Monday, January 4, 2010

Pay It Forward

About a year and a half ago, I was blessed with being able to join the Evotri family. I pinch myself literally every day to have been able to meet the incredible people and to be challenged to make a difference in the multisport community. Being linked into the triathlon community is something that is so integral to my life and my happiness. It has afforded me so many opportunities. However, I have found that giving back can be difficult in a sport that is very much selfish in a lot of ways. I have struggled with this self absorption that seems to be a mark of our sport.

BUT….. I totally channeled my inner Kevin Spacey and figured out a concrete way to share some of the gifts that both Evotri and triathlon have given to me.

I have been meeting a lot of Dominicans recently and being a part of the triathlon community in Santo Domingo has been incredibly interesting. A friendly Dominican named Jonathan has been particularly nice to me, inviting me to all sorts of events and has introduced me to everyone he knows despite our having to struggle with my rubbish (but improving mainly thanks to him) Spanish. He is very poor. He had no water bottle, no bike, no pump, and no shoes. He struggles to get to races and has to borrow pretty much everything. However, he is cut from the cloth of Natascha Badman and Chrissie Wellington and I have never seen him without a smile.

After letting him borrow some small stuff I realized I could help the way that Evotri helped me and deck him out with some stuff that I now have duplicates of thanks to Evotri. I paid it forward and gave him my old bike, shoes, pump, water bottles, clothing, and some chocolate to top it off. It was cool to see his reaction as it was the same as mine a year and a half ago. His response, “pellízqueme”. My confused response was, “Que significa esto?” He pinched me and I understood. It was almost exactly like when Stu and the team called me to let me know I had made it. He bounced up and down and kind of had a awestruck look on his face. We fit him to the bike and he was off around the block with his patented smile.

My challenge to you is to find a small way to pay it forward as triathlon has given so much to us. Think of a way it has helped you and try to share that with someone else.


Velma said...

I use the concept of Pay it Forward a lot. Way to go. A great way to start the new year.

Anonymous said...

Proud of you, man.

Sarah Hadley said...

That's Awesome! But now I have to go leave a comment on Caitlin's site. Thanks!!