Horses, punk and triathlon.

Before you begin – background reading:

If you can’t be bothered – here is the jist:
“In order to do triathlon, it helps to have a job that pays well but is rather shallow in the social contribution department. This provides both the time and the funds to be a triathlete with the attendant moral vacuum and narcissism.”

The idea is : all triathletes are total ‘douches’ with either too much money or no common sense. And they wear silly outfits. Fair enough – there is some evidence for this. I particularly enjoyed:

There is a fair amount of evidence to support the argument that triathlon is a slightly selfish hobby which sucks funds from a bank account faster than a cocaine habit. However- this does not automatically give way to the argument that all triathletes are both minted and morally shrivelled.

Triathlon is not about ‘being more heroic and super human’ than the next person, it is about being taking on a challenge. For me, so far, it has been about proving to myself I can achieve more than I ever thought I could. And there is no question that that has given me confidence I never thought I’d possess.

I’ve always had a lot of energy and loved to be active. And I’ve always liked to be a bit – shall we say – different. When I was young I spent my days at the stable, because I liked the be outside and I enjoyed being the girl with mud on her face and sh*t under her fingernails. When I was a teenager I thought I was a punk, and I thrashed myself in every mosh pit I could find with all the youthful anger and rebellion that comes with that. I suppose I liked being the only girl there too.

Now I get to expel all that pent up energy on a bike, running through a field, or swishing up and down a swimming pool. And I like what that gives me. Without going into intricate self analysis (love to hate it, we all do, but I try to avoid the indulgence) – horses, punk and triathlon have all been a statement of freedom and distinction for me.

I don’t get paid a huge amount. But I love my sport and all that it gives me, and yes, I probably spend the majority of my (not so huge) income on that.

I don’t want to dwell on this too long, partly because so far this rather poor specimen of writing has had far too much attention given it. Also, I rather enjoy poking fun at my own breed of athletes and our ability to spend every free hour training, documenting training or talking about training and I find it pretty funny how we like to contribute to the enormous market of spandex and silly-suits. I’ll admit the sport is full of idiots and take with it the judgment on myself.

However – I will also say that for so many people out there, Triathlon gives them a chance to find a challenge, or break a barrier they never would have dreamed they could. Mock all you want, I’ll probably join in, but no one can take that away.

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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