4 USA experiences that make me proud

Date: November 2011

The good ole’ US of A has been kicked around a bit lately. The challenges we face far exceed our math deficiencies. But, I don’t want to talk about the bad; I want to talk about the good; I want to talk about my 4 recent experiences that make me proud to call the USA home.

Experience #1:  a podcast.

When I drive, I listen to podcasts. Last week I listened to a Podcast from the Coca - Cola CEO: Muhtar Kent. What Kent said struck a cord. Unlike many multi-national corporations, Coca-Cola is focusing on growing its business in the U.S. Why? As Kent explains:

  • The USA  is a growing demographic
  • The USA is a diverse population
  • The USA  claims 1/2 of all skilled immigrants
  • The USA holds 60% of  the world’s patents
  • The USA gives more to charity than any nation in the world – over 300 billion a year, greater than Egypt’s entire GDP.

In short, the leadership of the world’s biggest brand is betting on the USA. This makes me proud.

Experience #2:  a website. 

Although I strongly disagree with the word choice, I couldn’t agree more with the vision and positioning of the website $#@^ Yeah Made in the USA. The concept is to highlight “stylish and cool brands" that make their products in the USA. The stories are great and the concepts are inspiring. I see the USA’s second industrial wave in the not too distant future. These companies are in the USA and they make me proud.

Experience #3:  a race. 

Last weekend I attended what is branded as the “greatest day in triathlon." I agree. No, it’s not the Ironman World Championships in Kona. It’s the Challenged Athletes Foundation Triathlon in La Jolla, CA. At this event, many challenged athletes run for the first time, they overcome the odds, they silence the critics, they fall, and they get back up. One young competitor told me: “I just ran 10 miles, I didn’t even know that was possible." The event raised nearly $1.2 million for the cause. This is the USA and this makes me proud.

Experience #4:  a finish. 

On October 8th, my wife raced the Ironman World Championships in Kona. She struggled from the beginning to the end– even taking a puke break mid-marathon. But, she finished and even embraced an American Flag escort near the finish line (pictured above). You don’t always have the race you want. Battling through these adversities to find the finish line is the USA way. And this makes me proud.