Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I work in a law firm where there is an ongoing effort to recruit new, young people to come into the firm. So yearly they come and go. Its been interesting to note what sports these young people are involved in when they come to the firm and what they get involved in once they are established. Oddly enough, over the last 10 years, not one runner and certainly no triathlete, not even as a hobby or one-time-only thing. I was under the impression triathlon was the up and coming sport.

So then they find out I, one of the firm's relics, do triathlons, they are wide-eyed impressed, equating it to like skydiving or something else equally as exotic. I tell them, I just swim, bike, and run, and if I'm lucky, I find a race I can do. I never think of it as anything unusual.

When the mention of Ironman comes up, no one has a clue what that's all about, except a few younger guys who say, "isn't that where you go to Hawaii and do a triathlon?" Yeah, that's right (I wish!).

So what sports are these "kids" involved in? Soccer. Volleyball. Basketball. All team sports. Nothing they do by themselves. Weight lifting is how they "keep in shape" when not participating in their other sport or sports.

It makes me realize once again how truly small the triathlon community is, even if worldwide. We need each other for support and motivation. That's one reason I read the blogs I do, but I also find that after reading and communicating for a while with people, you feel closer to being part of their world, and keeping motivated from that as well. I am obviously partial to the "older" women, because we didn't have all the other options to choose from that they do now, and for the fact that if not for triathlon, who knows what or if we would be doing anything but running.

Triathlon was a new challenge to take on, and it was an easy transition to make once I even knew about it, since I already swam as well.

That got me thinking that if I were independently wealthy, one of the things I would like to do would be to establish a scholarship for girls i(and boys) n high school who were interested in triathlon. I know some of the colleges have triathlon teams, so its not an impossible thought.

Yeah, I'll keep dreaming.


sharon said...

It's just very frustrating to me - trying to keep up in a "wealthy mans sport" with a median income. When I first started triathlon in 97 I could do a sprint for $30. Now most are $80 - $100 and up. Ironman fees are topping $500. That is PART of the reason I quit racing after ironman. I had a hard time justifying the negative impact on my budget. When I race next summer I'll choose my races sparingly and probably be happy with 2 sprints and a 1/2 iron.

nancytoby said...

Good post!

Yeah, we tend to forget that triathlon is a teensy little niche.

Flo said...

It always amazes me, especially since I "communicate" with so many tribloggers, when I run into people who don't know what a triathlon is.

Here in Hawaii we have the only organized kids tri series. It's really great to see these little kids, 6-12, doing these races. They vary the run length based on age and the kids really love it.

I think that's the best idea ever. One of the race directors started it as his kids got old enough to want to do tris. It's really awesome.