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Social Media and Triathlon

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Today I think I offended someone. Well, I think that happens often honestly. Or I do things that people don’t always agree with…but in the world of social media and triathlon it can be pretty interesting.  You have access to people’s lives portrayed on your screen. It can be a great thing to wake up everyday and see how other people in the triathlon community are doing with their training. Whether this is on Instagram, Facebook, Strava, etc it can be great outlets for motivation, support, and knowledge. But what happens when social media and training can be a little detrimental?

Do you ever find yourself scrolling on social media and think:

-“If only I was as fast as them?”

-“I would PR if only I had as much time as they do to train.”

-“How come they can train and race all they want and I am injured all the time?”

-“Why can’t I fit in training and life as best as they can? Maybe it’s because that person has an easier job, no kids, more supportive family?”

-“I would be so much faster if I looked like them.” AND SO ON.

These thoughts can be toxic. These thoughts of jealously, competitiveness that you keep putting in your mind everyday are not good for you. These people on your screen are REAL people going through their own struggles and I think we all have to remember that.

One of my favorite triathletes: Jan Frodeno said,

“Sport is one of the few honest measures in life where you get to go against your competitors (literally others or YOURSELF) and against the clock.

It can be brutally honest at some times but it can also be brutally wonderful in others. One of the great things of sports is the magnitude of feelings it gives you and the strength of experiences. This applies if you are pro or an amateur.”

I very much agree with Jan in the sense that triathlon or any other sport of the manner is gut wrenching when you experience failure and amazing when you succeed. I believe that so much of sport transfers to every day life, hence, why I do it. I hope from the little you know of me on here or on my social media you get the sense that although I do love a good competition, the competition is mainly with myself.  My parents instilled in me from a very young age that no matter what I do, what field I go into, what hobby I decide to do someone is always going to be worse and better than me at it.

Point blank.  What matters is you improve on yourself and you lift up others.

I am not a pro triathlete. I am not ONLY a triathlete. Doing triathlons is not my job. My real job isn’t even what defines me. I make time to train for triathlon but it is not the end all be all. My life is not perfect although I try to post the most positives aspects of my life. Triathlon is meant to be fun but not all the time because life is fun…but not all the time.

So with that, I want to encourage people to be honest with themselves whether it is in sport, life, whatever. (If you aren’t honest with yourself then how do you improve?), support others to reach their goals, and feed off the strengths of your experiences; good or bad.

I think that is the most beautiful thing about life. It isn’t all happiness, PR’s, perfect races and splits. It’s the things that happen out of your control like a mechanical error on the bike when you race your first Ironman, or a bike crash that leaves you with pain for weeks, or those DNF’s that just leave you doubting everything about yourself, or an injury that keeps holding you back for months to a year and you start to lose hope…life isn’t all rainbows and positive instagram pictures staged to look like you are having an amazing time. It is so much more. So I encourage you to reach out to that person you know in real life or the person you see all the time on your screen and just offer your support, because life isn’t easy and nor is triathlons.

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