Growing up, I was never "That Guy." You know who I'm talking about. "That Guy." The captain of any team sport he joined. The person who everyone knew would be the big name sports guy when he got older. The person who everyone went to for information about anything.
I wasn't That Guy.
But lately, something has been changing. Suddenly, I am That Guy, only with a twist.
Many of my co-workers know that I run marathons and that I am training for my first triathlon. And for them, I have become That Guy. When someone starts talking about any endurance event, they seem to get directed towards my office. Need a training schedule, go see That Guy. Looking for nutrition information, go see That Guy. Concerned about achieving a goal, go see That Guy.
Oddly, I still don't consider myself That Guy. A VP in our company is an Ironman. He's That Guy. At least he is, for me. But for others, his accomplishments are far too daunting. They look at me and see the guy who runs 5Ks, 10Ks, 3 mile charity walks, and is likely to drown in the 220 yard swim for his first triathlon. That, they can relate to.
So, they come to my office. I dig up training schedules and race information. I discuss the merits of heart rate training. I pass along copies of Runners' World or applicable training books. I go over pronation, wet foot tests and the buying of correct shoes.
But mostly, I cheerlead. I let people know that a few short years ago it was a significant challenge for me to run 1.5 miles. A few years ago, I was buying the wrong shoes because I was uninformed about pronation. I ran 13.5 miles to see if I could complete a half-marathon. I ran that first race without any formalized training. And I let them know that If I can run a marathon, they can, too.
Of course, all the while people are coming to my office to talk to That Guy, I'm looking up to all of the "That Guy" type people in my life. That Guy who offered to let me borrow a wetsuit for the triathlon if it's brutally cold. That Guy who posted wonderful motivational information on their blog. That Guy who gave me guidance on breathing during the swim.
We are all That Guy to someone who knows less. Remember that. Offer them all the assistance you can, and foster in them the same drive, desire, and (gulp) love of the sport you have.
Go. Be That Guy.
Flatman update: He got his old blog-site back (woohoo to public pressure). He asks that you update your links. Or would that be "unupdate."