Friday, April 6, 2012

Zoot Camp 2012

Since I'm on a flight with no wireless internet and I'm caught up on all my email that is synced on my computer I finally have time to write a blog post. I'm on the way home from another great weekend with the Zoot Ultra Team and our sponsors in Carlsbad and wanted to check in and share a few thoughts.

First of all, I have to say that year after year the team camp is one of my favorite times of the year. We don't really train, just hang out for two days but it is always a great time. Every year I make new friends and always learn something new at the camp. This year was no different.

Of course we had fun, got lots of great product from sponsors, learned about current and future products, but something else became obvious to me this year. The reason I like Zoot so much is how passionate and committed everyone is.

I had the opportunity to talk individually with about half of the Zoot employees throughout the weekend and it was apparent that every single one of them was passionate about what they did and committed to making the best products they can. They don't work for Zoot because it is their job; they work for Zoot because they want to make appearal, shoes, etc.

Three years ago Dave told me he does not want to hear that I like Zoot shoes, but he wants to know about every issue or complaint. I realized this weekend it's not just Dave, it's everyone at Zoot. They are a very close and small team (11 people) but every one of them I have worked with truly wants to make the best product they possibly can.

So, Jake, Molly, Dave, Steve, Shaun, Marirose, and Kevin, THANK YOU for making awesome gear and always listening to our feedback. I'm honored to be able to continue working with you for another year and am excited to see what you come up with next.

On that front, we got a sneak preview of a new shoe coming out in June that I'm really excited about. This is a totally different shoe then the current line and was built from scratch. It was cool to see how excited Dave was about this shoe. A few pictures are starting to show up on twitter and Zoot athletes.  Some of our other sponsors had some great products I'm excited about as well.  The SPY Optics Screws glasses fit great, stay in place and are very comfortable, I can't wait to get some more of their sunglasses.  Since I love having data on all my training and racing the Garmin 910XT is also going to be great.

Anyway, my realization about how passionate the Zoot team is really got me thinking about other situations in my life. I realized that my best days whether at home, work or in triathlon were when I was truly committed to and passionate about something. However recently I have been taking on more and more responsibility at work in an effort to grow and expand my career.  At the moment I'm stretched pretty thin and I'm not as committed to a few things as I want to be. Now that I realized this, I'm working hard to take care of all the extra noise in my life at the moment, so I can quickly get back to really being focused on the things I want to: My family, my racing, and certain parts of my job.

In other news, last month I did the March Madness Half Marathon in Cary, IL. It was about 40 degrees warmer then usual and somehow I think the hills grow every year. I still had a pretty good run and was about 30 seconds slower than my PR on that course. I was able to place 7th overall (again). More importantly, my swim continues to improve every month.

I'm also excited to share that I was selected as Athlete of the Month in the April edition of Chicago Athlete Magazine.

Coming up next I have two races scheduled for May. Wildflower on the west coast, and American Zofingen on the east coast.  It may be a bit before I check in on the blog again, but I will as soon as I have a chance.

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