I posted my story about Lance Armstrong (see below) on the Slowtwitch discussion forum. For those of you who may be wondering, ST has one of the bigger triathlon discussion forums on the web.
It is the place that those who are “in” or think they are “in” or want to be “in” or are indeed “real” triathletes like to hang out…at least that's what a number of people who know these things have told me. As I write this my story had 1730 views.
It was certainly an interesting day, and I pretty much got my butt handed to me on a silver platter. Here’s a sample of some of the comments from the folks on the forum today who choose to express an opinion:
Marcus Marcus wrote after copying the first sentence of my post:
“So it was very refreshing to see the 2004 women’s Ironman winner Nina “the Machina” Kraft say, “Yup…you got me. I sure did use EPO. I screwed up” after she tested positive for EPO.
Not sure how refreshing that is. I would say it is more refreshing to find out that they don't cheat at all. Not that when they get caught they admit. There is nothing admirable about cheating and does not deserve a positive spin at all.”
That seemed liked like a good point but wait for it.
One_lap wrote after also copying one sentence from my post:
“I suppose that if you really pressed me on the Lance question…Nobody pressed you; you posted this tired retread without any provocation. Stop shilling your site. This is worse than the frigging rules you made up a couple weeks ago.”
Record10carbon jumped in with this comment:
“Someone needs to find you a flame suit”
Flames, of course, being negative comments expressed my way.
beatnic_tx got a hold of that comment and added:
“Do the fat guy sizes cost more? If so that can be the subject of his next story.”
And you didn’t have to wait long as Marcus Marcus added:
Thanks Marcus Marcus for the support.
Now there were a few other choice comments that were even a wee bit nastier. Besides being accused of shilling, I was also accused of Internet stalking. But the best comment came from somebody called “Lance” as posted on my web site:
“You're an as@$%! Drop the Lance sh@%@! What - are you French?”
Somehow I suspect that Lance may have found his way over here from ST.
You are welcome to read the entire exchange HERE.
A coaching friend of mine made an interesting comment. He read the entire exchange and said that he was surprised at how much negative energy people put into their comments. Which got me thinking. Is it the anonymity Internet that makes lions out of ice weasels or did I walk into a den angry triathletes?
I’m well aware that people are passionate about Lance and his accomplishments. But the negative comments had very little to do with my Lance story. They were nasty comments about me.
For those of you who read my stuff must know that I spend most of my race time at the butt of the spear…in other words, toward the tail end of the race. The athletes in my part of the woods tend to be very supportive and encouraging. We are all part on the same triathlon team and ego and pride play a very small role. Most everybody is competing for a personal best and not trying to crush their competition.
The running and triathlete friends I’ve come to know in the blog world are also very encouraging and very positive. Thanks gang for all your nice comments and emails. They really mean a lot to me. I really appreciate you coming by my site and saying “Hi” It is what keeps me writing.
I suppose if you can’t stand the heat, stay of the kitchen, or at least the slowtwich discussion forum.
On the other hand perhaps I just ran into a bunch of ice weasels pretending to be lions.
I’ll end this story with one of my favorite sayings from Matt Groening's Love Is Hell comic strip adapted for my own purpose:
So for all you negative slowtwitch ice weasels I have this invitation. Come race the 2006 Boulder Peak Triathlon at 5430 feet above sea level and show me what you can do when you are not hiding behind your computer.