Friday, August 14, 2009

What're Ya, Brainless?

Earlier this week, I exchanged e-mails with a former colleague, a confirmed, enthusiastic non-athlete. The exchange ended on a somewhat frosty note when she referenced this summer's three triathlon-related deaths in Wisconsin and hinted, disapprovingly, that maybe it was time for an old fart like me to hang up my spandex.

Ummm, no. I'm horribly sorry for any family standing on the shore watching their loved one enter the water to begin a triathlon swim...and not emerging alive.

But I responded that anybody with a brain accepts triathlon's mental and physical challenges, understanding those challenges as part of a life lived tri-athletically. There's risks in couch-sitting too, though not to hear her tell it.

Maybe my word choice could've been more diplomatic but that's never been my strong suit. I didn't mean to call her brainless. I should've said "Anybody with an ass smaller than.." Never mind. That'd would've just made things worse.

Captious, that's me.


M said...

This stuff makes my head EXPLODE.

Thousands of race, and hundreds of thousands athletes participate in this sport every year and almost nothing ever happens. It blows my mind that people use the rare - more than rare - incidents of death as an excuse to not participate.

Not to mention the fact that it is rarely ever the sport itself that kills these people - more often it was an undiagnosed physiological issue that triathlon had nothing to do with.

I'll tell you what - I'll take the odds that come with the risk of doing this sport anyday over the overweight chain smoker i used to be.

Seems like that former lifestyle would have killed me far sooner than any oly race ever will.

Mark said...

Amen to both of you! Truth be told, percentages indicate that more people die golfing, crossing streets, oh... and say, heart disease from living a sedentary lifestyle and exercising poor eating habits than triathletes will every season.

However, the people that "argue" this are usually veiling their jealousy. It manifests itself as a trite "argument" at best. It is then that I usually try to encourage them to train with me. Sometimes I am actually successful.

Happy Training!