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The “Team” Aftermath… and the Next Big Thing

Based off of some recent feedback I have received on the SBM Ambassador Team, I am writing this blog post.

From a starting point…I want you all to know how wonderful I think the SBM “Army” is. Additionally, I consider every one of you teammates. When we are all on the race course, out there, whether or not in SBM racing kits, visors, or nothing at all, I consider you a teammate. All of us who are in the gear are even more teammates, because we are identifiable and can scream “Just Keep Moving Forward!” None of that changes.  The kits for 2015 will be the same available for everyone—we are not separated by a wildly different piece of clothing.

We are all still the SBM Army.

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I also want to reiterate just how incredibly difficult this process was. It started from a place where I figured I would have a handful of applicants who cared, and the process will be easy. Once I was in the middle of the process, I realize that it was way bigger than I had anticipated. At that point, however, I had acquired sponsorships and events for coming year. Therefore, I had to make some hard decisions. I have coached athletes of my very own who are not on the team. Women who I love dearly.  I have friends, very dear friends, who are not on the team.

Trust me, it was a tough decision.

Secondly, some of you have expressed her anger regarding the team and feeling left out. Pure and simple, this is an Ambassador team. Meaning these women are chosen to be ambassadors for our group and for the sport of triathlon. They were not chosen because they are the fastest or most experienced out there. They were chosen because they are connected in their tri community or are social media maniacs or race a lot …OR, they are brand new to the sport. The criteria, was in no way, elite status.

Thirdly, I am simply not able to manage SBM all by myself any more.

I still work. This is NOT my full-time job, and I can’t support my family by writing blog posts. I needed help. And I asked for it.  The SBMAT is not an elite team full of free gear and sponsors showering with gifts–we are small, with a few sponsors, but are really a group of grass-roots ambassadors.

Who’s on the team?  You will get to know them.

But here’s a summary:  beginners who have not done more then a few races, middle of the packers,  a few super fast ones, some who doing Ironmans, some younger, some older, some who have experienced unthinkable obstacles and tragedies, and struggle with depression and eating disorders and love donuts.

In other words, the SBMAT represents the great span and diversity of The Every Woman out there tackling this sport… which was the point.

Yes.  Oh my goodness. Yes. #imcda #justkeepmovingforward

 

And you all, in some way, represented the sport.  It was tough to decide! This is a very diverse team–and I think each of you can will find YOUR Ambassador–the one who speaks to you most–among them.  And in that way, they are YOUR Ambassador—out there in the public SBM world to represent you and your interests.

Some of you are hurt because you ARE super fast and were not chosen. Some are hurt because you have great stories to tell and were not chosen. I know, I know, I know! You are all amazing! I have said that. I just want you to understand that it’s impossible to choose everyone and… as I said in the prior post everyone has an amazing story. And I know.

In Tri-Fecta today someone posted that in response to the SBMAT news, she had a friend say:

“You will always be our ambassador, bloom where you are planted.”

Exactly.  We are ALL Ambassadors for this sport.

How do I adequately sign one of my books for THE Chrissie Wellington??! Holy guacamole. ☺ #guessthiswilldo #swimbikemom #sbmthebook #justkeepmovingforward

To that end, I don’t want there to be anger or animosity toward the Ambassadors (or hell, to me, for that matter).  Because we all have the same goal – to provide an accepting environment for endurance athletes – women, moms, daughters, sisters, friends, co-workers, and families.

Deep Breath.  Now.

Time for the NEXT exciting thing!

Coach Brett and I have some exciting news and are working on some amazing projects for the coming year.  

There are MANY opportunities for you to get involved and be part of the “Team.”  First up is a survey that I need you to complete to help us out!  

The idea?  

Local Swim Bike Mom Branded Triathlon clubs.  

Please complete the survey and discuss!  If we have great interest in this… we WILL have it done.  So please consider filling this survey out.

Have a great weekend friends.

Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DK29SLB

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

34 Comments

  • Christine Chaillet

    September 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Just wrong on so many levels that you had to even write this post. Come on people. We are all in this together and we should be supporting each other. You don’t need to be a SBM Ambassador to inspire people. As Nike says, “Just do it” and stop complaining.

    Reply
  • Abby

    September 19, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Meredith I read your posts faithfully, often going back and catching up if a miss a few. I was excited to hear that you were putting together an ambassador team. I did not apply, I did not think I was qualified to do so. However, I thought it was a great idea. To hear that you have gotten negative backlash and people upset over how people were chosen is just sad. Why can’t we just be happy for one another, be excited to learn from one another and be grateful that opportunities like this exist? I just shake my head. Build each other up people, not tear one another down.

