Who Are You Brian? And What Are You Doing Here?

You know what’s pathetic? When you look at the newly redesigned website of your beloved coach and mentor, see that there is a whole entire section on the site for you to blog, and then click on it only to see that nothing is found. Ouch. I feel like I let you down Cane, and that is unacceptable.A couple of things; there is, as of now, no running theme to this blog, I am not a fan of rambling random thoughts, and my grammar doesn’t evoke memories of the “Elements of Style,” by Strunk & White. I don’t use twitter – although you can follow me? If you’re into that – and social media is not my thing; I won’t announce my results on facebook or give a race report in 140 characters. I do not praise or condemn races, splits, games, or athletes behind a computer unless it’s in private, and I don’t really think people care what I have to say anyway.

But I was asked to blog, so I will. I love writing, I really love triathlon, and I really REALLY love competition, so I’m going to be the best damn blogger I can be, or however good I have to be in order to be better than NSQ. Like my training I will take it slow; start with the commitment of once and month, and if it turns out people actually enjoy what I write, aim for bi-monthly. No promises beyond that.

I arrived at City Coach through my cousin Bridget and her husband, Terry Moore. My baseball career ended my junior year of college, I played club at the University of Southern California, and after doing nothing for a year, I signed up for my first triathlon. It was the International Distance Malibu Tri, and I signed up 8 weeks before the event. I figured, I am a pretty athletic guy, I can probably run train on this sport.

Wrong! Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I got my a** handed to me by the course, and although I finished, I was disenchanted with my performance. After that I tried to commit myself to training, but failed. I raced with the USC Tri team at first, was humbled by the offer to go with them to Collegiate Nationals, and even had a good race there. But I wasn’t training consistently or performing well enough to be happy with the sport. The National race was in April 2012, and then life happened. I moved from Southern California to NY, got a job, and had a fairly hectic summer. That all culminated in me missing a Connecticut race that I had signed up for several months earlier when I moved. That didn’t just hurt, it burned, and it has stuck with me ever since. I was determined to recommit myself, and I did. I joined a local club, trained hard throughout the winter, starting keeping logs, and immersed myself in the sport. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with it.

And although none of you readers know me, do not be fooled by my constant complaining about waking up early, and trudging through the cold to get to the pool (which I do a lot of, complaining that is). I absolutely love this sport. I love the obsession with numbers, I love obsessing about equipment, I love the grind, I love the early mornings and the early nights, I love looking at my training schedule, I love training and the pain that goes with it, I love competing with others in practice, I love winning practice (yes coaches, practice can ABSOLUTELY be won), I love making goals, I love checking off goals, and I love making new ones. Every byproduct, every external negative, every sacrifice, everything that comes with it, good and bad, there is nothing about this sport I don’t love or get enthusiastic about - as anyone who joins our Thursday night runs can tell you. Most of all, I love that this sport makes me a better person.

And that’s what brought me to City Coach in July of 2013. Encouraged by Terry’s positive words about Jon Cane, I arranged for us to meet at that Argo Tea by Columbus Circle that Jon always like to frequent for some reason. Our first conversation was anywhere between 1 and 1.5 hours; I don’t know because it felt like 10 minutes. It was obvious that this was going to be a good fit. Seven months later, it still is. Even after the most productive but boring swim block of training I’ve ever done in my entire life (thanks to Coach Marc DeLese), I am more in love with this sport than when I started. I am grateful to everyone who helped and continues to help me in any way, from training partners and coaches to moral support from my cousin and roommate Steffi.

But enough rosy talk! The season is coming up, I cannot wait for it to begin, and I look forward to sharing part of my experience with those who read this. When I started this sport, I wanted some organized competition and direction. Now, I want to work hard, I want to see where this sport can take me, and I want to become the best I can be. That’s who I am and why I am here.