Friday, April 9, 2010


Andy Potts talks about the day he decided to quit his job and become a professional triathlete… even before he had even completed a race.

Written by: Andy Potts

The word “risk” comes in two different parts of speech. As a noun, risk can be defined as a possibility for loss. Loss in this sense could mean anything from financial loss to emotional loss to physical loss and everything in between. As a verb, it can mean to expose oneself to danger. In my case, when I am swimming in hazardous water conditions or riding at extreme speeds or pounding my joints with mile after mile of running, I expose myself to danger. However, both functions of the word risk are part of the territory when talking about triathlon.

When the topic of triathlon comes up, risk isn’t something that is naturally a part of the conversation. Most people talk about risk when they talk about their investment portfolio or their job prospects. Well, triathlon is a lot of things, including a job for some as well as an investment for most. Risk fits the bill on both ends.

Pessimists would look at the loss only when calculating risk. Optimists choose to look at the other side of the equation and see the potential gains. I look at risk like a professional gambler and understand that I am willing to lose some to gain even more. The optimist in me says that if you always play it safe, you will never win big. By the same token, you will also never end up too far on the negative side if you play it safe. Anyone who has ended up on the extreme positive or negative side of the ledger, I would assert, has also risked the most.

The biggest risk I ever took in my life was taking up triathlon. I was 25 years old and was working as a sales rep when I got the itch.... READ