Inclusion Can Be Hard to See When You're Already Included

By Rob Castaneda, CEO, ServiceRocket

As some of you may know, I work hard at being a triathlete (or as I sometimes call it, a try-athlete.) I love the sport. While extremely demanding, it’s also incredibly fulfilling.

Gratefully, my family supports my obsession.

Triathlete training requires strict processes and consistent habits 24 hours a day, from sleep, to nutrition, to hydration, physical strength, skill, coordination and most critically, mental focus.

Recently, I attended an intense five-day triathlete camp as part of my training. While it was an amazing experience, what stood out to me was the fact that there isn't a lot of diversity in the sport. There’s a good deal of gender diversity to be found in triathlons, but not between racial or social-economic boundaries. In fact, the barrier to entry for triathletes is quite high.

I know I’ve got a long way to go in breaking down barriers, not just records. That really hit home when I got an email from USA Triathlon announcing that Sika Henry, a female triathlete, recently made history.

History you say? What record did she beat?

Henry became the first African-American woman to break through as a professional triathlete.

She achieved that status when she finished third as female amateur overall at the 2021 Challenge Cancun (half Ironman).

Hers was an especially awesome feat. Only a year earlier, Henry suffered a devastating crash in an Ironman 70.3 race; the pandemic shut everything down shortly thereafter. Given these setbacks, she was ready to quit.

Instead, she ran her first 50K—on her own, on a bike path, in the rain—and then trained to crack the three-hour marathon mark. Her fierce determination paid off. As she told Bicycle.com, she was deeply inspired by triathlete Roderick Sewell Jackson. “Second,” she said, “there were so many Black parents and their kids tracking me live—I had to finish.”

Henry was motivated by something greater than herself. She pushed through and made history. In making her dream a reality, she made it possible for others to visualize their dream. As she expanded her own potential, theirs grew. She was inclusive.  

For many of us, in many ways, we're already included.

If you are, reach out to someone that might not feel that way. Help them feel welcome. Work to break down barriers that prevent people from achieving their personal best, in business or triathlons.

Business is a team sport. Being human is part of that deal. We choose to compete at this sport. When we fail, another Rocketeer is there to help pick us up, move on and rise strong. Join our amazing team.

#ThinkTeam is one of our company values at ServiceRocket.

Reaching higher inspires others to do the same.

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