The other day I was talking with a runner.  When she found out that I was a triathlete, she said, “Oh, you’re one of those…”

I don’t know what she meant by it but I started to think about the perceptions of triathletes.  Here’s what people have either said to me or said to someone I know:

Non-Triathletes:

  • “Wow, you are a super person to do triathlons!”
  • “I can’t even walk down the block, let alone run….”
  • “I wouldn’t attempt that, I have bad knees” or “I have a bad back…”
  • “You are absolutely crazy. It’s not normal to do what you do.”

Experienced triathletes:

  • “You’re not really a triathlete until you do a 70.3 or a 140.1”
  • “No one knows what it’s like to be an Ironman unless you’ve completed one.”
  • “If you didn’t finish within the allocated time for a half or full distance triathlon, then you can’t say you did one!”

So what’s my takeaway from, “oh, you’re one of those,” to “you’re not really a triathlete because you’ve never done an Ironman?”

I’m just an ordinary person who likes to swim, bike and run and I don’t think I would like it any other way. And yeah, I guess I’m one of those…