Earlier in my life I had the pleasure of getting to know cycling legend Greg LeMond. We met in Vail, Colorado, where I lived and worked as a professional mogul skier and freelance writer. I was also a wannabe cyclist who, no matter how hard I trained, was never going to be any good. At the time we met, Greg was vacationing in Vail with his family. We were skiing bumps in a pack and Greg was skiing with mogul skier and mountain biker Mike Kloser.
Mike introduced the blonde-haired dude with the big Oakley goggles as Greg. As we were on a ski hill, months away from cycling season, it never occurred to me that we might be skiing with Greg LeMond. We ripped half a dozen bump runs before my girlfriend asked me if I knew who we were skiing with. Kloser said his name is Greg, I said. What about him?
I’ll give you a hint, she said. You have a poster of him on the wall at home.
I gushed uncontrollably over LeMond, and he returned the favor, complimenting the expertise of the whole mogul-skiing pack. Turns out, as a youth, Greg had set off to be a freestyle skier. At Wayne Wong’s freestyle camp, he hurt his back. Wong sent him home, told him to get a bike and get himself strong so that he could come back the following year. Greg and his Dad, decided to try some races together. Greg won his first 11 races and never went back to Wayne Wong’s camp. What he did instead is sit down and write his cycling goals on a piece of lined notebook paper: win Junior World Championship, win Olympic Gold Medal, win Pro World Championship, and win Tour De France.
The U.S. boycotted the 1980 Olympics, so LeMond missed the chance to go four-for-four. However, he notched every other goal, winning the Tour not once, but three times. By the time I skied with Greg, I’d heard this legendary story often repeated, but always doubted its veracity. Things are rarely that simple. You don’t just write a wish down on a piece of paper and then watch it become a reality. That’s just not how the world works.
After I’d known Greg for a while, skiing with him and his family, cycling with him in the summer, I asked him about the legend of the notebook paper. He confirmed it. Said he still had the paper.
So it’s just that simple? I asked. Just write it down?
Greg has a funny, smile/shrug thing he does that sorta says, I’m embarrassed, but that’s the way it is. He did the smile/shrug thing then.
Now, more than 20 years later, I’ve relied on Greg’s Just Write It approach many, many times. Though my goals have been far more modest than Greg’s were –write a book, make a movie, get out of debt -- as I look back, most of what was committed to paper found a way to work out. Now, as I embark on RallyMe, a company that one of my good friends calls “the best idea you’ve ever had,” I find myself staring again at the blank page.
With a nod to Greg LeMond and his notebook paper, here then are my RallyMe goals:
- Enable 1 million athletes, teams, and organizations to raise more than $100 million by June 2014.
- Run a great company that always puts the athlete first.
- Creates a global funding platform for athletes that enables athletes and their supporters to win together.
Are those lofty goals? Maybe. Can our RallyMe team meet them? Stay tuned. We’ll be keeping score.