when we make
sacrifices for others, we are often surprised for some reason to realize
that we made a difference. The choice will be up to you. Will you
give back to the sport which has given so much to you, or will you be
content to let others serve you?
truest gift is the gift of self - for it is only through sacrifice that the
art of giving is learned.
- Felicia Pate Ė Number one
fan of Michael Pate -
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