Matthew Murphy gave me permission to share the email.
I wanted to write you to provide you a moment that was a bright portion of your weekend. I read your commentary on your blog, and I know that it is disappointing to you that you were disqualified not only emotionally but financially. As someone that is a former professional athlete, I felt inclined to write you. I felt that you "had" to write what you did, but it may not reflect how you really feel.
I played golf from the time I was 6 years old until the day I was forced to retire from the pro tour at 28 because of injury. I took advantage of my talent and my career "in the moment" because it was the only life I had ever known. When it was gone, I went through a huge depression because in an instant I lost the only identity I had ever known. I spent 2 years trying to find myself. I want you to realize how blessed you are from today's modern technology and social media. You will be able to show your children your career. Sadly, I have very little pictures let alone video of my career.
If I had a chance to do my career all over again, I would have done it so differently. It is not always about the money or even the finishes as much as it is about competing with integrity and performing at your best while loving every second you are there. I know that there are pressures on you to have results from your coaches and sponsors, but remember to carry the attitude of enjoying what you do and not letting your athletic career be "work". The results will come in your favor because no matter what, we have the "drive" to train to be the best.
I was fortunate to find a new life outside of competitive sports. I also feel very fortunate that at 35 I got into triathlon even though I was never a swimmer, biker, or runner. It is now my outlet to let my competitive juices flow for a good cause of raising awareness and providing help to families affected by birth defects similar to what my son was born with through the organization we founded www.shawnsanomaly.org. I am fortunate to now see other athletes (both pro and age groupers) choose Shawn's Anomaly as their reason to race. It really helps them put everything into perspective, and I am happy to just be a litte part of that.
Please see the attached video of your finish! I hope you have a great season.
I can't thank Matthew enough for reaching out to me and giving me perspective on sport, and what matters most. This is something I love about triathlon- the people you meet along the way and the lessons you can learn from them. I am in communication now with him and plan to get involved with Shawn's Anomaly. Racing for a cause is something I have always wanted to do, and this seems like the perfect opportunity.