While you are ultimately paid to think and make decisions as a military officer, you don’t realize how many constraints, guidelines and obstacles are in place that you have to work with, through or around to get your job done. While I enjoyed my time in the Coast Guard, with any large bureaucracy many times you invest huge energy into a righteous effort, only to realize it’s not going anywhere. Doing my own thing, it’s refreshing to see “more power going directly to the pedals” with more direct results from your labor and less red tape and overhead to deal with. In addition, it’s been rewarding to learn about all aspects of setting up a business for real instead of just hypothetical widget making that you go through during undergrad or MBA classes, there is nothing like just jumping in and doing it and getting your hands dirty on all aspects of the business. Not to mention the benefits of setting your own hours and priorities and to focus on something you have a lot of passion for.
On the flip side, it also takes a lot more discipline and focus to ensure you don’t piddle the day away vice working on applying for your business license, learning the finer details of tax law and getting even smarter on new training approaches and Training Peaks (the occasional break is allowed though, I mean I have to ride, plus the occasional video game and guitar jam session refreshes you…). With the discipline of a rigid schedule and work day gone, it’s easy to let time wander if you aren’t careful but I have gotten a grip on it.
Anyway, let’s get around to the point. After being at first resistant, I decided to start a blog, open a Twitter account and launch a Facebook page to go along with the business launch. Oooooo, you and everyone else on the planet, you say, yeah I know. I have been an admittedly late adopter to all things social media, after that whole Beta and HD DVD things I guess have been cautious.
In the past year as I was thinking through potentially starting a business and what I wanted to do with it, I could finally start envisioning uses of all of the above. I think the light really turned on when I travelled to Belgium as the Team Director for the Armed Forces Cycling Team for their trip to the World Military Championships. Just a few years ago when I went to Europe as a rider, I pretty much kissed my wife goodbye and told her what happened when I got back 2 weeks later. With social media I could keep friends and family of the team up to date on what was going on with ease as it happened (except when driving the team car of course). If the content is of interest to the target audience, it can be a wonderful thing.
So on to the blog, I have seen many started with the best intentions and then abandoned after only a handful of posts. Or ones that are too long and read like a daily diary that are probably of little interest to a broad audience. My intent is to try to avoid these pitfalls by focusing on short bits of endurance coaching and racing related info, on roughly a weekly basis with notices on updates going to both Twitter and Facebook. Think tips, observations or lessons that I found useful and I hope may help other athletes. I also reserve the right to attempt humor on occasion, as many will confirm, I am not a comedian but, I sure try, and when I travel I usually do stay at a Holiday Inn Express, so you never know, I might get you to laugh.
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If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I promise future posts will be more coaching and racing focused.