Well I made a quick trip to Texas over the weekend.
Tom Rodgers and I have worked together on a couple of
the Texas Tri Camps over the past few years. I missed
last year's camp, but I managed to find the time to
make it this year. It was nice to get out of Florida
over the weekend and the camp was a great success. I
met some great people and it seemed like the whole
weekend rolled along nicely without incident.
Couple things I thought about over the weekend...
The flight attendant that served my section of the
airplane (from Orlando to DFW) was rude. Really rude.
I suppose I could mention the airline, but it probably
wouldn't make a difference when you or I make our next
airline ticket purchase.
Jonathan (the dude sitting next to me on the flight)
turned to me early in the flight to inquire as to
whether I normally fly said airline. This eventually
led to a coversation about working in sales, cross
cultural customer service conflicts (hey Dad, J;
remember Andorra!!!), brand loyalty, etc., etc.
I suppose that flying in the 1970s and 80s was
different than now (I flew in the 80s, but I don't
remember the customer service). I think flying today
is sort of like getting gas. It really isn't about
brand loyalty or customer service. Its about
convenience and price. Nothing wrong with that, but it
might explain how a flight attendant might be more
concerned with the utilitarian side of her job (as
opposed to 'serving with a smile').
People don't need to spend uber dollars to fly
anymore. Getting from point A to B on time
consistently, and at the lowest price, trumps "the
experience" that might have been present when flying
was a luxury. This probably applies less to flights
overseas, but I did see a flight attendant and a
customer go at each other on a flight back from Paris,
so maybe not.
I left out the name of the airline because this entire
blog could be a result of someone simply having a bad
day. Every day people are deciding whether to love or
hate us based on first impressions. I'll give her the
benefit of the doubt and assume the best until I meet
I spent the majority of the weekend talking about
training protocols, racing, nutrition, swim/bike/run
technique, etc. I enjoy talking shop. My life would be
rather turtuous otherwise given my surroundings. There
are nearly a dozen books about training/nutrition/ex
phys sitting on the table here and when not
reading/writing/talking about training, I'm
I actually rarely encourage talking about triathlon
(outside of a small core group of friends/colleagues).
I merely respond and offer my opinions if asked. I
think the biggest advantage of having the common
demoninator of triathlon is accessing what makes each
individual different and/or great (as opposed to
simply having one thing in common).
Everybody came to the tri camp this past weekend to
learn more about the sport and hopefully they did. I
take satisfaction in helping others, but what I really
enjoy is getting to know who they are, what they care
about, what they have passions for, etc. Smokers get
to know one another by sharing a cigarette outside of
a non-smoking venue. Tri camps, races, training
sessions, etc. offer the same for me. I think that is
why the best friends I have from triathlon are the
ones that I can talk with about things other than
Perhaps it puts them on the same level as those who
know me best. My friends and family might know I do
triathlons, but they don't know me as a triathlete.
They just know me as me and that's why I love 'em.
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