Embrace the Triathlon Prima Donnas!

People take themselves way too seriously.  At work.  At home.  On the cricket pitch.  In triathlon-related social media.

Those of us who play at triathlon and who are also on social media often fall into a trap of becoming too self absorbed.  Too often we become braggarts.  We pine for attention.  We pander when we should be praising.

We’re too politically correct.  Too focused on our image.  Often at the detriment of others.  But that’s life, right?  Shouldn’t we look down on others that we perceive as lower than us?

Umm…no.  We should all be issued a Yellow Card.

Take heed all ye heathens who dwell in the land of socialness!  Life is not all serious.  It’s not all about your personal best in the 5k or your uber difficult hill workout.  Triathlon is at lest partially about celebration of accomplishment.

Sure…we can (and should perhaps) talk about our love of triathlon and the things that are fun, difficult, challenging, exhausting, flatulence inducing, or sun-burning.  We should post selfies on treadmills.  Personally, I’d like to post a selfie of me doing sidestroke in my next race.

I want you to think that I’m better than you.  That I’m a better triathlete.

In fact, I’m fat, slow, and often too unmotivated.  I have really poor swimming technique and don’t ride a carbon bike.  I know that I’m not going to bust out a 23mph average over 40k (let alone 112 miles) or drop a 15 minute 5k in a sprint race.  But I recognize that, and try to not take myself too seriously.  I try to not be too snarky.  It’s hard, though.  Sometimes I become a Slowtwitcher and start complaining and looking down on everything.  I tell my son that he’s too slow of a swimmer and that turning a 100 free in 52 seconds isn’t good enough.  Right before I go and drop a 1:40.

Triathlon isn’t about telling someone that they are doing it wrong.  That their seat is too high or their catch & pull aren’t perfect.  It’s not looking down on someone who isn’t in a team kit or doesn’t have an M-Dot tattoo.  I shouldn’t think I’m any better than you because I did an Ironman race.  Hell, I was almost the last finisher in my race!  I wasn’t technically last.  Just close to last.  At least I was faster than a few people.  It had to have been because I was riding on my rented Zipp wheels, therefore eliminating all potential drag from my bike when they were on a the adult version of a Big Wheel.  Or maybe my superior VO2 max.  Whatever that is.

Triathlon is a hobby for most of us.  It should be fun.  People bust their asses to train for a race – they should be allowed to have fun no matter if they are on a $10,000 super bike or a $100 bike from Goodwill.  Who cares?  Be happy for them that they are out doing something.  Besides, the dude riding the $100 Goodwill bike probably makes more money than you and me combined (and certainly doesn’t rely on a homestay at the race).

And while you’re at it, take a good long look at yourself in the mirror.  Chances are that compared to someone else, you are slow, fat and unmotivated.  So while you may be fortunate enough to be a podium finisher (btw, congrats if you are), keep in mind that there’s always someone better than you.  His name is Andrew Starykowitcz.  He’s better than you, and he’ll tell you that too.  And he doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, it’s with the beautiful people.

For the record, this post is directed as much at me as it is at others.  I’ve been guilty of this.  I’ve looked at others and thought that I was better than them.  I’ve laughed at the gear some folks use.  The brands they pick.  “Is that dude really wearing a Betty Designs kit?  I thought they were only for chicks.”

So now, I’m going to go grab a drink from my favorite nutrition sponsor, relax in some amazing apparel from another sponsor, and go read some blog posts from some age group hacks like me.

Never forget, I may be slower than you, but at least I’ll look cooler!



2 thoughts on “Embrace the Triathlon Prima Donnas!

  1. I am usually the one standing by a tree intimidated by the prima donnas. Last year was my first tri year, which was nice because everyone just took me under their wing and thought I was cute. Now in year two I wonder how it will go. I usually finish right in the middle of the pack and I am ok with that!

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