Virgin Experience

September 9, 2009

This past weekend a very persuasive friend of mine convinced me to participate in my FIRST triathlon- the ‘Goofus Triathlon Challenge’.

A swim across a pond with a creatively named floatie – which I named Virgin Experience; a three mile trail run; an eight mile bike ride which includes a mandatory stop at a local ice cream institution where you must eat a full-cream ice cream cone while rocking in a chair on their porch; the ride back; and another one mile run which culminates in a jump into the pond.

Sounds easy enough.

Up until the morning of the ‘race’ I had not been on a bike in 16 years, since I rode my bicycle Dagny to work at HP in Roseville, CA.  I know, I know the old adage – and thank goodness it is true.  But, times have changed in bike-land.  As I stood on my friend’s cul-de-sac getting the 30 second gear lesson, all I could hear were the voices in my own anxiety-ridden head.  How was I going to get on and off the bike?  How was I going to NOT get hit by a car?  How was I going to NOT get lost?

I completed it, despite the many, ride-on-the-brakes-I’m-going-too-fast-and-going-to-die moments.  Not to mention the times where the gears would shift willy-nilly and my feet would fly off the pedals. The universe’s comic relief. Needless to say I was last.  But, I completed it.

Isn’t that the point sometimes?

How many times have we been in a situation where we’re uncertain?  Where we have to ‘perform’ but are unsure of how it will all come together?  Sure, we can beta test, perform clinical trials, train and rehearse. But undoubtedly there comes a moment when an opportunity presents itself and we don’t have time for preparation and a ‘go/no-go’ decision has to be made.  Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor—not in play, not in work.

How do you make your decision to pull the trigger?  How do you weigh the risks and rewards?  I would love to hear your stories, and if it is OK, share them with others. Think of it as an opportunity.

Receiving MarketingSmack is no virgin experience, but who knows? Maybe reading it will encourage you to take one on, like the ‘Goofus Triathlon.’ 

You can find MarketingSmack at or visit us at


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