Photo by Chiara Garland
Written by Simon Bennett
Coach Simon Bennett began his athletic career as an elite level swimmer in his home country of Australia. In 2008 Simon came to the U.S. as a professional cyclist and in 2009 was a member of an 8 man team that broke the World Record for the fastest RAAM finish. In 2011 Simon set another World Record for the fastest ascent up Mt. Kilimanjaro by a person with Type 1 Diabetes. Simon has been coaching full time since 2010 with a focus on endurance sports at every level.
Giving Passion a Voice
At APEX, we believe in a holistic approach of helping athletes achieve their best, both as athletes and humans. With the change in landscape over the past year we have helped our athletes navigate the shifting sands and find sure footing. Last year most of us were enjoying the crisp Autumn temps and planning our racing and training calendar for 2020 and the world seemed what we now call “normal”. Shortly after 2020 arrived, we all quickly adjusted to a new vocabulary, protocol and daily regime that saw days blend into weeks. 2020 has been a year of discomfort in many ways yielding uncomfortable isolation from friends and loved ones, conversations about change and challenge and a slower pace of life with more time to think and process our place in this new unsettled world.
In an odd twist, during a time when we have been distancing from others, a movement has grown to be aware and more inclusive, and in turn, changed the landscape of our world. The virus that did not know color, religion age or borders became a parallel standard that was proof that underneath it all, we are all the same and should be treated and treat others as such. We learned to move a little slower, be more tolerant and learn new ways to live in this new world. Maybe this pause to our “normal” was just what was needed for us to realize that we needed this new normal to be better, stronger and more unified.
In the U.S. we face a very important election in the coming weeks. Our nation seems more divided than ever over ideals, beliefs and passions while at the same time there is a yearning for us to come together as one and hold true what the forefathers intended when they penned “all men are created equal”. I have heard so many times, “I don’t care about politics, I just want to ride my bike”. That monohulled approach may make for a nice quiet bike ride but if you don’t use your right to vote and make your voice heard what will your bike ride look like in the future? Will you be able to ride when, where and how you like? Will you have safety and a place to ride in your city? We at APEX do not want to tell you how to vote or who to vote for, we simply want you to vote! Give your passions a voice, protect what you love and ensure a future for those who come after you. We want you to be better, your community to be better and the future to be better!
Cyclist and Triathletes have long been touted as elitist and both sports are pretty cost prohibited for most to get involved. A friend of mine would always look out of his porch as his friends arrived for a group ride at his house and say the “peacocks were on the porch” with each cyclist strutting around showing off their colors and what they had to fit into the group. Your kit, bikes, components and even who you know or ride with become rungs on the ladder of where you belong in the group. We want to encourage change! We want our sport to be one of open arms and inclusion and hey, why not even use the sport as a vehicle of change or awareness in the world. Think about how you can volunteer, help others or make small changes to grown and broaden the footprint of the sport and ensure a strong future for all of us. What was is not what has to be in the future.
Let’s all do our part to make our voices heard, give feet and voices to our dreams and passions and eliminate the injustices in all our communities. While this may not happen overnight, each day is a start and adds up to the overall larger difference. If you do not take the opportunity to do your part and vote do not complain about the shape and scope of the future.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke
Tolerance is acceptance, and what we tolerate will continue if we do not speak up and stand up to make change. Let’s all strive to be better, do better and push for others to do the same.