My many hats

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.

Grant Burwash & Hillary Higgins Ironman Calgary 70.3

Grant Burwash & Hillary Higgins Ironman Calgary 70.3

Grant

Olympic moments

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of watching Clara Hughes win yet another Olympic medal. There have been several special moments in this Olympics, but watching her in the 5000m brought back memories.

Four years ago, during the Olympics I was up in Edmonton for University Track and Field’s Can West meet. This weekend, Can West is again in Edmonton, but I will not be going. I remember packing into my room in the circular hotel in Edmonton to watch the 5000m long track speed skating races before we left for the track. We were cheering on the Canadians and enjoying the whole Olympic experience. Right before we left I watched Clara absolutely empty herself on the ice to win gold. Seeing her collapse on the ice, utterly exhausted brought goosebumps to my entire body and I was ready to race. I didn’t need pump up music that day. The image of Clara pushing herself to the limit was more than enough to get me ready to hurt that day.

Congrats to Clara and all the other medalists so far in 2010. You are an inspiration.

G-Force