    Reply
  • Allison

    September 19, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I am not sure that anyone is angry about not being chosen and I can understand where it would be difficult for you to not get upset if you feel that’s what is going on. However, on the other hand you need to also understand that there is going to be some disappointment and hurt on not being chosen by some. That’s just a normal reaction that most people will have. I wasn’t chosen and I am not angry. I was a bit disappointed but in the scheme of things this isn’t on the top of my important list of things to accomplish. However, it may have been for others. They need time to digest it.

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      September 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Definitely. I certainly understand disappointment… I hate that part of this. I wasn’t chosen for a certain team last year, and it boggled my mind as to why not… in light of the situation….

      But you guys (as readers or members of the groups) don’t often see what is sent behind the scenes to me… and what I see. Hate mail and spitting rage is a little hard to digest, when I was just trying to do something for our community. I’m just trying to handle this on the higher road, but publicly addressing on a caring level, versus privately handling and causing more issues.

      Reply
      • Allison

        September 19, 2014 at 11:29 am

        I am so sorry to hear that anyone would send you hate mail over being an ambassador. If that is the case then you certainly made the right decision on who you chose for the team!

        Reply
      • andrea

        September 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm

        Allison, my thoughts exactly. Anyone who would send hate mail over not being chosen has NO business being an ambassador. I can’t even believe that – what the heck? SBM – so sorry that you had to deal with that. I am just one of many women who love your blog, have been SO inspired by you over and over, and can’t cheer loud enough for you to keep moving forward – in this case too. <3

        Reply
  • Rachel T

    September 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I for one totally understand that the odds were that I was not going to get picked when you have more than 200 applicants for 10-15 slots. It sucks to be disappointed but we move on. In fact, we all need to “Just Keep Moving Forward” and get to know these amazing women who DID get picked. There will be other years and other ambassador teams.

    The picture above, of the woman running to make the cut off, is so inspiring to me. What are the details of the picture? If it’s publicly available I would like to add it to my pinterest wall.

    Reply
  • CB

    September 19, 2014 at 11:26 am

    You did an amazing job. I can only imagine how difficult it was to go through all those applications and pick just a handful of them.

    I’ve applied so many times to be on teams and have been passed over it’s not even funny. There’s so many things to be taken into consideration. When the timing is right, I know I’ll get selected. I know my time just hasn’t arrived yet. I can’t hate people for not selecting me or hate those who got selected. It’s simply a waste of energy.

    Personally, I think if somebody is going to have anger or hatred towards you or the ambassadors, well, you did your job by not selecting them. Who wants people that will turn on you so quickly representing you? I know I wouldn’t!

    Great job. Don’t let the haterade drinkers ruin the moment. You’re doing amazing things!

    Reply
  • Carrie @gotcha Covered Quilting

    September 19, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Even through the fire storm, you manage to put your words together to share what is in your heart…your love and respect for each and every member of the SMB army. You’re achieving your ultimate goal…to get women (and men) to realize that even they can do triathlon. you don’t need to be ultra thin, ultra fast, medium fast, not fast at all. You don’t need the best equipment or a coach or anything really other than the will to get off the couch. Because of you, there are many, many more triathletes out there achieving goals they never dreamt possibly, not just goals on the course, but goals in life. Those who are disappointed and even angry will come around. If they don’t, then they aren’t true ambassadors to the SBM army philosophy anyway (hate to say it, but it’s true).

    I love you Meredith! You’re awesome and doing AMAZING things for women and triathlon (even if you kicked me out of the running before I got to apply..haha!)

    Reply
  • Shane

    September 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I am so sorry. I’m sorry for your pain. I’m sorry for the pain of others. Hate mail is never a solution. Hurt people hurt people. Personally, I was asked to be a part of a spiritual growth class. I applied, then was turned down. It really upset me, I’ve wanted to talk to the person who asked me to join, the person leading the class, but I’m to hurt to write in non-emotional words, ya know? Getting turned down for SBMA is similar. I was disappointed…but I’m not going to spew nasty words just to make myself feel better for a moment. By NO means am I saying I am better than anyone else. I’ve been there, done that. It doesn’t help. Mostly, you need to know YOU INSPIRE. You’ve helped me in soooo many ways during this tri season, and you HAVE NO IDEA. Maybe one day I’ll write you a letter telling you all the ways. IN FACT, MAYBE THATS WHAT WE ALL SHOULD DO…. LETTERS TO MEREDITH…. LOVE LETTERS!!!! Come on army! Rise up!!! Filling out my survey monkey form NOW.

    Reply
  • regina

    September 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I was disappointed not to be chosen but I am really sorry for the treatment you received. That is not the spirit of the group or the reason you founded the team.

    Reply
  • Allyson

    September 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Wow. I can’t believe you are still having to explain how/why you made your decision Meredith. I hate that for you.

