Yesterday’s news of Battlefrog’s race cancellations and new emphasis on television reverberated throughout the OCR world like none other that I can remember. The veiled admission that their current business model was not viable didn’t come as a big surprise, but shockwaves were still felt. It was like we were all inside a snow bubble and someone had just shaken the heck out of it and placed it on a table to see what would happen.
Conversations and posts and messages flew all around our bubble. OCR people complained. OCR people lamented. OCR people were sorrowful. OCR People were like “I told you so”! OCR people were hopeful. OCR people were mad.
At the end of the day, the bits and pieces settled – except for the bits and pieces of our friends who had poured their heart and souls into that company. They remained in suspended animation waiting anxiously to see where they would land.
Outside the bubble, though, no one was watching. No one was aware. No one cared. Not a single one of my ‘regular’ friends even uttered the name, “Battlefrog”. It wasn’t on the news. It wasn’t in the paper.
That’s the thing with the OCR bubble. We focus on things that are important to us, to our community. We hear our own echoes that obstacle racing is the greatest thing in the world and we place people, and races, and organizations on a pedestal. We make hashtags like #bandsoverburpees and swear allegiances to brands. But outside our bubble, there is a much larger world…a world that doesn’t feel or hear our pride and exultations. There are people outside our bubble who have their own interests in mind, and sometimes those interests come into contact with our bubble. So our bubble gets shaken and thrown into chaos. It is loud inside our bubble, but outside the bubble we are not heard. Decisions will be made despite whatever good or bad ideas we come up with inside our bubble. We need to recognize our own echoes and understand that what seems like millions of people deeply invested in our sport, is really just a couple of thousand who keep repeating the same things over and over and over. There are lessons to be learned.
The good news is the bubble still exists and it is OUR bubble. We can make of it what we will.
Editor’s Note: There was a lot said in this article that weren’t directly attached to words.