Yo, whats up. i was thinking about this topic for quite a while. The one man army principle is after all a huge part of my persona towards the outside. And therefore i think it is only right to shed a bit of light onto that.
Let me go way back. Back to the days of the kids play area in our neighborhood. If i remember correctly, the one man army started off there. Sometimes the other kids they really don’t want to play with you for whatever reason. So you go and look for something else to do, preferably on your own. at first i tried again and again to join sports teams, like the football club. I always went to training and did the work, but other kids who were closer to the Club President got chosen to play the games. That was very frustrating for me. and from there on out i quit team sports and ” mass gatherings ” . i was about 9 nine years old.
What now? i asked myself. I went and found a wall at school. Then Boris Becker won Wimbledon in 1985 and he was a complete outcast. total rockstar. he didnt give a shit. Cool, i thought to myself Tennis it is then. I got a racquet and went to said wall and started to hit tennis balls against it. after countless afternoons i taught myself what a forehand was, i played a doublehanded backhand. taught myself how to play volleys. Learnt how to serve too. Homemade move, but it worked. Wow, i thought to myself, i want to take my game to a court and play against other people. Then i found out where the tennis clubs where and went there. I tried to play and asked if i could but the people said this is a club and you have to pay club membership. Back then, my parents did not have that much money to be able to get me to a club. so i continued playing against the wall for a while.
FF a couple of years later, we had moved to Switzerland and i started skateboarding and snowboarding. i thought that was really cool because you did not have to be member of a club, no fees. you were your own boss. i really enjoyed that and for the first time in my life i felt a certain freedom to express myself through movement.
It was also in Switzerland where i picked up Golf. That was really cool too because it was individual, you could play and practice whenever you wanted. i really thrived in that and became a really decent player. I played off scratch at my best and 3 under par, 69 was my best score ever on a par 72 course. But i fell out of love with the game because i did not want to really work that hard on it as i probably could have. Also that was a time in my life where you are more preoccupied with drinking, going out, chasing tail and all that.
Anyway FF to my time in Dubai. 2010 i started triathlon and to this day i don’t know why. it just happened like that. i think it was fate, but thats not why i write this blog. For some unknown reason to me, i felt really really attracted to me and the whole thing was very appealing. I started training by myself like i was used and went out and bought a bike at Wolfi’s in 2010 a Scott Plasma 3. amazing bike at that time. i followed my wife’s and dads advice to practice for 6 months before i entered a sprint competition. i followed their advice and it paid off in a sense that i felt really great in the competition and i was hungry for more.
In 2011, i started to perform really well and won all the local events around, and the year after and after…..etc.
Since in my heart i am a sincere member of the triathlon community, i also wanted to be part of TriDubai, because i thought that was a really cool idea to put something up like that. On the other hand, i stand for top performance and, well, they surely could use a guy like me. I mean i put the numbers on the board and all. But just like the 9 year old at the football club in Luxembourg, i got rejected/overlooked/dismissed. period.
i thought to myself, fine, you have been there. done that. no need for this. so i turned around and created my own world, again. like many times before.
Now, we almost write the year 2021 and when i look back after having won all of these trophies, national championships, Ironman comps, 70.3 comps, podium in Kona, 8h flat in IM, Challenge 70.3 world champion AG twice etc etc, i can look back and smile. it is nothing personal. I also stay in the moment and smile. Moreover, i look ahead and smile as well. I did, do, will do more things the only way i know: the one man army. the best is yet to come.
What is the moral of the story? We are all born as individuals. Some choose to stay individual and choose and follow their own path. Others might plot a different course. Either way, you have to do it with conviction and trust yourself to do the right thing. Being a one man army is the only way for me personally. I go by myself, i don’t need other people around me to tell me how good i am, i know that. i dont need to dress like others either. I choose my own clothing. i have chosen a coach who is not from here but far away and with him, i have achieved the highest level of triathlon which nobody would have believed that it could happen, not even myself. I have had a lot of practice being by myself, maybe thats why i am so good at triathlon. I like to be by myself. But it is not all gold here.
A downside to the one man army is even though i have won all these accolades, it is impossible for me to get any sponsorship from anybody. When you are alone nowadays and don’t rock up at a comp with a numerous entourage, you are simply not visible. Even if you are at the top. People only seem to recognize groups in this part of the world, not individuals. That is very frustrating, but nothing i can do against that. Society is the way it is.
Going back to the upsides of the one man army. Imagine all of this rejection, being overlooked, either dealt to me or created by my behavior at few occasions, imagine what kind of energy this releases which is in itself very negative, but through your work you turn it into a positive you create something. The rejection i am dealt to this day and in future is like uranium and plutonium. it radiates forever and provides endless energy to fuel the true passion that i have for the sport of triathlon. which is why i still do it, i love it and it is fun. i never lost sight of that. I always focus on the love that i have in me.
Concluding, i can say despite being a one man army, nothing is ever meant to be personal. i don’t take it personal and i don’t mean it personal to others. it is just the way it is. i smile now about it, which was not always the case, i matured over the years. I always try to help people in triathlon and lend a helping hand.
I think that is what it is all about. Live and let live.
So long now. have a good one and stay safe.