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Racing with the Kids: Tales of Professional Athlete Dads

My first-ever triathlon is this weekend, and after months and months of training, I’m ready for it to be over.

It’s been fun and I feel like I’m super healthy, the healthiest I have ever been — the main goal of this challenge — but the time suck from all the training has turned into something between annoying and a familial nightmare.

“Just one quick run.”

“Can’t. Have to go swim and then bike.”

“Ice cream? Seriously, do you have to eat that in front of me?”

I want my weekends and my family back!

I can’t imagine being a professional triathlete, having to pump out hours and hours of training each day to be ready for the hell-on-Earth Ironman events. My wife’s already tired of hearing about amateur training. Pro spouses are saints.

All this to say that I’m enamored by professional triathlete and father Andy Potts, who was interviewed over at Tri Fatherhood by Chad Nikazy. A top college swimmer turned Olympic triathlete turned Ironman butt-kicker, Potts talks about the fun and challenges of working in all that crazy work while trying to stay grounded with the family.

But what I thought made the interview so special and applicable to all was the tone of the interview. How many times can one person work in that life is a “celebration” in an interview and not make you feel like you’re watching Oprah? It was downright inspiring.

“Being a professional triathlete is exciting because its instant validation, but the best teaching moments are when the cameras are off and the crowds are gone. Family meals, taking them to school, just little things like that. Our kids see that we’re invested in them. They respond positively when they know they have our attention. We’re giving them tools to succeed in life.”

It’s difficult to stay that grounded when you’re working hard and also maybe trying to throw in a personal hobby goal as well, but I wanted to share this interview with Potts because he seems to be getting it done. Thanks for a great interview, Chad.

– Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!

PS … I also have to say I love Potts’ favorite music. If I had to pump out hours on the bike and hours on the shoes each day, about the last thing I’d listen to is David Grey — a musician I love but one that would probably have me sitting on the ground after the first few bars, thinking about love and life instead of working my legs off. Kudos to you, Andy Potts.

Photo: TriFatherhood

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