    Come on y’all. Put your big girl panties on and deal with it! This isn’t high school. Pitching a fit does nothing but make you look bad. Very UN-ambassador-like if I may say so…

    Reply
  • Heather

    September 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I am so sorry that you even had to write this post. It isn’t in the spirit of SBM for people to be ugly and hateful simply b/c they weren’t chosen. To be honest, it makes me think maybe those who are being that way need to re-evaluate if this community is really for them; there’s not room for that here, we should be celebrating for the new ambassadors of this amazing group! Good for you for taking the time to read every.single applicant and making the tough decisions, it isn’t easy, I am sure! You have given so much of yourself to SBM, let the hateful words roll and keep doing what you are doing, which is amazing things for the triathlon community at large! I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings for SBM!

    Reply
  • Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?!

    September 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I didn’t apply but was SO excited to see the team announced and then what they will do and accomplish and how they will grow and represent your philosophy. I’m going to be their biggest cheerleader! I’ve applied for things and not gotten them, and I’ve also been on the receiving end of having to turn people down for jobs they felt they were qualified, internships, other positions, etc. You can’t pick everyone and sometimes it’s not about putting together the fastest or the most people who are alike, but the people who are going to TOGETHER as a team represent something. Enjoy the team! Also, I love the idea of surveying people for another way to represent the common goal, way to go on taking it that step!

    Reply
  • Wendy C

    September 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    All I can say is that if someone is whining and sending you hate mail because they weren’t picked, then they really weren’t meant to be an ambassador. A TRUE ambassador would lift someone up, not tear them down because they think that they’re better or more deserving.

    Reply
  • Carly

    September 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    You’ re definitely in a tough spot-taking on something huge like the SBMAT AND working AND being a mama AND being a wife/friend/daughter/what have you. Disappointment is natural when you don’t get what you want, but I for one am super excited to see what this team of amazing women accomplishes this year 🙂 Well done you, let your haters be your motivators (even though hating over this is completely ridiculous!).

    Reply
  • Pam Brown

    September 19, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I missed the post where you introduced the team, so I’m just now learning I wasn’t chosen. I’m disappointed but I don’t choose to get angry about things like this and I am sorry you received hate mail from others. Those that wrote angry letters proved themselves to not be ambassador material because conduct is so important both on and off the course.
    On the bright side, I saved the $198 participation fee.

    Reply
  • Cheryl Grappe'

    September 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I’m excited about what your Ambassadorship program will bring to your followers. This is a great plan for everyone. I’m in the 55-59 year old category and wondered if you had an Ambassador in that age range to represent us few.

    Reply
  • Stephanie Roberson

    September 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    HAH! I am so ok with this it’s not funny. Really, I would have LIKED to have been an ambassador because it would have forced me to work on my social skills but in the end, I am ok with just being a solo competitor too. I will always be Moving Forward and use this often in all areas of my life.

    Reply
  • Suzie Luthe

    September 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Of course I am disappointed that I did not get picked, but we all knew from the start that not everyone would get picked. Life is full of disappointments, move on and get over it. If you can’t do that, you wouldn’t of made a good ambassador anyways. Keep up the great work Meredith!

    Reply
  • Kim Dolese

    September 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I was super excited to see the new team members! I cried a little to see Cara Will on the list. So many in this group have been an inspiration to me as I begin this journey. My second race is this weekend with my 26 year old daughter. I didn’t apply this year, but I sure will next year! Maybe a mom/daughter ambassador team?

    Reply
  • Amanda

    September 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    The thing was I was trying to not hurt anyone in writing my comment. I rewrote it several times to try to find the right way to express my feelings, but I did not succeed. I’m sorry to have hurt you. It was never meant as an attack on you or them. I really am sure they are amazing people, but it just isn’t the same.

    Reply
  • CB

    September 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Its crazy to ignore these women when you don’t even know anything about them.

    I heard an interview today about Mark Maron and Louie Anderson. Mark Maron inteviewed Louie during the height of Louie’s success. Louie put him on the spot and said, “even at the height of my success, you don’t think I needed a friend to turn to? Just bcause i was successful doesn’t me i didn’t need a friend. You were my friend. How could you turn on me like that?”

    Reply
  • Heather

    September 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    When the smoke clears, when the dust settles – this will be nothing but awesomeness.

    I really hate you received yucka (it’s a Scott household word) feedback. That’s not fair. But it will pass and all that will remain is the fact you have changed thousands of lives for the better, including mine. And this team will do the same!

    Reply
  • CarynW

    September 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Bummer about the feedback! I am super excited to see my BRF Sara Scheck in your army, and I’ll be running beside her, helping spread the word. Drop that feedback behind you and keep moving forward.

    Reply
  • Elena

    September 21, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I love your ambassador group and your message as a whole. For those disappointed about not being chosen – well, I I kind of think that everyone that “Tris” and encourages others in their “Tri” quest an ambassador for the sport. Maybe not “formally” but still, that is what it’s all about right? I think that anyone that applied and wasn’t chosen can still make a difference to others and lift them up. Which, ultimately, seems to be the point.

    Reply

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