TRIATHLON SANCTUARY CLOSING PRESENTATION 2013
Mitch Thrower: I wanted to prepare something about the sentence. The sentence that changed my life and I think it’s changed your lives without you realizing it. There’s a word which is actually Iron Man’s tag line, which is, “Anything is possible.”
And so, at this triathlon sanctuary, we all kind of came together with different backgrounds, different lives. And we stopped what we were normally doing to share a week/weekend of events. Some great mornings, some great swims.
Unidentified Man: [Unintelligible].
Mitch Thrower: Oh, sorry.
Unidentified Man: Nice.
Mitch Thrower: I have a quote actually from a female participant this weekend. When we all got back and we didn’t have to change at the pool because it was so cold and everyone went running inside. I’m not going to call you out, don’t worry. But I remember the quote you said was, “Okay, I’ve never seen more attractive bodies in one location. Forget the camp. I’m just coming to the camp no matter what.” There’s Clay.
Unidentified Man: Amanda, I didn’t know we were recording that.
Mitch Thrower: That’s Clay on the top of Mt. Palomar today. Palomar today. And some people actually broke some limits. I know that Hanie who was with us yesterday, and this is actually--that’s not Hanie. There’s Christian and Matt, right? Going, starting up Palomar.
And this is Hanie, who actually never biked more than 10 miles in his life, who rode with us yesterday up Highland Valley and did about I’d say 65 percent of the ride or so. So, even though he’s not here, a round of applause for Hanie. [Applause]
So, let’s get started with the final presentation. And it really is about what you can do. What you’re capable of. Because in life, you think about what happened and where you came from. You actually started as two figments, fragments, first figments of the imagination in passion, and then ultimately two molecular cells so small that you’d have to have a microscope to see everything that you ever were. And everything that you ever are and everything you ever will be came from these microscopic particles.
Those same microscopic particles created a way to hurl themselves to the moon and look back at the earth. Those same microscopic particles that you were created from discovered, created, participated in the sport of triathlon to remind ourselves that anything is possible. Anything is possible. Of course anything’s possible. I mean if that’s possible, how can you think anything else is not possible?
So, what is your opportunity to challenge yourself to find something that you think is impossible? Beyond sport. In business, in your career, in relationships. With your greatest dream, with your greatest aspiration, with something that you may not even thought of yet that you want to achieve or give or contribute or be. What is that?
And that’s, for me, something that’s really changed my life in the sport of triathlon is, it’s a reminder. It’s a consistent reminder. Even though we got in a little bit of a, I wouldn’t say argument, but we got back and forth when I told a man I was going to retire at 20 Ironmans.
Unfortunately, there’s this product out there called Athlinks that reminds you how many you’ve done. And I remember screaming up saying, “You’re retired.”
Unidentified Woman: 22.
Mitch Thrower: So, unfortunately I had literally lost count. But the annual event of doing something like an Ironman or even just a triathlon or even just a marathon, is something that can remind you of what you’re capable of physically and psychologically.
But I’m going to ask you, what are you capable of beyond that? What are you capable of then demonstrating to yourself, demonstrating to your soul, that you can do and achieve around the world? And then with all the other people that are out there that you can inspire to achieve even better things. What’s at the end of your rainbow? What is that pot of gold?
My dad, who I lost in 1999, my hero, was a fan of this sentence, which is, “You know what would be great?” And it used to bug me, because here comes an idea. But it was his favorite sentence. “You know what would be great?” And then he’d follow it with, “It would be great if this happened. It would be great if that happened.”
One of his favorite things was he wanted to create a fishing lure. He was a fisherman who ended up in New York. He ended up in New York City as a fisherman because his father called him and said, “Son, the bank’s closed. Get a job. There’s no money for college.” And it was the Great Depression.
So, he has this idea for a fishing lure. He ended up working at NBC, then WPX in New York. But he always had a fishing lure and he didn’t want me to tell anybody, so he said, “Oh, great idea for a fishing lure. It’s going to be a little mermaid, it’ll be a topless mermaid, and it’ll be called the Happy Hooker.”
