Thursday, September 30, 2010

The most important issue of our time...

When you complete an Ironman, do you get a tatoo or not? If you were to google this question, you would find endless blog posts, forum comments and articles about this. Who DESERVES to get the tattoo? Anyone who does a triathlon? Must you compete in Kona at the World Championships? Must you finish under a certain amount of time? What about getting the "M dot" - the official logo of the Ironman Franchise - which is a business.... There is much discussion about putting a business logo on your body forever.

The amount of passion with which people argue this point is unbelievable. What is worse is the arrogance that I find in many of these posts. There is a group that believes that someone like me - a 16 hour and 26 minute finisher DOES NOT deserve to wear the tattoo. Not only do they think I don't deserve it, they think that it is pathetic that I would flaunt my "mediocrity". They think that my accomplishment is worthless.

I read one blog post that talked about the stickers that people put on their car - 26.2 for marathons - and he said "show me a car with a 26.2 sticker and I'll show you person who runs more than a 3:30 marathon". Guess what dick...that's most of us. The reason why there are so many great marathons out there with so much support, great courses and "swag" is because the rest of us are paying YOUR way. Then he went on to say that anyone can run a 6 hour marathon.

This kind of attitude makes me so mad, I can't stand it. I hear it in triathlon stores, I hear it in running stores, I read it in magazines and online.

Maybe it makes these people to feel more special if they think that my accomplishment isn't as great as theirs. I will admit, I have no idea what it would be like to run a 3:30 marathon, I have no idea what it would be like to finish an Ironman in 12 hours. No idea. But I can all say for sure that these folks have NO IDEA what it took for me to get to the start line, much less the finish line. What does it matter to anyone if I get a tattoo or put a sticker on my it somehow lessens their accomplishment.

When will people realize that you don't have to put someone else down to raise yourself up. While I believe that anyone could train for an Ironman....most people won't. "Can" and "Do" are two different things.

Oh and here's another tip...chances are, you were born with the ability to run faster than me. Your 3:30 marathon time is my 5:00 marathon time. I put in the time, I train. Could I go faster, probably...THAT Much faster...probably not. So how about you just say "good job" as you blow past me. If that is too tough, than don't say anything. I've heard enough out of you already.

And finally. I am going to get an Ironman tattoo and I am going to wear my Ironman finisher's shirt, with my Ironman jacket and my Ironman visor while I drive in my car with my Ironman license plate frame and my 140.6 sticker and there will be a picture of me doing Ironman in every room of my house, on every page of my facebook and as my profile picture on my blog.

When I finished, they said the same thing to me that they said to you "You are an Ironman". Sorry if that pisses you off. It thrills me.


Cindy M said...

Way to go... Each of us has goals and aspirations that fit in our lives. Phooey on anyone rains on our parades...

I will be doing my third Marathon in June of 2011 - The Vancouver one :) - and I will probably do it in 6.5 to 7 hours, but I don't feel like I will put out any less effort than someone that does it in sub 3:30 (or whatever faster time)... Finishing a marathon, a triathlon, an ironman is an accomplishment.

Way to go... However you want to signify that you met your goal - more power to you! :)

Keith said...

Hi, got here from Leana's blog. I am totally with you. I'm a back of the pack kind of guy this year, but I don't see a time engraved on my finisher's medallion or on the finisher swag.

I am totally proud of my time (15:21 if you were wondering). Sure, other people can go faster. So what? They aren't me, with the old body that was recently a pudge. The rule of the game is to cross the line before cut off. The people that put people down by saying "glow stick 'athletes' ", just make me grind my teeth. Want to put the glow stick somewhere the sun don't shine.

I've pretty well decided not to get a tattoo, but that's just a personal preference. And in any case it wouldn't be the M dot.

Gonna have to come back and read more posts. Heading out for a bike at the moment.

Kris said...

Tracy.. You ROCK! You are an IRONWoman! No doubt in my mind! See you in a few weeks!

Randy said...

Great post Tracy! I couldn't agree with you more. As for the tattoo I will be getting mine very soon. It only took 2 years to commit to it and you know I am already tattoo'd.
We should get DOug, Trevor you and I and have a m-dot tat get together!

Tina said...

Love it! I will never compete in an Ironman because it's not something I aspire to or really get at all (kind of like your thoughts about becoming a mom) but I am in complete awe of you and think the tattoo idea totally rocks! ;)

C said...

Hey Tracy, always good to "hear" your voice.

Whatever comes out when anyone opens their mouth, says more about them than the subject of discussion. Knowing that... has enabled me to understand many a curious comment and be thankful for the people I choose to call friends and share conversations with.

Both you and Trevor have demonstrated your mettle on many occasion and you live with the dignity of the actions that make your reality.

Kristine and I are proud to have you both as friends. We'd break bread with you anytime.

ibounce said...

You are an IronWoman and it thrills me to hear it and say it! I agree it doesn't matter how you got there all that matters is you got there. No one knows what it took for you to get there and they don't need to know. The important part is you set a goal and accomplished it. Way to go, I admire you and love to hear about all you accomplishments, big and small. Keep 'em coming, they are motivating stories.

Much love

alaina said...

Yeah! Awesome post. LOVE it, LOVE you!

Leana said...

I was astounded by the number of people asking me what my time was and wanting to know how I placed at IMC. What does it matter? And saying that my accomplishment is any less because I was slower is a load of hooey. The longer you are out there the tougher it is as so many of the spectators have gone home, the DJ on Lakeshore has packed up.

I hope you share a picture of your tattoo with us! I won't be getting one, but that is pretty well because I'm not a tattoo kind of person. I just plan on wearing the finisher swag all the time!