Today should have been an exciting, happy day. I was going to step on deck for the first time in my new job. The meet i'd been looking forward too since last year in Omaha was finally upon us. We were going to pick our World Team.
Instead I'm sick to my stomach. I've felt this way since finding out late Sunday night that Garrett would no longer be a part of this site. I've felt the full gamut of raw, negative emotion: disbelief gave way to sadness, which gave way to anger. Now I'm desperately searching for a way to make things better.
The tenor of the comments on Garrett's blog reflect what I am about to say: he changed my life here. I am one of the thousands of people in this community that have benefitted from his presence, but I doubt that many have benefitted more than me.
A year and a half ago, I approached Garrett with what I thought was a crazy idea. I was so excited with what he was doing at floswimming. I wanted to write a blog. I thought there was a chance I had something to offer. Garrett did something that day that few others in the community had done for me at that point: he gave me a chance. I can truly say that he and my future wife are the two biggest reasons I am living my dream today.
He opened more doors for me than he probably knows. He also inspires me to keep loving this sport every day. Garrett has never taken the people here for granted. I wish everyone could have travelled to one meet coverage with Garrett. My first experience was at Olympic Trials in Omaha. Garrett would wake up in the morning, get as many high quality interviews as he possibly could, and upload the content. All the while he built relationships with people from all across the country. He cared. By day two, I was doing half the work but looked twice as exhausted.
When I had been working for the site for just a few months, small offers came in to pay me to take my content elsewhere. I called Garrett immediately. He wished me all the money in the world. If I had left him and sold out for a few dollars he never would have held a grudge. I didn't because I believed in him.
When I saw Garrett today we should have been pumped. These are the days we live for: exciting meets and our athletes putting on a show. Instead, my stomach won't stop gnawing at me. I am powerless to correct something that I believe is wrong.
I have had very little direct contact with Mark and Martin Floreani, the two developers of the platform and entrepeneurs of flocasts. From what I know, they don't consider what I do here an asset to the site, in fact they may even think that I am a negative drain on their resources though I have never been paid a dime. I do not begrudge them this, they have invested money into floswimming and it is their business to run. However, without Garrett I see no reason to continue an affiliation here. I hope to wake up tomorrow and do my best to share my love for this sport and the people in it in a positive and unique way. If you need me, I'll be with Viking and you can continue to contact me at crdesantis at gmail.com.