With letters after my name this time last year, P.R.O,  I was excited- I raced South Africa 70.3 in January, Abu Dhabi in march, Mallorca in April, Lanza in may, the list goes on. My pockets looked so deep people referred to me as the jet setter.
Things this year will be different. I planned races along side a couple of investors willing to give me a dig out. Lets just say it worked out well in the beginning but not the end. I appreciate what I got -others received nothing.  I might not even go abroad. Lots and lots of ideas and plans are in my head-3 hour turbos give you time to think.  It’s all very fresh so things can change. My next blog will confirm!
I planned to race Abu Dhabi, an all expenses paid trip and race for Pros but I was just receiving a race entry. I’ve pulled the plug and now the pro life doesn’t seem too appealing. I’m out of  lanzarote too. Crossing the line I was fully committed to going back to lanza and it was my focus even towards the end of last season.   I said I wanted kona in 2013. I’m  confident I could make it if  I raced age group but realistically getting there on a pro card will never happen. I want to take the whole family there and I feel my kids are too young and I’d need to win the lotto or euro millions(I’m not fussy) As a family we aren’t ready for such a trip. I’m only 32.. Ill get there before 40!
My experiences racing as a pro were great in 2012.. I’m glad i did it. I raced in some great cities and learned a lot. Myself and my bag handler Pat shared great laughs and towards the end of the year I think he got the different distance races nailed.. before every race id have to explain what distance i was doing and when id be back. I met some great people and made good contacts on the circuit. I even met some age groupers that would put my professional status to shame. Some were 1 hour slower, 5kg heavier and would  plan their  training schedule  like Hitler wanting world dominance. I just bought a pro license, that’s  all- the word pro is over rated and over used. And i advise anyone with no ambition  for kona and racing more than 1 ironman a year to get a pro license. Don’t listen to the sneers in the club. Do the maths, it makes sense. You can fire emails off to race directors and say  ‘im a professional’ and things like that! This sport is equal- the only difference being the guys up the top are a little faster and sometimes start a few minutes ahead.
I’m a selfish git. Too often ill sacrifice an extra few minutes at home to get out for my run and not with the kids or my wife.  I’ve realized in the last 6 months especially that these years are very precious. This is the key reason why Im feeling the way I am. To be clear- Im still training hard & if Im at a race you wont hear any nonsense from me. I  want to win all the time- even the training races!!! I also realize that it is important to show my kids what I do and how dedication and hard work  inherits success, be it in business or sport. Success doesn’t mean winning, it means giving it your all and being happy with how you performed.  But most of all you have to enjoy it. When the enjoyment element isn’t there it is time to drop the tools and find something else.  My strongest discipline is cycling and I tried focusing 100% on it but I began to hate it and it was a chore. I’m always  working on finding the right balance. Having a family and a business is all about how I balance all the balls. I’m not shy in saying without the employees I have and my families support I couldn’t do what I do.
To be a full time professional at anything means it needs to cover the overheads. At the moment triathlon doesn’t do that. A combination of coming to the sport a little late and lacking some talent means I will always be reaching. I must admit I want to punch people in the face that say “I come from a swimming background” .. my answer underneath my breath normally is.. “well I come from a football background and i still kick your ass” . I welcome support and sponsors but the package has to benefit both parties. I will continue to listen to offers but for now I have nothing concrete.  The only partnership thus far is a continued relationship with Tommy the bike in dundalk and I am grateful for the support he gives me.
I love how I operate. Training and working the way i do every minute is accounted for. If I have a 2 hour to run and I’m 10 minutes late getting out the door, the run turns into 1:50. End of story. Get out, get it done and no bullshit.  I love the Jewellery industry. Making, designing, selling engagement rings and dealing with the public. Baldwins as a business is evolving. We are never happy and we are always looking to improve as a business. I can never see myself leaving my job-i love it. Being in triathlon I sold rings to cork triathlon club to donegal to the uk!.. If I wasn’t in triathlon those sales would never happen. I must put in a tri discount code on the website..;-)
So, for the moment, with my own paddle, my own canoe you will see me at a local race. I’m going to have fun this year.