Let’s face it folks, we are hated. Most of our friends think we are completely crazy and the rest of the world says a huge collective, “And why would you want to do that?” when you tell them the swim, bike, run distances in an Ironman.
What’s worse is after a short amount of time of getting to know us many “normal” (or as I will call them nonathletes) develop a passionate loathing for triathletes. Why? Here are a few of my personal observations.
10) Bald Legs
You have to admit, most nonathlete women and men like men’s legs the way God made them, pasty and furry. I will confess here and now that I completely sympathize with these folks.
I recall a distant time in my past when I was college and my roommate took up with the local bike team. It was bad enough that he ate all the cereal in our place at weird times of the night like 2:00 am, but it wasn’t long before he started shaving his legs.
Let me cut to the chase. Living with a guy who shaves his legs is like having a girlfriend with all the downside of constant grooming and none of the up side…unless of course you are gay.
Plus he would spend hours in the shower either
a) showering before a ride or
b) shaving his legs or
c) showering after a ride.
This meant that our limited hot water lasted about one leg. Which for me meant that I quickly got used to taking very cold and very furry showers.
9) Ironman Tattoos
There’s nothing that says you are an elite athlete quite like having the brand of a company forever branded on your body. I’m sure like me, many nonathletes certainly use fine corporate products and services daily, but the thought of tattooing themselves with a corporate logo of their manufacturer is a bit much. Can you image the conversation with your spouse. “Honey the dishwasher does such a great job that I just added a Whirlpool tattoo to my left shoulder.”
“That’s great dear, it just looks super above your Volvo and American Express Tattoo’s. I’m getting my Playtex tattoo done tomorrow.”
8) Triathlon Talk
Have you ever been to an all triathlete party? I have and the conversation can be pretty dull. It tends to go something like this:
Triathlete 1: So how you doing today?
Triathlete 2: I’m pretty tired as a I just swam after my recovery run.
Triathlete1: How far did you run?
Triathlete 2: I ran an easy 5-miles today, but I ran 17 yesterday.
Triathlete 1: Yeah, I know what you mean, I just biked 70 miles and I’m a bit tired as well.
Triathlete 2: Yup.
Triathlte 1: Yup. I think I’ll go home and take a nap.
Not only is the conversation a bit dull, but only a triathlete would consider recovering from a 17-mile run with another run. Many people would consider a 17-mile run a great accomplishment, but for a triathlete is just another day training.
7) Weird Food
When you really think about it we really eat some strange food. To the average nonathlete our diets are about as normal as captive baby seals…which , by the way, eat a constant diet of vitamin stuffed ground up mullet.
Here’s just a small sample of the stuff we consume on a regular basic. MAX, ADE, OX, GU, BOOM, GEL. Consider the sheer amount of bewildering performance enhancing drinks and supplements we buy and eat. They have one thing in common: a fluorescent Day-Glo color. Personally I tend to judge them by the stickiness factor. The more they make my hands stick to the handlebars of my bike, the better they must be.
The average triathlete at best is sending mixed signals after a long bike ride or run. It took me about a year to discover the joys of lubrication. The leg pain after a marathon is nothing compared to the searing pain of taking a shower with raw nipples. However, nothing identifies a triathlete, or a horny monkey, like a raging case of monkey butt after an especially long session on the bike.
It is no wonder that nonathletes get so easily confused by our mixed signals. Are we ready for love or just a Costco sized tube of Desitin diaper rash cream?
5) Workout Wear
I’m not making this up, but I know a guy who now exclusively wears Drifit all the time, everywhere he goes, for every occasion under the sun.
If it was possible to wear a Nike tuxedo, or perhaps a Nike wedding dress I’m sure that he and his girlfriend would be the first at the altar with Drifit everything sporting running shoes, watch, sunglasses, socks, sports bra, underwear and condom.
Can you blame the average nonathlete for getting hot around the collar when we seem to always be either going to, or coming from, the gym.
Next Time: The top 5 reasons why people hate triathletes.