I’m going to skip most of the usual LOST story today. I’ll just give you the short version here: 59F/14C… very comfortable and pancake flat… 83 swimmers. Best swim of the year so far. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.
I think it was my grandpa, one of the most common sense guys that ever lived, who told me “If you want something done… ask a busy person”, it has always stuck with me. And it’s true.
Volunteer Kayaker Jill… and Charterability!!! (thanks Stephen Cull!)
Essentially, it is counter-intuitive. A busy person should have less time to help you with someone than somebody who isn’t busy. But the difference is that a busy person knows how to get things done.
The other related truism is that “everyone is busy”. And I find that the busiest people are not the ones telling you how busy they are. You just kind of look back at them and marvel. It gradually comes out that they do a lot. Again, everyone does a lot. But these guys do more.
Alex & Charterability always volunteer their boats for the LOST Race!
Now the reason I bring all this up is that it is relevant to most of the people reading this. Because most of us try to squeeze as much out of life as we can. We try to do more and more. Yes, sometimes to a fault, but I’d still argue that that is better than not.
When you are doing an Ironman or major swim or ultra endurance race people always say: “Wow. How do you find the time?” This tends to be someone who knows enough to “get it”. The person who doesn’t know that much about endurance sports thinks that the race is the hard part and is in awe (and justly so) of how hard the actual race or event is. But my response is: “For most people the race will be the hardest event they will ever do. But really the hardest part is finding the time to train”.
The Champ… Mike Morton, who always volunteers to watch over you all!
With the exception of professionals (of which there are very few), most of us have other stuff going on in our lives. The funny thing is that now that my wife and I are empty nesters, I’m a little burned out at doing Ironman tris. But back in 2003 I did my first Ironman, and then several more after, and a bunch of marathon swims, 40-something marathons and ultras, etc, was also when we had 3 young kids… that were all involved in sports and activities… and eventually all 3 in high performance swimming… and renovating houses… and several internet startups… and working 50 hour weeks on the trading floor… and Joanne worked as an emergency room nurse… and on and on. Oh, and volunteering every Saturday morning (for 12 years) to running LOST Swimming (PS. in case you were wondering, LOST is a not-for-profit. No one has ever made a dime off of LOST, including myself. We charge as little as we can, and put any residual profits back into the club… so it was never for the money). But we got it done. And we had fun doing it. And we wouldn’t have done it any other way.
My point is, it was busy. And still is. Just like everyone else. But my further point is, it is good to give back. To volunteer. At anything.
But when your “thing” is triathlon and or swimming (amongst numerous other things, I’m sure), it makes sense to give back to the thing that you are interested in and like.
Honestly, ask yourself how many races you’ve done. Of all types. 10, 20, 30… 100, 200 races? And then ask yourself how many times you’ve been the guy handing out the gatorade at the water stations? 1, 2, 3 times? None?
The thing about volunteering is that it is like so many things in life that are defined by the 80/20 rule. Like sales in business. 80% of the sales are done by 20% of the people. (At LOST Swimming those 20% guys are: Mike, Darren, Mauro, Dylan, Elizabeth, Mark, Edwin, Miguel, Katie and a few others that I probably forgot).
Same thing with volunteering. You often see the same people volunteering. I get all my volunteering done via LOST, but I’m the same, I often duck out of volunteering with the countless other things when people are asking for volunteers. Human nature is what it is.
The good thing about LOSTies is, even though LOSTies have various athletic skill levels, there are a few things that we all have in common. Most of us are pretty generous people… and aren’t particularly lazy either… and just given the fact that you apparently like LOST Swimming, you like our culture and community too.
So when it comes to volunteering… most of us just need a little nudge… or a kick in the ass to remind us… but we’re all game to helping build this community. That is honestly why we have such a great group. So typically, one just has to ask… so I’m askin’!
The good ol’ days are back… The Maisey Awards are now the Allison Awards!!! (Alan’s daughter, Allison, volunteered to make these… that my daughter, Maisey, had volunteered to do, years ago!)
So that was your (not so subtle) gentle reminder! We are looking for volunteers for 2 important things coming up soon:
- the LOST Race & LOST Mile on Saturday, Aug 12.
- On-water – ie) kayaks & or kaykers, SUPS and or SUP’ers, etc
- contact Mauro at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or contact Claudia: email@example.com
- On-land – ie) registration, handing out medals, parking, assisting, set up, etc. You can request a post that will still allow you to swim too!
- contact Darren to volunteer at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or contact Steve at: email@example.com
- the LOST Storage Shed construction on Saturday, July 22
- Construction Guys – for this job, we don’t really need 100 people running around with saws and hammers, but if you have some “construction experience”, we’ll take you! (Adrian Brackel, who is currently building my house has agreed to lead this!)
- Donut Guys – or if you feel more helpful painting, setting up, organizing, or supplying donuts… well that’s helpful too!
- contact me: RobertJayKent@gmail.com
PS. If you can’t help with either, no sweat. It is more that we all just lend a hand when you can and doing whatever you can.
Here are a few great examples:
Amy, Duane, Mark, and a few others – some of the regulars that just need a gentle nudge with my talk at the beginning of the swim about volunteering and guess what? I didn’t say anything, but at the end of the swim they were there helping deflate the buoys, roll up the carpet, etc.
Brett & Chris – you know Brett from his coffee shop that we always go to after swimming, but he’s also a LOSTie too. He came down and said “hey, do you need a kayaker this morning?” and jumped in. And this was after I was a bit short setting up, so Chris jumped into the kayak and set up the course… and hadn’t kayaked in years, but managed to stay dry!
Johnny Cupcakes – couldn’t make it out last week, but gave Mauro a whole box full of cookies for everyone when they checked in. He owns Black Forest Bakery on Lakeshore and for him it was just a nice, thoughtful… and yummy thing to do.
The LOST Board – all the people that you didn’t even know are essential to making LOST Swimming and the LOST Race happen: Darren, Mauro, Mike, Dan, Elizabeth, Lynn, Katie, Miguel, Joanne, Dylan, Steve, Alex, Mark, Loren, Alan, Bud, Claudia
John Stribany – last year he (and his company) donated 150 LOST pint glasses to the LOST Race & LOST Mile! This year he is donating 240 LOST pint glasses for the LR & LM and all the voluneers!!! Oh, and he donated $1,000 for the LOST plaque we are working on too. Thoughtful and generous.
The point is not that everyone has to do everything… just something. Just do what you can. It is really appreciated… and it makes our group better.