Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Garrett McCaffrey's Goodbye Letter to FloSwim Fans

If I had written down my ideal first job while growing up, it would've fallen short of the one I actually got.

After graduating with a broadcast journalism degree and 4 years of D1 college swimming, this was my job description: travel around and make videos about the best swimmers and coaches in the world. Here was the objective: do what ever is best for the sport of swimming.

At the time, it was the only job of its kind and it was exactly what our sport needed. Since Floswimming debuted in the fall of 2007, our sport's exposure has increased exponentially. Sure, you can attribute a lot swimming's success to the amazing swimmers and their performances in Beijing, but don't underestimate the value of watching meets like NCSA Junior Nationals or YMCA Nationals on demand. Even meets like Nationals weren't available online before Floswimming. Now, seeing your big meet on the web is more expected than the exception. We are now able to share ideas, personalities, and even practices with a larger audience than we ever imagined. We've come a long way.

For the 2 years I ran Floswimming, I never swayed from the objective. Through blogs, videos, and interviews I tried to make the sport more accessible to the true swimming fan. I don't know that the rest of the world has noticed, but I think we succeeded.

Yet, reality is sometimes a harsh awakening and success on the business side of things isn't always simple. It can make for crappy situations, like the one Floswimming finds itself in on the first day USA's World Championship Trials begin.

As of Monday, July 6th, I no longer work for Floswimming. It's not very easy for me to handle because for 2 years Floswimming has been my life. Disappointment aside, my objective hasn't changed one bit.

I'm writing this blog to you, the swimming fan, to let you know that I still have every intention of putting myself in the best position to help this sport. The last 2 years have been a swimming education that no one could have received through any kind of curriculum. I've seen our sport from all sides and now more than ever it's a burning passion that I can't imagine a living without. I am a swimming enthusiast for life.

Truth be told, I'm still in a state of shock. I have no idea what Floswimming will become now. I don't know what's in store for me. But I do know that swimming is better off today than it was 2 years ago, and I have no regrets for the time I gave over that period.

I guess we're in a place right now where all we can do is keep swimming.

See you on the pool deck...

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