Zenman's Blog:
Multisport Power in Economics

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“Is Triathlon Recession Proof?”  

This headlined a post on USAT’s website a few years back.  Turns out, we are registering for races at full force, still training passionately, perhaps investing less in equipment.  We continue to enjoy the multisport lifestyle, grateful that running and biking are virtually free, regardless of frequency or duration.  For a nominal fee, so is swimming.  We may race closer to home, but we are continuing to race; it’s our way of celebrating together our pursuit of excellence and mastery, in sport and in life.  

What!?  Multisport flourishing during economic recession?  Why not?  We live in a universe that values and thrives on abundance:  That which is most abundant is most valuable.  (And that means air for our oxygen-fed lifestyle!)



Yet, for countless generations, humanity has chosen to value and subscribe to scarcity:  As things become more scarce, we put more value on them.  This is the very foundation of our current global economy, our means of accounting for and distributing wealth.  Supply diminishes; value increases.  Corner the market; name your price.  This is so ingrained in us, so natural for us, that we are just recognizing the devastating effects of valuing scarcity.


Economies weaken as participants lose confidence.  Fueled by a compassionate desire for health and happiness, we are no longer confident in a scarcity-based economy.  Our current global economic crisis is a crisis of valuation.  

Placing value on scarcity is no longer healthy or appropriate for planetary life or for our global human culture.  This loss of confidence is healthy and appropriate for our growth and transformation.  Just like the athlete who is returning to sport after healing an injury, we are ripe for the transformation, for the next level of excellence.

Visualize Abundance

What does an economy based on abundance look like?  How does an abundance-based economy function?  Here are simple truths to guide us on our quest:  

First of all, remember we live in a universe that values abundance. It’s pretty simple:  The physical resources that are most abundant to us are most valuable to us.  The most abundant and most valuable life-supporting resource is air.  Without a constant air supply, the finish line is death.  (Even with a constant supply, I still drag a little ass on the hills and during interval training… not to mention sprint races.)  

The second most precious life-supporting resource is water.  (No, it’s not coffee.)  

The third is food.  (Iron Man cannot live on gel alone.)

Subscribing to scarcity affects these precious resources for all of us, even for those of us who possess, control and consume most of the resources.  Those who are hungry, those who are thirsty, those who are struggling for air, they are no longer distant and removed from us.  In our global culture, they are our brothers and sisters.

Money is made of metal and paper and plastic. Not one of us can eat money, drink money, or breathe money.  And money won’t save us, especially when it accounts for wealth and value based on scarcity.

As our economy transforms to value abundance over scarcity, we will naturally transform our reliance from the diminishing finite resources, like petroleum, to abundant renewable resources.  Someday all of our races (and our training) will be green!


Time has a very high value for us; that‘s why it is so scarce.  You see?  We can’t decree that time be both valuable and abundant in a scarcity based economy.  

We use scarcity as a criteria for value.  We can’t decide that’s it’s OK to raise the price on one resource because there is greater demand and diminishing supply and then expect to exempt something as valuable as time from scarcity.  In a system based on abundance?  No worries, plenty of precious time for everything in life.

Let’s face it, we love to train and we love to be with family.  We love time, just like we love air.  (Well, so long as fat Father Time doesn’t shovel too much time on to my lean mean racing times.)

From Scarcity to Abundance: The Art of Transition

By sheer necessity, we du, tri, even quadathletes are masters of transition.  Transitional skills make us adaptive and cooperative.  We’re well trained for the economic “Team in Transition”.

We measure multisport quality of life by more than finish line times.  Each of us has a unique way of appreciating our “success” as we pursue excellence both in sport and life.  Just in the way we live, we contribute to the global economic transformation.  We are functional, versatile, adaptable, patient and disciplined.  That comes with the training.  

Now, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Happiness is a premium.  As we transform our economy to value abundance over scarcity, like the people of Bhutan, we will choose to measure success not as Gross National Product, but as Gross National Happiness.  See you at the races!

Originally published in Hammer Nutrition Endurance News, Issue 64, July 2009.

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