More and more newbies are plunging headlong into triathlons, duathlons,and combined-disciplines endurance sport. Just as in other hobbies and recreation, tri-geeks exist and abound. They are passionate to insane levels, and you can applaud their motives and motivations to train ‘long and alone’. Here are some reasons on why we geeks persist vaingloriously in a sport that is ‘painfully rewarding’. This was inspired by an essay written by the irreverent Ironman (yet refreshingly honest) Hawaii champion 1982 and 1985, Scott Tinley.
1) You enjoying wearing spandex, and few will bat an eyelid when you do wear it when you training it. You also learn very early why you don’t wear underwear underneath your cycling-tights.
2) Swim in open-water (sea, lake or river) ever wondering what lies in the murky water below. It doesn’t help that you seen ‘Jaws’ and ‘Mega-Shark’ recently, again.
3) We wear a ‘first-time worn yet funky-smelling’ finisher-tee with pride a week after the cessation of the race. The slogan on the tee has a way of inciting the question ‘Oh, you did an Ironman?’ It was actually a ’70.3’ but the interviewer cannot tell the difference, so we don’t interrupt the perception.
4) It sounds cool when you give yourself a nickname with ‘Iron’ , ‘Tri’, or something related to swimming, riding, and running. Why do you call yourself #RamRod69?
5) You enjoy wearing a wetsuit because it makes you feel like a superhero. Some of us cleverly dodge or avoid side-view shots. That Yamamoto neoprene has that innate physical property of compressing us to look like Aquaman.
6) Have a ‘default excuse’ to avoid family meals and office events. Your reason: ‘I have to train for a marathon’, or ‘I’ll be doing my A-race triathlon this weekend’, or ‘I’m recovering from my 32km LSD run’.
7) Spout off exotic geographical locations where you will be doing your next race. And, you seem to know the race-course better than the existence of renowned regional landmarks. Plus, you counted the number of aid-stations, measured the gradient of climbs, and overall elevation of the ride course.
8) You can create amazing hashtags like #triknob or #speedpost on your race-related IG (Instagram), related to this obsession of yours. I mean, ‘passion’.
9) You can eat all you like, and people actually share food with you at dinner. They suspect you have a ‘dis-eating order’ and need extreme amounts of calories. ‘You can eat a lot more!’ and ‘Your body will burn it off at your next workout’ are commonly heard. So, you ‘tuck in’ in the ‘non-aero’ sense. Still, some quietly think you are a glutton, not just for punishment.
10) You can call yourself a ‘wine-drinker with a running problem’, and account for your strangely skinny condition. You also justify the wine as a source of carbohydrates, and that ‘beer is technically vegetarian-friendly’.
11) People regard you as an authority in exercise and nutrition. You learn useful stuff like you have to drink when you are thirsty, and that the ketones are not part of the musical scale. Plus, you may be able to create a training program on-the-spot.
12) You get away with wearing triathlon attire with a plethora of sponsors’ logos. This ‘human billboard’ is justified by calling yourself an ‘Ambassador’. Those with rotund physiques or Clydesdales, seem more suited to the advertising as they have more fabric per square inch.
13) That your very first thing you check when you fall off your bike is, check your bike. Then you check it again, although your body requires immediate medical attention.
14) You buy an expensive bike, and it's the latest model, and you feel really good when your spouse says ‘It completes you.’ And, you can’y wait to go riding with your friends as soon as you can.
15) You have Mark Allen’s number on speed-dial, and you talk to each other on WhatsApp regularly.
16) You have ‘fan boy’ moments when you meet elite athletes. You fawn over them like luminaries, and after that precious ‘we-fie’ shot, you have to reapply more sunscreen.
17) Buy race-photos of only those races where you did well. Those ‘bad races’ never happened without photographic evidence, or when you partially hide your race-bib midway on a bad race. Or, blame it on poor shots and they being expensive.
18) Pee on your bike during a race, and not raise the alarm by your friends for doing so. And, this includes your training buddies. They tell you they would not buy your bike. You reply that you will not be selling it, anyway.
19) Pee at an aid-station during a running race, and both volunteers and spectators are non-the-wiser. After all, you spilled your water on yourself while drinking. Or, was it a sticky sports-drink that you poured onto your groin area by mistake?
20) Any label with ‘endurance’ suggests that you will outlast your colleagues, companions and competitors. At almost anything.
21) Your fancy sports-watch is GPS-enabled, is a smart-watch, recites your heart-rate and blood pressure and bio-rhythms, racing-pace, and more. It, however, doesn’t give you the time.
22) Spout and tested the latest dietary trend, with names like LCHF, Keto-Diet, and ‘eat clean’. After a race, we polish off a fast-food meal because we deserve it. We name it as ‘Comfort food as reward’.
23) Correct your friends, relatives and colleagues that you do more than ‘just running’, since you are a well-known ‘triathlete’. You take pride in carefully explaining to them the specific distances and disciplines involved. Until, you have to explain again to the next guy.
24) Wear cool gear most of the time, even when you are not training. You consistently check your very low Resting Heart Rate. You get alarmed when your watch tells you to ‘Start Moving’. And you shift your sunglasses from your nose to your scalp like a head-band once evening arrives.