Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Someone Like Me

I was having coffee by chance with someone who I would call a dear friend the other day.  I say by chance because he was on his way out of Starbucks as I was on my way in and he sat down for a chat before he headed out.

I think he was giving me a compliment, but that part of me that can't seem to accept any form of praise has rewritten the intent most of me believes he had.  Basically he said he was proud of me, proud of what I had done at Rocket Man.  We talked about the training programs available through Fleet Feet, namely the Tri 201 program.  He said (and this almost a direct quote), "I love these programs because it allows someone like you to complete an Olympic distance triathlon."

It's the "someone like you" my Negative Nelly is having a field day with.  If I had been more like Daisy I would have said, "what do you mean 'someone like me'?"  But I'm not. 

My initial reaction was to chose to take it well.  He meant someone like your average person off the street.  I'm not a life-long athlete.  I'm not a spin class teacher.  I wasn't an athlete in high school, or college, and let's face it, I don't think I'm the average age of a first time Olympic distancer.  (Although, if you remember, the first and second place overall female winners were 41...but they have probably been athletes their whole lives, at least that's what I'm telling myself!)

But maybe he meant someone who has very little initiative to work out on my own.  I was re-reading Jane's posts about her husband's first Iron Man today.  It's funny because I remember reading these posts last year having no idea what it meant to be a triathlete and having no concept of the amount of training that goes into becoming an Ironman.  Granted, Jason is no stranger to hard work.  He's been an athlete his "whole life".  But he didn't own a bike, from what I understand he didn't swim at all...and he was coming off a running injury.  He had 316 days.  Someone like me needs a group.  Someone like me needs more direction than someone like me can get off the internet.  The training groups provide those things.

Maybe he really meant someone who's old, fat and out of shape.  Now...let me say, I know I'm not fat by a lot of people's standards.  I don't want hate mail here.  I'm not sitting in judgement...I'm just saying maybe he was.  Different people have different standards of what "fat" means.  It's no secret I have issues when it comes to my body so it's natural that I would (should I have said "could") take what he said in that way.  I don't think he really meant "old" because he's older than I am.  I'm fairly certain he did mean "out of shape"...he's about to be an Ironman...his recovery rides are at speeds faster than what I reach when I'm going down hill with a tail wind.  The man works out like eight hours a day, on his rest days.

I suppose it's even possible he meant someone who is not dedicated and unwilling to devote all my time to the betterment of my abilities.  I am not a member of a gym and I'm not about to pay $7-$10 in order to go to a class every week even if it would guarantee to cut my bike time in half.  I love this sport...or is it "these sports"?...but I just don't have all the extra money in the world to spend on my hobby.  I have actually considered getting a job to pay for my indulgences, however I'm afraid rejoining the workforce might also mean I wouldn't have time to work out.  So for the time being I have to be very careful of the money I spend on equipment and races and training groups.  I also have to be very careful of the time I spend away from home lest I lose my primary job of housewife!!  (My husband does expect to have clean clothes and dinner on most days of the week, even if I've trained for several hours...and I truly enjoy his company more than I enjoy training in the evenings.

I don't know...I wonder how other people see me and what they think.  Anyone who knew me in my younger years knows what a change I've been through.  It's unthinkable "someone like me" would be as active as I am now.  Sure, there's unbelievable room for improvement, however it's a continuum.  I'm nowhere close to where I was, and nowhere close to where I could be.  But where do I fall on that spectrum?  How do other people see "someone like me"? 

I think "someone like me" realizes the truth is it depends on "their" perspective.   In the eyes of a life-long athlete I'm closer to the couch than I am in the eyes of the couch dweller.  Some of my friends believe I work out all the time, whereas some of them see how much better I could be if I would just devote some time to training.  How "they" see "someone like me" says more about "them" than is does about "someone like me."

Thanks for stopping in...come again soon!! :D


  1. DON'T YOU DARE talk about my girl like this. You are wonderful, not fat, and very active. I know you would love to be first, but just crossing the finishing line is a big feat. I have known you all your life and I think you are doing just GREAT.

  2. This is why I try to be SO careful to weigh my words before I even talk at all. I really love words, but I've been lately understand more about how wrong they can come out.. or what they could insinuate about someone. I never knew you in your "younger years," but from what I can see, you're a most lean and beautiful person, agile and now very much stronger than when you began strength/core/tri training earlier this summer! Your friend may have some history-repeating-itself issues with things like saying things directly without thinking about them. I know some people like that. They are A-type personalities, and they can't seem to understand the gravity of how important it is to screen their mouths... or at least be humble. He may not have meant it the way you perceived it, but I completely understand why your Negative Nelly has made an appearance.

  3. Like I said the last time I saw you, you look amazing! I hope that neither you, Dwayne, or Leigh (my wife) take that the wrong way.

    And, this is what he meant...

  4. I am surprised you are suggesting that you aren't devoted! I met you Spring 2010 and you were run/walking the 10k. Now you're a lean mean triathlete! That took devotion to training! Take a moment and bask in your glow. Be proud! You are amazing as an athlete, friend, mom and I am sure Dwayne would agree... wife!


Don't hold back, tell it like it is....