I Heard Kind Echoes


When I first thought about writing about a couple dozen triathletes that have been a positive influence on me, I wasn’t certain if was even going to share it.  I thought about it as an exercise for myself and perhaps sending my thoughts to each of the people.  I was doing this for me as much as anyone.  I was certainly not writing this to make me look like a better person or to sound like I was promoting any friends in some strange way.  I just wanted to say something nice without any baggage.  But what good is a compliment if you don’t share it with the person it is directed towards.  And if you really mean what you say then why not share it with everyone.

I always tell my boys “don’t ever write anything that you someday might want to take back”.   Living in the digital age anything written can spread around the world in an instant.  It is quite hard to take back a negative comment.  But a compliment is always welcome.

I had no idea that so many people would read the postings and it surprised me who was reading them.  I received comments from so many different people that I never would have expected to be reading the posts.  Some of these comments I heard were from people who don’t know any of the 26 people I talked about.  They just wanted to tell me they enjoyed reading the postings.

kind words

The most enjoyable comments I received revolved around the enjoyment of reading only nice things about other people.  And that is what I wanted to get across.  None of us are perfect people.  Personally, I get worked up about things I shouldn’t, whine about things that don’t matter, and sometimes lose perspective on some things.  But I wanted to highlight the actions of these other athletes have molded me in some positive aspect.

After all, what do I have to complain about?  I am very fortunate in life.  I have good health, both physical and mental, a wonderful wife of 20 years, two healthy boys each with a strong moral compass, and as I wrote this past month I have a lot of great individuals that helped mold me to be a better person.

Writing about all these great athletes had me reminiscing about all the racing I have done.  The best part of the racing is the experience.  To me going to a race is like going to a place where ‘everybody knows your name’.  It can be challenging at times but that is why going to out of state races where no one knows me brings a whole new experience.  When I don’t go to a local race it feels like I wasn’t invited to the party.  Hearing about it from others just isn’t the same.  Life experiences can’t be bought, they are earned.  I have raced in about 200 triathlons and every race has left me with an experience that I am happy to have earned.

I hope that you enjoyed reading and I thank you for all the nice feedback.  I hope it has left you thinking about the great people in your life that has helped make you the person you are.  I listed only triathletes (and not all of them) but if added in all the other people, family, friends, teachers, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, etc. it would be overwhelming to think about how fortunate I am with those who I have interacted.

May 2014 be your best year yet.


Kevin O’Connor

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