The 800-lb Unicorn In The Room
A couple months ago, friends began encouraging me to start a YouTube channel. I didn’t listen because it sounded like too much work and I had no idea where to start. But it was an idea that the folks around me wouldn’t let go of.
Two months later, there’s a lovely 800-lb unicorn sitting in the middle of the room, smiling and waving at me, because yesterday, the first full-length YouTube video on the Make The Body Follow YouTube channel went live.
What is the purpose of this 800-lb unicorn (here forward to be referred to as “the YouTube channel”)? Just as I blather on and on about life as an age-group triathlete here on the blog, I want to expand that blathering to include stories of other age groupers, information for new triathletes and a visual forum where folks can go and be inspired to join our global community.
In recent years, there has been a push by governing bodies of the triathlon community to grow the sport. However, their efforts to grow the sport translates into increased coverage of pros at a few triathlons historically known for having to qualify for entry as opposed to a ‘general admission’ policy that (as a matter of reference) a run of the mill generic local sprint race employs.
As an age-group triathlete there are pros that I follow closely and admire. However, I’m not inspired by them, because, I know I will never reach, let alone perform at their level. Physically and realistically, it’s unattainable for me. And if that’s the way I feel as an age-group triathlete who’s been in the arena for six years, how much more intimidated or demotivated would someone who hasn’t been a triathlete feel only seeing coverage of pro athletes, not being exposed to the average triathlete that comes in all sizes, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds? Never knowing that the ‘average’ mid-pack triathlete is the backbone of the sport, or better yet, the scaffolding of the sport. Yet, that’s not what is projected to the fledgling triathlete. Instead, a high bar with lofty standards that may never be reached is the steady mantra of this sport we love....thus, how must the wanna-be-triathlete feel? Most of them possibly think, “why even try?”
Maybe, if age-group triathletes were allotted a larger space on the global platform to tell their stories and engage with other age-group triathletes at all levels, maybe their more “common” voices would resonate in the psyche of all those triathletes-in-waiting in a way that would spur on action, a movement in the direction of joining our ginormous global triathlon tribe!
It’s worth a shot at least. And me and my new roommie Sir Unicorn, Head Of Make The Body Follow YouTube R&D, will gladly, and with much gusto, take that shot.