Sunday, November 05, 2006


"Triathlon is NOT a team sport!"

I heard a spouse of a triathlete tell me this once and did not think much of it. It was after a race and the comment was more in passing. The comment was not meant to be positive or negative - just fact. I think I actually nodded in agreement, but later had to think again. I remember getting in my car about 20 min later and was mad at myself for agreeing to the comment. This is not true for 2 reasons.

1) Let me first start off by saying that I'm not a fan of the word "team" being used loosely. You cannot "make" a team. In my mind at least you "become" a team. I got an E-mail from a guy named Jay that put it perfectly saying: "Recently, the Greek national basketball team beat the US national team in basketball. A group of average basketball players beat a team full of superstars from the US...none trying to be the superstar...just bringing their own strengths to make a superstar TEAM." How cool is that. The US was a "team" but not a team as I like to define it.

2) The people you see are only 1/2 of the "team." The other half is YOU. Yep. That is right. YOU. Yes, triathletes spend a lot of time alone running, swimming, and biking, but that is only a small portion of the day (most days at least). The rest of the team is you, and this is the part that can make or break the entire team. No matter how good someone is on the playing field, there must be a support team to help him or her along. While we ride, swim and bike our team of children, spouses, friends, and co-workers are there for us.

I know that as Ironman day comes close my "team" starts to ask a lot of questions.

"How are things going?."

"How many miles did you ride this weekend?"

The greatest comment of all came from my father as he held my hand just the day before he died "so... how is the Ironman training going?"

With that said, I hope you are lucky enough to be part of a GREAT team both on and off the field.


Tri-Dummy said...

Great post...I couldn't agree more. Amazing thing to hear from your Dad. Really touching, bro.

Siren said...

I couldn't do it without my "team" - he makes me go to the gym when I don't feel like it, even when he'd rather have me at home, because he knows how important training is to me.

Tri_tim said...

Stu, great message, it puts exactly into words, what I try to say to my team mate, but normally fail miserably. Message sent on to her, and gained me a few understanding points.

Anonymous said...

I'm headed for my first Sprint Tri this weekend -- with my Support Team of my wife and 8 of our closest friends going along to watch. They have gone on training swims and rides and runs with me -- each with their own strengths. I have gained MY strength from them.