To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo

So far, I’ve lived 43 years ink free.  That is unless you count that Bic pen incident from high school and a strange affinity for Marks-a-Lot markers on random Sundays during the summer.  I don’t have any tattoos.  That could change. 

You see, ever since November 2009 I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one.  That’s when I finished my first Ironman.

Getting a tat after finishing a first Ironman is almost a right of passage for some folks.  The M-Dot logo is ubiquitous.  Google the phrase “Ironman tattoo” and you’ll find several hundred thousand images.  Lots of people have them.  My friend Jeff got a nice M-Dot on his shoulder.

So here’s the rub.  I’ve been dawdling.  Every time I talk about getting one, I put it off for some reason or another.  “It’ll hurt too much.”  “It will disrupt my swimming.” “It will cost too much.”  “I’m not sure I want a corporate logo forever on my body.”

Here’s the bottom line, though.  I’ve just wussed out on it.  I really want one, but I haven’t dragged my sorry butt over to the local tattoo parlor to get it done.  I’ve recently been leaning towards the “go get it done” side of the pendulum.

I think I’ve even designed something that captures triathlon, the distance, the effort, and yet isn’t all corporate logo-y.  So…take a look below. 

Let me know your thoughts.  Like it?  Hate it?  Suggest a change?  Take the survey below, and leave a comment.  Would love your feedback!


8 thoughts on “To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo

  1. I think completing an Ironman is TOTALLY ink-worthy. If I ever accomplish such a feat (and I really, really hope that I do one day), you can bet your butt that I will get it permanently emblazoned on my skin. That’s something that NO ONE could ever take from you. I wrote a post a while back about runner’s ink ( and I am still toying with the idea of getting a 26.2 somewhere on me (subtly, of course). We’ll see…like you, I have managed to come up with every excuse in the book to why I haven’t gotten one yet. 🙂

  2. I have been wanting to get a Team in Training Triple Crown for my Tri/Century/Marathon triple with them. Been working on a similar design. Can’t decide if I wait until I finish my half iron or if I just do my triple crown and another for my half iron when I am all done…

    I like your design, and I think a good tat artist can make this personalized for you. Can’t wait to see the finished detail (if you go that route!).

    Good luck!!!

  3. OH and FYI… I have three tats… All hurt at the time, but the pain goes away quickly (a lot faster than the pain of completing an ironman!!!) Healing is not too bad either, although you may need to take a break from swimming for the first week just to be sure not to infect the area.

  4. If and that is a HUGE if I was to ever get anything to commemorate the distance it would be in the form you are wanting. I don’t want a corporate logo. 140.6 has moved past the identity of the M-dot in the eyes of a true triathlete. Normal folks maybe not a lot of them know it’s long but have no clue how far. But I like the different steps on the tat. There is more context to the tattoo than just a logo…

  5. This is going on your face, right? TYSON OUT! Haha, I agree with the last post, steer clear of the M-Dot/ corporate logo. I don’t think it speaks entirely to the dedication and perseverance it takes. I liked the personal take, just didn’t prefer the images. But hey, in the words of my mom, “It’s your body. Do what you want with it.”

  6. Go for it! I have 3 tattoos myself. Big fan. All of mine are related to my nephew who was born with cancer that was found right before his first birthday. He’d go on to be in remission, then receive two additional diagnoses. He was my unofficial triathlete. Swam when the docs said he wouldn’t be able to, learned to ride his bike with his prosthetic leg easier than most 5 yr olds at the time, and usually told our family that he couldn’t wear a jacket because it would create too much drag and he needed to run fast. After his death I found Barb’s race and knew it was the 70.3 for me. All that to say, triathlons are about so much more than racing…they’re about living. For those doing this crazy sport we all love so much and consider tattoos, I can’t say “Do it!” enough. I think the ink becomes some of the best motivation ever and is worth the inconvenience of a needle which is far less painful than some of our workouts. (soapbox over…hope you get inked!) 🙂

  7. Like the general concept of the tattoo. I think the bike one needs some tweaking as it is kind of hard to get “bike” from that figure. Love the idea of not paying homage to a corporate logo. I’m kind of a chicken and doubt I’ll ever end up with ink, but I’m all for this as long as it is put on a part of your body you can cover for a job interview. Just a personal preference.

  8. I’m taking you to Area 54 here in town after Rev3 Anderson. Jenn had to make me go and I have not regretted it. Have your design ready – we’re going!!!

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