Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SERIOUSLY?
I have been doing indoor triathlons since 1994. They are a fun way to get in some serious, high intensity training and racing in the winter months while living in the ice, snow, and cold. Just a short sprint workout: 15 or 20 minutes of each leg, swim, bike, and run, and 5 minute transitions between, amounting to not more than an hour workout. A few years back, when my friend Jan started doing tris, I got her hooked on doing them as well. Not only are they a good, quick but serious workout for the off season, but it is great to be able to keep up on what other triathletes you might not otherwise see in the winter and find out what they are doing or thinking of doing for the upcoming season.
So on a swim day, when I do my best thinking, when autumn was winding down and winter was approaching, I came up with the brilliant idea to try to put together an indoor triathlon at my gym. I know there are some good and serious athletes who belong, but being a small, private gym, you don't always see people on a regular basis, and I thought that would also be a good way to get people mingling a little at the same time getting in a good bit of competition.
After weeks of discussion with the athletic director and a few other members, who I might add were all enthusiastic about the idea, the signup board when up with a projected date of February 20. The signup sheet went up about mid-January. Jan and I were the first to sign up. And then? No one. Not one other single person signed up.
Plans were scrapped for the event, and I was disappointed and somewhat surprized and baffled as to what the problem was. At our recent 2009 awards dinner, several people expressed an interest in being at least part of a relay team, a few indicated they might be interested if they weren't already going to be out of town, and others learned that you aren't expected to run 10 miles or some other ridiculous distance on a treadmill. None, however, signed up.
Chatter around the gym as to what was really going on here completely took me by surprise. An alternative competition plan came up, where you would join a team and then do the triathlon on your own time, at your own speed, and post team totals weekly, with weekly competitions taking place through March. (This is somewhat confusing, but I did finally figure it out.) So the idea then was to get into teams, do your thing, post your distance/time and see how your totals compared with others. People seemed to be somewhat enthusiastic about and on board with this, but then? "Just as long as Jan and Vickie aren't on the same team." What?
Apparently, since we are both accomplished triathletes and runners, we are to be feared? Seriously?
What was truly laughable to me about this was the fact that just because I have done an IM, suddenly I am a force to be reckoned with? Me, who is undisputedly the slowest triathlete on the planet, and someone is worried I might beat them? The only thing that might set me apart from any of them is my determination, dedication, and discipline to the sport. Speed is not a factor here, and its highly unlikely I will get faster any time in the future.
So while I am flattered at the perceived image others have of me (and I might add something that keeps me on my toes), I am just a normal person who likes to work out and do triathlons in my spare time. Nothing to worry about people!

7 comments:

Lily on the Road said...

You know that women are intimidated by someone who is assertive, and by assertive I mean pro-active...

a mover and a shaker...

some one who gets off their duff and does something that is a total challenge.

Let them have their own "do it on your own" tri.....I bet half of them won't do it.

You and Jan ROCK, you guys are an inspiration to ME! Just do what you do and hopefully the other ladies will learn that you two are people too...

Marlene said...

^ What Laurel said. :)

Calyx Meredith said...

That's some serious street cred there! You are feared. It may be annoying but it's still cool.

ShirleyPerly said...

Interesting reaction from others at your gym. I have been doing a fair amount with a new tri club at my gym and love the idea of doing a short event like you mentioned. Will keep in mind what you encountered. Maybe I'll just help organize the event and help oversee the logistics rather than participate, LOL!

Fe-lady said...

SCARY over-50 triathlete woman! LOOK OUT!!!! :-)

Just_because_today said...

it is impressive that you took the initiative to bring the idea to the gym. It might take time before it fully develops but it's there already.
Some people are afraid of competition and being able to do it on their own takes the edge of it. They might be afraid they can't do it at all and you, well you have done the monster of them all, an IM.

prashant said...

some one who gets off their duff and does something that is a total challenge.

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