Generous, humble, competitive and fair describes one of my sponsors, Mark Holowesko. An article, “The Ironman of Hedge Funds” from The Bahamas Investor, describes Mark really well. At the end of the article, John Smith wrote that Mark was not given any breaks, only opportunities: “Mark always took opportunities and developed them.” Mark is now giving other people (including me) opportunities. And I do not take his opportunity for granted.
Patrick and I flew from snowy Minnesota to sunny Nassau (in the Bahamas) for a long weekend. I told Mark (who lives in Nassau) it’s my favorite trip of the year. I’m not sure if he believes me. However, after reading this, I think it will be hard for anyone to disagree.
The trip started with a sea plane ride to Highbourne Cay. If you are wondering where to go on your next holiday, I’d highly recommend Highbourne Cay. The Bahamas are a beautiful, relaxing, surreal place; but to truly experience everything the Bahamas has to offer, you have to travel to the smaller islands. Although we could have ridden our bikes on Highbourne Cay, we didn’t travel with them. Instead, we spent time driving golf carts to our cottage, which overlooked the ocean from the east and west. We had bonfires at night, ocean swims during the day, and boat rides. We drove the golf carts to Xuma (the restaurant) where we ate unlimited lobster, fish, and guava duff. Guava duff is a dessert native to the Bahamas. After my first piece, I started to go through withdrawal thinking I wouldn’t be able to eat this dessert again for at least another year. By my third serving, Jarrod Shoemaker gave me a look of disgust and said, “You’re eating more?!”
After a day of spear fishing and deep sea fishing, we did a point-to-point open water swim in the ocean. A boat dropped us at the start, and we swam right up to the door of our cottage. There were about 20 of us that did the swim race, with a few others joining for fun (Patrick even grabbed some fins and swam).
Swimming and running on the island were easy. I hadn’t been swimming much back home because it’s cold, and I don’t have my Wollongong Wizards to train with, but when given the option of swimming in the ocean, I couldn’t resist.
I could have spent the entire day on the island, but we were fortunate to take a boat to a sand bar. It was like our own personal beach in the middle of the ocean. We saw nurse sharks, real sharks, blue fish, yellow fish, jelly fish, and many other sea creatures. After two days of pure bliss, we headed back to Nassau. The pro athletes spent the afternoon helping out at a kids’ triathlon camp. I was amazed with the turnout! For such a small island, there are a lot of athletes and people passionate about sport – and this was touching to see. The following day, we did the UWC Bahamas non draft Olympic distance triathlon. Although we had some pretty famous triathlon pros racing, we weren’t the most famous athletes, as Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki did the triathlon as well.
Following the race, we took a boat ride to another beautiful beach where I was happy to get pushed overboard. Mark Holowesko truly gave us all an opportunity of a lifetime and we took full advantage. He sponsored (funded) the UWC Bahamas triathlon and also graciously housed us. Mark is one of my personal sponsors, helping to fund my dream of competing in triathlon. I take his opportunity and invest in what makes us (my team: Patrick, Jamie, our sponsors, and family) successful. We take control of what we are doing and pursue excellence through hard work and strong ethics, just like Mark does.