The other day a girl in the locker room asked if I did triathlons. It was a legit question as I was standing there in tight-ass bike shorts, a sweaty pointy tail, a freebie race shirt and reaching for a still-damp swimsuit from my gym bag… “Ummm, well..” My mind started to race not really knowing how to reply. “I’m training for a few this summer trying to gear up for Louisville this fall,” I mumbled with hesitation. Immediately her face lit up and she looked impressed. (Not what I was going for!)
I quickly started to backtrack… “Well, I’ve only done one half and stupidly signed up for a full! I’m actually more of a runner, really.” She replied, “Wow, I don’t think I could ever do a full – that’s impressive…. Good Luck?!”
I sat there a second, swimsuit half pulled up wondering… “What did I sign up for? This chick looks way more in shape than me and even she didn’t jump to a full ironman yet? Maybe I really am going to die out there? Or finish crawling?” Her words, “good luck” stayed with me during that entire swim workout…
Later that week I started thinking a bit more. Not whether or not I would finish the ironman, but why I had such a hard time admitting to the triathlete label at all?! How many races do you need to do to consider yourself a triathlete? A runner? A cyclist? But, I don’t think it’s a certain number of races, a bunch of medals, age-group rankings or even a sticker on your car! I think it’s something that comes from within?
It takes strength, courage and heart to be more, to be a triathlete. Yeah, I think I’m there…?
I’m a triathlete. There I said it.