A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Integrity and the death of Wasatch Goats for me?

I have a huge problem. I speak my mind up. I had troubles when I was a young teen due to this and I am having difficulties in my life to this day. However, it's an inherent and hard-raised idealistic trait I own and I have no desire to rid of it. Somebody shut me up...

When Team Montrail fell apart as we knew it (with greatly fast National level runners and somewhat good regional runner's team), I was picked up first by NUUN team, and then the Wasatch Mountains Speed Goat Team was comprised, lead by Scott Mason, a personal friend of Karl Meltzer (thus the name of the team, if you know Karl's nickname). A bunch of former Montrailee's accepted the invitation with pride and happiness - hey, we all loved the concept of the Team! At first, there was no promise for any gear, and we weren't asking for it - we just wanted to run and share our emotions and results. The email list we had was absolutely awesome and offered the best support ever on any team I had seen. Then sponsors stepped in, and slowly but surely we all settled in to something of a real deal - with a pair of La Sportiva shoes free and then others at discount, with a good discount of First Endurance drinks, with a coupon for Backcountry purchases, and some shirts that were provided by various outdoors companies (different from year to year). We got Drymax on board and were happy as clams.

This year the communication began to trickle thing, and while I will not go into any details, bottom line is - there was silence from "the top"...come to think about, there was silence from "the bottom" (or the middle, if you will) as well. Had the Team outlived itself? Is it because the sport is changing? Corporates behind, prize money, invitations, extreme professional level, fast and furious, and at the same time every one and their mother? I don't know...and we can speculate all we want, but it doesn't matter. I don't even want to touch this subject here.

Bottom line is, I am out. Whatever happens to the team in the future is something I am not willing to deal with. I am simply tired of a limbo "are we a team, or are we not". I am truly grateful for the relationships this team, and any other teams I ever participated in had allowed me to develop, and the exposure to various products helping me run with more ease (if it's possible, or at least with more fun). I have my favorite products I believe in and trust into - DryMax socks, La Sportiva shoes, UltrAspire and Nathan packs, UD bottles, Power Gels, Succeed! caps, Lululemon bottoms. I will keep using it, whether half-priced or not:)

And I will keep running. Running is my passion. Mountains are my life. Trails are my love. Nothing changes there, thank God. In a great scheme of things, being called a specific name is insignificant, being associated is not important. I am old enough (or mature enough) to stand my own ground. To hold on to my own integrity. T run for my own purpose. To race my heart out. To explore. To challenge. To keep searching, to keep building my better self - and hopefully never find it. Because I kind of like the state of moving forward:)

8 comments:

  1. Olga, I respect those who speak their minds, better to know than to not. My favorite aunt ever was one who "told it like it was" and I also like to be like this, within reason and without hurting anyone.
    As for the team, I don't know...is it dead? You were one I hoped would not leave, but maybe we are done and if so, life goes on. I'm not one who would ever be on any team, so was thrilled when Scott brought me on board that first year. If the team goes, then so does my blog, it only exists to support the team and it's sponsors. I've been writing less and less, maybe that is also dying.
    See you at the next race we both run and best of luck with your move and your injury...

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  2. Another great post Olga! Love the last paragraph. Don't change who you are - Keep it real.

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  4. LOVE IT! I too tend to speak my mind all too often. Fortunately I normally mean what I say the first time :)

    I'm with Tom. Great last paragraph. Pretty inspiring read as usual.

    Hope you and Larry aren't being affected by the fires :(

    -Jacob

    (sorry, I posted from my wifes account before this one!)

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  5. You said it all...keep searching and building but never finding, never finishing. That's what life is really all about if you're living it fully. :D

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  6. My favorite race had prize money for the first time this year... and it's ruined and I'll never do it again. My second favorite race now has a million sponsors and the course is surrounded by advertising and the race shirts have enough logos to be Nascar; the entry fee also tripled and there's suddenly a lottery to do it. The front runners in both races are on teams just to get free stuff and to feel exclusive - when trail races are all about inclusivity for me - and people are saying "isn't it wonderful?" Not for me; wonderful to me is a small group of like-minded people challenging themselves and cheering each other on. And that's what a team should be, not a marketing tool.

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  7. Steve, and that what Wasatch Team was - a group of folks, not even all that fast for the most part, kind of mid-pack (the beginning of it), with great support to each other, trails, ultras, well-known because they travel lots and speak with passion. May be that's why we are falling behind the pull of 21st century, sadly. Not popular enough, not breaking records, and sadly, when Regional Montrail team got ditched, majority of runners out there mentioned that the regional, "down to earth" folks were the ones bringing spotlight to the gear. Not a handful of elites (who are for the most part awesome people, don't take me wrong, they are just so far out of reach for normal human, it's mind boggling). Anyhow, there are other reasons involved, I just felt for awhile that it's about time I get on my own, which coincided with troubles inside the management, so here I am. Now if only my foot gets better, damn it!

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  8. Well done! I love that you speak your mind. Never stop!That is the most prized trait in all of my friends.

    I love your passion for running and I hope it rubs off on me! I need to get my running mojo back!

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