As the season ends and fall rolls into Calgary, there is a shift in the air for me. The training has become less focused on intensity and more focused on aerobic base and general fitness. For the first time in months, I’m not obsessing about my weight and watching everything meticulously that enters my mouth. Finally I have some time to catch up with friends and family and don’t have to leave at 8:30pm for bed. Yes, the training and racing aspect has calmed down, even if it is just for a few weeks.
However, this doesn’t mean I’m not busy. No, this is the time of year where I wish I went to business school and took marketing. This, is sponsorship season. As a professional athlete, I have many jobs. There is the obvious one of making sure my body is in immaculate condition and that I perform at my highest level on race day. I also coach several athletes and run multiple programs out of the Talisman Centre to support myself and to give back to the triathlon community. Not to mention I enjoy it! My other jobs include finding funds to support this job as well as marketing myself to maintain my influence in the sport. Finding sponsorships is a long, arduous, enjoyable, frustration and rewarding experience. You have some companies that you interact with for months and they never call you back or answer phone call, just stop talking to you or string you along and then drop you or don’t come trough on promises. The, you have other companies where you just click. Some of my good friends were introduced to me in a sponsorship setting and I’m eternally grateful for those people.
So, what does this involve? Well, there is the sending out of resume’s, constant contact and phone calls, investigating companies and making connections. I am quite picky on who I deal with and only work with companies I truly believe I can form a mutually beneficial relationship with. In the past couple years I have grown a fondness for business and do enjoy certain aspects of this challenge. I have been so blessed to have so many mentors around me. People who have guided me on my path and provided me with more world knowledge that I ever got from U of C. To those dear friends of mine, I say thank you.
No one teaches you how to get sponsors. Over the past 10 years, I have made many mistakes, learned a lot and progressed as an athlete, business man and person. I have a dream, and that dream requires adequate funding to fulfil. My reality is that every day I wake up in the morning and want nothing more than to train to be the best triathlete in the world. Following this passion has been rewarding so far and will hopefully continue for many more years to come. I can’t think of any better job than following my passion.