To anyone who has seen this post (or others like it), never…ever…ever allow the narrow view of another dictate your view of yourself or your goals!!! There are many reasons someone might consider swimming in the “Party Wave”. Perhaps you are an individual working through a deep seeded fear of the water, but you have decided it’s time to face the fear. Perhaps you are not the fastest swimmer in the world and are considerate enough to simply want to get out of the way of the faster swimmers. (Thank you!) Perhaps you just don’t want to deal with people swimming over you, around you, through you and grabbing a handful of your ass without so much as a proper introduction! Make sure you hear this part…it doesn’t matter why you decide to go in the “Party Wave!” If you feel it’s the right thing for you, go for it! What matters is that you are making the attempt to do something amazing!!
To his comment about this clearly being a “failure to prepare”, perhaps it is. Perhaps you were unable to get to the pool or the lake as much as you had hoped due to things like, work, family, LIFE IN GENERAL!!! No one has the right to judge you, they know nothing about the obstacles you may or may not have had in the way of this journey! Perhaps you decided to sleep till noon rather than hitting the pool at 5am (been there, done that), so what?! This is your journey, no one else’s! No one has the right to disregard the work you’ve done! No one can fully appreciate the things you’ve done, the things you’ve sacrificed for this.
I think the thing that upset me the most was the “failure” comments. Deciding to hang back and swim in the back with a wetsuit on, in no way shape or form makes you a “failure”! In fact, nothing about the day makes you a failure! You still have to cover the same swim, bike and run distances as this guy. Regardless of when you happen to start your race. Deciding to do what is right for you and your journey doesn’t make you any less of an Ironman! Your medal will look the exact same as his! And to that point, don’t base your self-worth or self-image on a finish line! Things happen, things go wrong, but it doesn’t take away from what you’re trying to accomplish. I recently told my coach that my DNF at Chattanooga earlier this year, was the best thing that ever happened to me! I never felt bad about it, never regretted stopping, it was what was right for me at that particular moment.
The good news is, people like this gentleman are far and few between in the sport of Triathlon. I’ve been involved in sports my whole life and never have I met a better, more supportive group of people! The fellow Ohio 70.3 participants, I will be there with this coming weekend! To anyone reading this who is training for a Mini, Sprint, Olympic, 70.3, 140.6 or any other distance! Good Luck, be proud of yourself, and above all, have fun!!