And that was one of the crazy ideas that was maybe a little bit out of character for him, but it was definitely something that, you know, it’s a great idea. In fact, if you Google it, there’s a topless mermaid fishing lure right now.
But there are so many ideas that you can have, that you can see, that you can help inspire and help create. And you can really change the world. So, if you ask that question, “You know what would be great?” You could change the world. And I’ll just give you a little bit of an example.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could take Eurail pass ordering online? Which is something we did in 1997. Wouldn’t it be great if we could discover this enormous sport called triathlon? And this is a real picture someone sent me from this little guy who was in a triathlon and his goggles fell off and he kept going by propping his goggles between his mouth and his nose to make sure they wouldn’t fall off.
So, wouldn’t it be great if we could discover the sport of triathlon and realize that no matter what happens in life--because listen, as tough as it is in the Ironman, you’re going to hit things that are a thousand times harder. And falling back on that passion and falling back on what you’ve gone through and the depths that you’ve gone into to push yourself to the next level, you’re going to need that piece of courage that you put in your pocket many times in life.
But before you need it, wouldn’t it be great if we could figure out a way with no money to buy a magazine? Right? And then find investors to buy the rest of the magazine, like some of the folks that are in this room. Is Bill Hein here?
Bill Hein: Right here.
Mitch Thrower: Bill Hine, one of our participants. Christof here, one of our great financers and investors that backed us in these products.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could finish an Ironman amongst 3,000 people? Wouldn’t it be great if you could then go to the world championships in Hawaii? And I remember the first year I qualified for Hawaii. It was in Oahu and the guy in front of me had cheated. And I left. I came home defeated thinking, “Oh, I didn’t qualify.” And then got a phone call from this woman, Robin Schuster, saying, “Would you like to go to race in the Ironman?”
I started screaming. I said, “Of course I want to go race.” And I said, “But I didn’t qualify.” She goes, “Oh, the guy in front of you, he cheated. He stopped to tie his shoelace and then turned around his half-marathon run split [unintelligible] but 10 miles or so, was faster than any athlete had ever run in history. So, he ended up giving up his slot.”
So, wouldn’t it be great if you could change the way people register for events around the world? Thanks.
Unidentified Man: Way to go [unintelligible].
Mitch Thrower: And create a membership product around it. Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at the world and decipher it like a clue? And figure out when you look at garbage that it’s actually a clue to where you can generate revenue. Where you can sell a sponsor logo on a garbage bag. Where you can sell a sponsorship for a water bottle. To look at things differently.
Wouldn’t it be great to spend some time in Europe? Wouldn’t it be great to reinvent software and get a chance to do it all over again and keeping a lot more of the equity? And wouldn’t it be great to find your number 28. And this is a game called Chutes and Ladders, which I love.
But if you remember the game of Chutes and Ladders, number 28, what happens when you land on number 28? You go all the way to the end and you get really far ahead in the game. So, when I ask you, who’s your number 28? Who is your number 28 in life and are you hanging out with 28s or are you hanging out with 87s?
Who here has an 87 in their phonebook, in their phone right now, their iPhone or their whatever phone? Android? I see a lot of hands rolling, right?
Unidentified Man: I am 87.
Mitch Thrower: You know, the people that you answer the phone any time they call no matter what. I mean, you need more people like that in your life. That’s something that’s important.
And now, to wrap up the presentation, I wanted to ask you guys to tell me what your favorite superpowers are. And remember what superpower you say. So, what were your favorite superpowers? Anybody? We need a few of them, so--
Unidentified Woman: Fly.
Unidentified Man: Swimming.
Mitch Thrower: To swim. Who said that?
Unidentified Man: Andy.
Mitch Thrower: Andy.
Unidentified Man: Time travel.
Mitch Thrower: Time travel. Remember yours. That’s Lewis. Who else?
Unidentified Woman: Invisibility.
