Monday, December 27, 2010

Parent Triathlete: Recommended? Possible? Reasonable?

I've recently read quite a few posts on forums like Beginner Triathlete ( about whether Parents (specifically those with young children) should be be triathletes.  I won't bore you with a bunch of reasons other than yes, it is possible, and I recommend it.

Now the hard part - what are reasonable expectations for parent triathletes?

First, I don't think we are necessarily a reasonable bunch of people.  Okay, I don't think I'm that reasonable when it comes to triathlon.

1.  I have a really expensive third bike (Felt B2) that is really light and fast and amazing.  At some point, I thought it was reasonable for me to own a bike like this even though I'm not light, fast, or amazing.
2.  I now have a Aero Helmet - My wife told my girls it looks like a rain drop.  I was ready to describe it as a sperm hat but then my wife gave me "that look".  It would not be reasonable to try to explain sperm to a 2 and 3 year old.
3.  I think that if I trained 2 more hours per week, I could Kona Qualify.  Nothing in my racing history would support this and I have never completed an IM but this doesn't stop me from making plans during my long bikes and runs.
4.  I would like to be sponsored so I could get a custom jersey and free stuff.  I think it is entirely reasonable that a company would want to invest in me.

So now that I've proven that I am not totally reasonable.  I do think that there are some reasonable expectations that a parent triathlete can have.

1.  People will think you are crazy.
2.  You will have to give up some family time and some training time.
3.  Your race results could have been better if you had somehow been able to be a part of the Brotherhood of Saint Triathlon which devoted their lives without distraction to triathlon.
4.  You will feel utter delight the first time you hear your kid tell another person about how they are going to race their next "kids spash and dash" triathlon.
5.  People will think you are crazy.

What do you think are reasonable expectations for a parent triathlete?

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