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Dave Ramsey, Honorary Triathlete

I had never witnessed the gospel of financial guru Dave Ramsey before today.  
At the gym a few months ago, I heard a gaggle of ladies talking about Ramsey and his saving graces for their finances.  I was intrigued.  I looked him up online after hearing the chatter.  Turns out he was coming to Atlanta for a seminar.  
The Expert and I both work, so we do okay… but we also would like to retire in about, oh… yesterday. 
We aren’t the most savvy savers.  Or budgeters.  We could use some work in that area.  I’m a compulsive spender (because I find GREAT DEALS, y’all…ah-hem).  The Expert is a compulsive tomato paste buyer.  Seriously.  We have 17 cans of tomato paste in our pantry.  (If there’s a nuclear fallout… we’ll have spaghetti, goshdarnit.)
Yes, my little Swim Bike Mom lifestyle has changed all sort of things – not just my calves and my sore upper back – but my way of looking at life, my family. Everything. And triathlon made me a little more broke. So I wanted to hear what Dave had to say.
Interestingly, we weren’t twenty minutes into the seminar, and Dave starts talking about his half-marathons. Then he talks about his first and (and to quote him) “last” marathon.  
He says that around Mile 20 of the race, he began thinking profound thoughts:  
“Anybody can do anything.  If they just don’t quit.  
If they just take one more step, and move forward.” 
Oh you know I LOVED that!!! My favorite thing:  just keep moving forward.  Yay!
At an intermission, the announced a giveaway for someone who Tweeted about the event. We have a winner! Where is @SwimBikeMom?”  I gasped.  Holy tweets.  The Expert had gone to get some water, so I stood up and waved. In a crowd of 8,000.  
I won! I won!  Well, probably only 3 of us were tweeting…but….Winner winner chicken dinner!!   
The seminar was fabulous.  Seriously wonderful.  I recommend highly.  Simple, but sensical. I’m excited.  The Expert and I gained extra momentum today.  Funny how money, family and triathlon are intertwined. I eagerly scribbled down all sorts of quotes during the event.  
“Make different choices.  Chose to think.  Chose to change.” 

My absolute favorite analogy of the night was about our fear of change.  Dave compared a typical person’s aversion to change… to a toddler with a dirty diaper.  I immediately listened because poop and toddlers are two things I know.
He said, “Like a toddler, we don’t want to change.  We are sitting in poop, and when asked if we want a change, we scream: ‘No! It’s warm and it’s MINE.'”

That tickled me to death. How funny and how true. 
(Yes.  That is the Grid on our mantle in the background.)
My question for the day:  how many of you are sitting in poop, and unwilling to change?   Whether it’s money, healthy, jobs, relationships… where’s the poop? In the garbage, or in your life? 
The more I am learning about triathlon, the more I learn how intricately tied together swim, bike, run is with work, health, finances, food, addiction and time management.  It’s the whole life principle.  What’s important?  How do you balance it all….
Yes, credit cards are evil.  (Don’t worry – this collection has been around since 2009. We didn’t cut all of these tonight… yes, some…)
But change – any kind of change – is all about moving forward.  Making the small, smarter choices. Not quitting. Getting out of your poop.  Thanks, Dave Ramsey.  You are a honorary Swim Bike Mom in my book.  
And how am I doing today? …Better than I deserve. 
Happy changing, people.  🙂



  • Anonymous

    January 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I couldn't agree more – the food, the clutter, finances, organization, time management, and triathlon – the lessons they are teaching me are bundled up into one. For some reason I choose triathlon as the teacher who speaks to me loudest, or something. I keep coming back to it as a way to make the other struggles simpler and the solutions more clear. How damn lucky am I have to have a sport to help me through these challenges? I love your blog – you are so helpful and inspiring! Thank you! Tara

  • Jennifer @ ItSuxToBeFat

    January 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Dave Ramsey. I have read his books, taken his class, and heard him speak live. Now, if I could just budget every month, I would be debt free. It's definitely the small things that have to be done in order to see real change. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your big win!

  • TX Runner Mom

    January 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I can't tell you how much I *heart* Dave! About 6 or 7 years ago, after telling my hubby about the Total Money Makeover over and over, he finally decided to read it (after his friend from work suggested it). We had quite a bit of debt lingering from our college years, which was depressing. We buckled down using Dave's system and managed to pay everything off, which in turn allowed us to save up a down payment for a house. We've fallen off the DR wagon here and there, but we try to stick to his principles. It has especially helped when trying to budget for all the tri-related stuff!


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