Mitch Thrower: Invisibility. I’m worried about you. More superpowers. We need like five or six more.
Unidentified Man: Patience
Unidentified Man: Break through all barriers.
Mitch Thrower: Patience. I don’t know if that’s a superpower, although it’s a superpower. Break through all barriers. What else?
Unidentified Woman: Night vision.
Mitch Thrower: Night vision. Keep going, guys.
Unidentified Woman: Extreme strength.
Mitch Thrower: Extreme strength. What else?
Unidentified Man: Moving stuff with your mind.
Mitch Thrower: Telekinesis or tele--
Unidentified Man: Yeah, telekinesis.
Mitch Thrower: Teleportation, maybe also?
Unidentified Man: Yeah, that sounds good.
Mitch Thrower: That sounds good, right? Teleportation?
Unidentified Woman: That works.
Mitch Thrower: What else? What else? We need a few more superpowers. Think about all the superheroes you grew up with.
Unidentified Man: [Unintelligible] memory.
Unidentified Man: Fountain of youth.
Mitch Thrower: Fountain of youth. Never growing old, right? To live forever.
Unidentified Man: Mitch Thrower.
Mitch Thrower: Some more.
Unidentified Woman: Seeing the dead.
Mitch Thrower: Seeing the dead. Oh. A few more.
Unidentified Woman: Supreme optimism.
Mitch Thrower: Supreme optimism. Okay, maybe two more.
Unidentified Man: Being Julie Moss.
Mitch Thrower: Being Julie Moss. Inspiring millions and millions of people to change their lives for the better, which Julie Moss has done.
Unidentified Woman: Mind control.
Mitch Thrower: Mind control.
Unidentified Woman: That’s all.
Mitch Thrower: Two more? That’s a lot of them, okay. So, I present to you today that we--
Unidentified Man: Be the force.
Mitch Thrower: Which one?
Unidentified Man: Be the force.
Mitch Thrower: Be the force.
Unidentified Man: Jedi powers.
Mitch Thrower: Jedi power, mind power, mind control. Mind reading. What I would say is that as human beings, as these little amoebas, this sperm and this egg that has hurled itself to the moon and looked back. Hurled on ourselves on a go-kart to Mars and looked back, that you have superpowers because you’ve built them.
We’ve built things that are invisible. We’ve had things that have given us super strength. We have the capacity to breathe underwater, because we built it.
You said teleportation, telekinesis. But teleportation, you can now leave this location and get anywhere around the earth within 24 or 26 hours. And only 100 years ago, we got off the planet for the first time. X-ray vision, mind reading, telepathy. This is actually a product called No Lie MRI, which you can tell if somebody is lying just by looking at what’s going on in their brain.
Super hearing. Super healing. Now, why--someone said patience. Who said patience? Right? So, patience is the ultimate thing that we want to have, but I would encourage you not to have. Don’t have patience, because if you have patience you’re going to be patient with the fact that it took this long for your bone to heal and you’re not going to try and figure out a way to make it heal faster.
If you’re patient, you’re not going to figure out a way to do something that you can’t do today. Now, you need to be patient with other people, right?
Unidentified Man: Amanda?
Mitch Thrower: Immortality. So, the genetics that you have in your body have been on this earth for a long, long time. And time travel. You are in a time machine moving yourself second by second into the future. And the end of the sentence I just spoke is still a few words into the future and now is a few words. And now it’s in the past.
You’re moving second by second into the future in the time machine. So, at this triathlon sanctuary, I wanted to say thank you to all of you but also thank you to my dad, for literally opening the doors to me to this sentence called, “You know what would be great?” Because when Mark McKee said, “You know what would be great? We should have a triathlon sanctuary,” he changed all of our lives.
And you have the capacity to change a thousand, a million, 10 million, you know, more than that. People’s lives. And so I encourage you to take from this sanctuary the term, “You know what would be great?” into your lives and into the rest of everything you’re working on. Thanks for coming, you guys.