Last night I read ANOTHER article about a successful age group triathlete stating this was his last year in the sport. He listed various reasons, but the primary one was that he spends too much time training and racing instead of with his wife.
I kid you not, this is the 3rd piece I’ve read, in the past month, where someone has justified leaving the sport by saying it’s a selfish endeavor.
I have a hard time with this line of thinking.
Yes, it takes an enormous amount of time to excel at this sport. If putting in that time is no longer desirable, I totally “get” that. But, by claiming the sport of triathlon is selfish, these athletes are not only stating THEY are selfish, but they also place every other triathlete on the selfish boat with them.
Using this same type of rationalization, golf could be considered just as selfish. I know people who play 2 rounds 3 times a week. That, my friends, is MORE than 24 hours of club-smacking selfishness right there.
What about the infinite number of hours spent watching football Saturday, Sunday AND Monday? World hunger could be solved during the time
wasted spent watching football from August-January.
What about baseball? Nascar (round and round…all damn day)?
Don’t get me wrong… I love my sports. Nothing is better than coming home from a long run in the winter, putting on the compression pants and flopping on the couch to watch football all day. But really, let’s be honest and call a spade a spade. They are ALL equal opportunity time suckers.
I would never fault anyone for deciding it was time to hang up their aero bars and move on, but to claim they are doing it because the sport is selfish is not only inaccurate, it sets the wrong tone about the sport in general.
Triathlon, to me at least, is about balance and choice.
I choose to get up early and get my training/workouts in while it’s cooler, before my son get’s up, and before my real day starts. I balance training volume with key events and holidays so not to miss an important moment or disrupt anyone elses life.
Most importantly, I include my husband in my pursuits so he never feels left out or cast aside in my quest for Ironman glory. As a result, he’s gone from being known as the “go to” guy if you need a swimmer for your relay, to one of the fastest male runner’s in his age group. He now shares many of the same goals and while we don’t train together daily, it’s a treat when we have the opportunity to do so.
I suppose people could say we’re selfish, but it would be because we hold down a job, pay our bills, keep our son out of trouble and making good grades, workout 14-18 hours a week, go bed early, rarely drink, and don’t have much of a social life outside the family.
Anything construed as selfish. ANYTHING!
They key is making the right choices at the right time, to find the balance to do what you love and yet still maintain the love of those around you.
It’s not always easy, but nothing worth having ever is!
Swim Happy, My Friends!