First, I’ve been advised NOT to write this post. That it’s offensive to who we are and what we do. So, here goes…
Carbon everything, Deep Dish Wheel, Disc, Aero helmet, Di2 shifters, power meters, the best and baddest supplies money can buy, and Chris Carmichael as your personal coacyh. You’ve been training like a Spartan for months. Your kids barely even know you are you. Your family thinks you’re crazy. You are on a tear to get a PR. All this for a shot at glory! Right?
Ahem (throat clear), let’s get the picture a little clearer…shall we?
I am a huge proponent of setting goals, developing a plan, and seeing things through. But, now at 35 years wise, a family, and a slew of races under my belt I have to ask myself; what was all the fuss about? What was going on in my head? Why did I take myself so seriously? Who did I think I was…a triathlete?
There is a huge debate going on in triathlon right now about how to balance time, talent, and treasure. When is enough…enough? How many more family gatherings are you gonna skip? How many social functions are you gonna bail on because you have to ‘get up and train?’ When are you gonna accept the fact that no matter how many races you do, you are still the same person you always were except you have a different pastime?
“OH NO YOU DIDN’T!”
How can I say such things? Easy, I know this for a fact..I was one of them. I found myself needing to associate with something bigger and better than me. Just because you go to the local gym and shoot free throws does not make you a basketball player. Likewise, if you play in a flag football league that doesn’t give you the right to go around saying “I’m a football player!” No, you are Jane or Joe, with a full-time profession, family, friends, probably a pet, AND on the weekends you enjoy getting outside, competing with friends, and savoring the sweet sting of pain through voluntary application. Chrissie Wellington is a triathlete. You following here?
This was me (probably still is) not very long ago:
LIGHTEN UP! TRIATHLON IS WHAT WE LOVE TO DO…IT IS NOT WHO WE ARE. Enjoy life, train your heart out, give it everything you have, but by no means are we ONLY triathletes. The sooner you box yourself into a category, the sooner you will go looking for a bigger box. There is nothing that I can say that will change people’s perspectives of how they see themselves. Some, need to have a label. They absolutely need to tell you what their LT numbers are, they need to wear their Garmin out to dinner, they need to keep they’re body markings on as long as possible to say to the world “Look at me!”
It turns out, these areas of expression are outstanding examples of what we have inside us, but they are not us at all. We’re bigger, badder, smarter, and sexier than any piece of carbon, deep dish wheels, aero helmet, or power meter could ever be. We are everything and anything we want to be as long as we have the ‘why’ to follow through on those crazy dreams and outlandish goals.
But, on race day, WE ARE TRIATHLETES!
ps. I still wear crazy colored socks every chance I get. Guilty as charged.
pss. I totally want the new Garmin.
Enjoy the WHOLE experience,
Stephen Del Monte, Race Director