Since I've taken up endurance sports, I've found myself constantly thrown into situations where people question my friendship, make fun of me for being lame, and say that I never want to hang out anymore. A lot of times I just blow it off and go about my business, but sometimes it gets under my skin. I know it's not something I should worry about, but I'm human. Today was one of those occasions where I was called lame and had several people tell me that I never hang out anymore. It kinda upset me and I caught myself before I lashed out.
When I first started working at my job, I was pretty fresh out of college, still in the party mode, and didn't really have physical fitness as a top priority. I went to happy hours regularly and went out to the bars on the weekend. However over the last three years, I've really developed into an endurance athlete and someone who is passionate about my lifestyle. I don't go to happy hours as much and I usually hate going out on the weekends because I've grown to love the early morning training runs and rides. I enjoy the people I've met through training and I feel like they are all positive influences in my life. It's definitely affected how I spend my time, but I feel like it has changed my life for the better. I'm healthier than I've ever been in my life and I'm extremely happy. I can't recall a time in my life where I've ever been more confident, happy, and fulfilled. I've found that niche to satisfy my competitive hunger, feed my desire to excel, and tap into my work ethic that's driven me to succeed in many areas of my life. I really feel like endurance sports is my outlet to help me to continue to grow and fulfill my desire to improve my life.
I'm not quite sure how to handle the happy hour dilemma though. I've talked to some friends at work and tried to explain to them that I need allies at the office. I need them to help calm the storm when people try to guilt me into skipping my training and hanging out at happy hours or go to the bars. It's worked at times, but the message doesn't seem to stick. I guess I should just grin and bear it, but the culture of our industry is very social and it centers around a party-type atmosphere. I do wonder at times if it could eventually negatively impact my career, but I know my employer is a big proponent of physical fitness at a corporate level so that's reassuring. As far as my specific segment of this industry, it's more about the relationships you form along the way. It concerns me at times that I'm constantly missing functions and passing up on chances to build relationships. I think I've found a pretty good balance of attending and skipping, but only time will tell. I just hope I can continue to gain allies along the way who understand my passion and can appreciate the burning desire I have to succeed at my goals. I do know I already have some great allies in the industry and they are often very interested in my training. I even have several who read this blog and are training for big events themselves. I want to thank them for being an ally and helping me along the way. You are all helping me achieve my goal of being an Ironman. Now I just hope my immediate coworkers will jump on board.
In other news, the brick workout today was fantastic and Bart Yasso is now following me on Twitter. Success!