For the last couple of months, when I look at the list of websites that direct people to the Big Bad Blog, I notice the following pattern:
The first two need little introduction. The third may look a little odd.
While we are growing accustomed to seeing this in our statistics, others may understandably wonder why a triathlon blog refers so many viewers to the Big Bad Blog. After all, two years into the Big Bad Blog, this is the first time that triathlon has been mentioned.
First, the flashback
For answers, we must first step back approximately twenty-five years.
At that time, I was a young boy growing up in Kingston, Ontario. Like many children, I was involved in several different organized sports — most memorably (but not only) soccer in the summer, hockey in the winter.
I was not the only child involved in these things. For instance, Adrian Leslie played on my soccer team.
And, after St. Mary’s folded from the CAL and I joined the Chalmers team, Adrian Leslie played on my hockey team.
Why Adrian Leslie? Because I thought he was awesome when I was nine. I cannot remember him in a sporting (or any other) context after the age of thirteen.
Also on that Chalmers hockey team was a kid named Simon. I’m guessing that Simon also did lots of these sports, though my only pre-high-school memories of the guy are with the hockey team.
For the record, our hockey team was awesome.
Flash forward, just a little
Moving ahead to a mere twenty years ago, I no longer played hockey but had joined the cross country running team in high school.
Why cross country running?
I couldn’t tell you. I had never run a race prior to joining that team. I had also never run a distance longer than a soccer field. But it seemed to be the thing to do — after all, anybody can run (if not run fast), I had always done sports, and there were people I knew on the team.
And one of these people was Simon.
I remember him being good at hockey, but he was an excellent runner. And suddenly, halfway through high school, Simon was gone. Off to Australia, I was told, to practice triathlon.
That seemed incredibly strange to me. I was never Simon’s friend. He was just a guy who went to my high school who had been on a couple of sports teams with me. But … Australia? To train in triathlon? As a teenager?
It just did not seem to jive with the kind of advice the guidance councillors at the school would tend to dish out.
Flash forward, a little bit more
It’s the summer of 2000, and I am at my mother’s house for reasons unremembered.
In the morning, I grab a coffee and flip on the television. The Olympics in Sydney have just begun, and there’s a little bit of a time difference so I am watching things on replay.
What do I see? That Simon kid from high school crossing the finish line and winning an Olympic gold medal in triathlon.
In retrospect, that decision that seemed so strange in high school starts to make sense.
Flash forward, for the last time
It’s September 2010, and I’m on a bus. I’m drunk on a bus.
In fact, I am quite drunk on a bus. Maggie is expected in approximately a month, and I won’t drink this much again for the foreseeable future. Also, I’m bored and my mind is wandering back to the 1980s.
So I tweet at Simon about the glory of our hockey championship in the CAL. The next day, the Big Bad Blog is linked to from Simon’s blog, and our seemingly out of place #3 on the referral list begins.
Everything I know
Who are these people arriving from Simon’s blog?
There is some chance that they are common acquaintances from those halcyon Kingston days. Or they could be people who, reading about all things triathlon, decide that the Big Bad Blog is their next stop. This latter group should be warned that my knowledge of triathlon is as follows:
- First, you swim.
- Then, you ride a bicycle.
- Finally, you run.
- All of this is part of a single race.
- This guy I knew when I was a kid — name is Simon — is very, very, very good at it.
Hence, the spectre of writing about triathlons is daunting. I have never done a triathlon. I have never even been in a bicycle race. I am a horrible swimmer, though I can manage to not drown and can theoretically rescue a drowning person (a skill which has thankfully never been tested). I have my White badge, and everything.
Actually, I think I could be pretty fast on a bicycle. Giant thighs.
But you will have to forgive me for ignoring this seemingly significant demographic, and never writing about triathlon again … at least, until August 2012, when I will wander down to Hyde Park to cheer Simon as he tries to add to his Olympic medal collection.