Let’s all just admit that it takes a certain “breed” of person to become a triathlete.
Now, I believe that anyone can become a triathlete… but in doing so, the morph into the correct “breed” of person is required.
The Sprint-Oly Breed
You are completely sane. You are a fun, easy-going breed who is also hard-working and dedicated. You look at people tackling Ironmans like they are idiots. You want to have a real life and stay out of the ice baths and weeks in physical therapy. You know that you will reach your goals with the correct amount of work and dedication. You like to swim, bike and run a few days a week. You “tri” to better your life. You might been seen with your children on runs, or pushing a stroller in a 5k. You are relaxed and content. You have only seen your therapist three or four times in the last ten years.
*Note: There is a mutant breed of Sprint-Olys, however. Those who race only sprints and Oly distances for extreme spreed. You are fast and scary, and often have fancy tri suits with your last name on the back. You line up at the start of 5ks and often win. You are fast and lean and like a greyhound. You are not crazy, per se. But you have bouts of insanity which may require some more therapy sessions (for the brain and the body).
The Half-Iron Breed
Your breed is a tad nuts. Beast Mode has commenced. You are not completely nuts, but just sort of googly-eyed and gangly. Like a pug.
As you morph from the perfectly sane Sprint-Oly breed into the Half-Iron, you lose about forty percent of your common sense. Dedication becomes more like a mild case of stalking. You send needy emails to your coach. You read books, blogs and articles until your eyes cross. The scary part is that you are envisioning the 70.3 sticker on your car, and it’s like the last piece of pie on Thanksgiving. You must have it, and it doesn’t matter who you have to take down to get it.
You started out liking to swim, bike and run, but now it’s just something that you do. Like childbirth. Today, I wake up and birth a painful bike baby of sixty miles. The Half-Iron is just someone you are, someone who now sees a shrink more often and sits in an ice bath once a week, licking wounds.
The Iron Distance Breed
Completely off your rocker. As you morph from the Half-Iron, you lose about ninety percent of your common sense. You have lost all connection and understanding with the outside world. To you, 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running makes perfect sense. You stare, blank and black-eyed, at people who say, “Why would you want to do that?”
You stare at them, thinking, “Why wouldn’t I? I must. I just must.”
Going to bed at 7:00 makes sense. Waking up at 4:30 is normal. Your therapist and you have a string-can-telephone attached from your house to hers. Your physical therapist lives your garage. Sometimes, you wake up in the middle of the night to check on your bike. You love yourself just enough to work so hard at swim, bike and run—but you hate yourself just enough to put yourself through that much torture. And you think about doing it again.
*New video posted… still some “French,” but hopefully less offensive*
Okay… okay… so I’m being silly.
But as I was laying on my couch today, completely miserable and sick with Round 2 of the Christmas plague, the Expert chatted me on G-Chat about noon when I finally cracked open my laptop.
Expert: You are alive!
Expert: What’s up?
Me: Well, I just saw on Twitter that Ironman Coeur d’Alene still has 10 Ironman foundation slots left. Meaning, you can register. All that big talk of yours.
[The Expert has been saying, on hard workouts, “I’ll just register for CDA and show you how it’s done.” He’s the Expert. What can I say. You all were warned.]
Expert: Heck no, I’m not registering for that.
Me: All bark, no bite.
Expert: No, I just love myself waaaaay too much to put myself through that.
[At this point, a lightbulb went off in my head. Maybe even more of the WHY behind me tackling Ironman. I realized that maybe, just maybe, I had recently morphed into the Iron Breed. I smiled and wrote…]
Me: Yep. And I hate myself just enough to finish it.