As athletes, we all have embarassing moments: a fall while running; a wardrobe malfunction; falling off your bike. Last night, I had an embarassing moment of a different sort.
I started a new coached swim series at St. Joe’s University. As part of this new venture for me, I rent the pool and bring the athletes to train. The pool is not open to the public during my swim training sessions.
Two men (obvious athletes) came into the pool and were quickly told that “Marcy” had rented the pool and they couldn’t swim as part of a recreation swim time. So one man approached me and asked if they could pretend to be with my group because they had a race this weekend.
I assumed they meant the Philly Tri, and of course, I said yes and just claimed the lanes I needed for my athletes. I really didn’t think anything else of it.
As practice time ended, the second man thanked me for allowing them to swim and asked if I would race Ironman Lake Placid again this year (I use my IMLP bag as my swim bag which is why he noticed).
I said “no, the race was great but the time commitment and time away from my family was more than I wanted to commit to this year again”.
He said, “I know what you mean”. Then he said “I just got in for the race this weekend and really needed to get my body moving so I really appreciate you letting us swim”.
At this point, I feel like I should introduce myself properly, so I shake his hand and say:
“I’m Marcy Gialdo, what’s your name?”
And he answers:
“I’m Andy Potts”.
I’m sure I turned bright red, and I apologized for not recognizing him. For those who don’t know, Andy Potts won Ironman Lake Placid last year and is one of the top 5 current Ironman athletes in the world. And yes, I know Ironman athetes are not poplular superstars, but I had my Ironman Lake Placid bag indicating I clearly have links to this sport and the athletes and I was so embarassed that I didn’t recognize him.
He didn’t seem offended and I talked to him a little more about my swim group I was coaching and wished him luck in his race on Sunday (I’ll race on Saturday). Overall, he was a really nice, down to Earth guy.
I’m thinking today I’ll go to the pre race expo and ask for his autograph since now I clearly know what he looks like.