I get lots of friend requests on Facebook and am happy to accept all of them. I like being able to connect with people who follow the sport or know of me from somewhere else. I'm happy to say hello and to open a bit of a window into my world.
However, this morning, I had a seriously amusing Facebook interaction. One of my "friends" has been asking for help with what would be a pretty detailed and in depth training plan. I didn't know how to respond at first, so I had kind of delayed answering the request. But, this morning, after a lot of thought, I realized what the correct response should be.
I asked this person what they did for a living. Obviously perplexed they responded and asked me "Why?" I wanted to know. I kindly replied, "Would you perform your trade for someone, to better their business, for free?" They replied, "No. I wouldn't." My point exactly. Then they tried to tell me that they would provide their service to me for free - HA! Not only do I doubt that, but I find that slightly offensive, as I would never ask them to do so.
Although I would love to help everyone who asked for advice, I make a living from being a triathlete, no different than someone else is a doctor, lawyer, engineer etc. I love to help people and I do offer bits and pieces of advice where I can, but this particular request would have required a few hours of thought and preparation to really put something worthwhile together.
Moments later, this person "un-friended" me. I think they probably thought I wouldn't notice, but I did, and I proceeded to get a bit of a giggle out of the whole thing. Oh well, I guess the friendship request was laced with an expectation that I would provide something in return. I'm sorry to disappoint, but don't think I was wrong in my response. I pay my coach a lot of money for what he provides to me and if there are individuals who really want my help and guidance, I'm happy to provide it to them, as a coach, for a reasonable charge.