#TBT: A Dear John Letter to Ironman

Throwback Thursday is an internet phenom right now.  It’s fun to look back at pictures from days gone by.  Seems like a fun concept to apply to blog posts, too.  

Back in November 2011, I wrote the following blog post, and it turned out to be one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written.  It’s been read more than 600 times (from my blog alone), shared on Facebook, Twitter & re-posting on other blogs more than 100 times.  I received more emails and feedback on this post than almost any other post.  So…I guess the sentiment expressed below struck a chord with folks.

Given the popularity of this post, I thought I’d post it up again for you to enjoy…

Dear Ironman,

You and I, we have a history.

I’ve sweated and swam, biked miles upon miles, and ran like Forrest Gump. All in an effort to overcome the races you’ve lain in front of me. Not just once, but several times.

Orlando. Panama City Beach. Louisville. They are familiar territory. A few good memories have come from my pursuits there. More of them have been ho-hum.

Once I was pleased to hear Mike Reilly proclaim that I was an “Ironman”.

But I’m over you.

It’s not you…..it’s all me.

I’m tired of swimming with two thousand friends. I don’t like drafting when I’m supposed to be racing. I don’t like feeling like a customer.

Triathlon isn’t about those things. At least for me, it’s not. Triathlon is about the challenge. Feeling like you belong at a race – regardless of whether you’re the first finisher or the last. I like spectacle and boisterous finish lines as much as the next guy, and while you’re good at that, others are equally good – if not better – at it than you are. I want to feel valued as an athlete. Part of the family. Cared about. Loved.

And you, well, you don’t do that anymore for me.

I’m just a tick mark on your headboard. Another zero on the balance sheet. Another person to sell logo’d merchandise to for too high a price.

We’re done. I know you’ll find others. People will constantly clamor for the “notoriety” that comes from doing one of your races. Good for them.

I’m in this for something more now. Good riddance.

I’ve got a new sweetheart. She may be a little younger than you, but she’s better in oh so many ways. Her name even sounds cooler……Revolution3. Change. New. She’s all that.

So we’re breaking up. Have a nice life.

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2 thoughts on “#TBT: A Dear John Letter to Ironman

  1. Excellent post! While I’m not experienced enough with tris, I totally understand this from a runner’s perspective. I feel the same way about road races and that’s why I see more ultramarathons and trail races in my future.

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