Sometimes when you choose to do what you love, you inadvertently choose to be single as well. I’m sure this holds true for many people; those with a profession that requires them to travel a lot, or takes up so much of their life. Journalists, Doctors, CEO’s have probably had this problem since the beginning of time. But amateur triathletes? It’s just a hobby, right? We have a saying in the triathlon world, “it’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle”. Maybe I didn’t really understand that until I started training for my first Full-Iron Distance race. For those that do one, and love it, it will without a doubt be a love in their life that everyone new will have to contend with.
As many of us know, it is extremely time consuming as far as hobbies go. In addition to the time actually spent training, there’s drive time, gear packing and unpacking, and of course eating and sleeping. But it’s not just about the shortage of time. For anyone that has triathlon as a part of their life, it becomes something that you love, just as you would love a pet. Would anyone that is a huge dog lover really want to be with someone that didn’t really care for dogs? Probably not and no one would blame them.
As a single 30 something living in a major city, and having just finished my second full-iron distance race, I find it is becoming more and more difficult to fit this tri thing into my dating life. Or maybe that should be, fit this dating thing into my tri life. I recently tried an online dating site where I described my hobby, as just that, nothing more. Someone seemingly interesting contacted me and we began talking. He did various trail running events, but more so as the true definition of a hobby. But after two dates, numerous draw drops on his end when I mention anything about my training, and far too many times of biting my tongue so as to not sound too “crazy”, I may have to give up on the non-triathlete single men. Maybe I knew this all along, but given the seemingly small pool of single men in town, I didn’t want to limit myself anymore by automatically eliminating 95% of what I like to call “potentials”.
I’ll be honest, I think my laziness may be partially to blame for this attitude. At the end of a long training session, I don’t want to have to explain to someone why the aero position is better for triathletes, what an LT test is, or heaven forbid share that everyone pees in their wetsuit on the swim, or how much my bike costs. There are certain things that we as triathletes will have to accept, one of those being that the vast majority of the population will never get this lifestyle (and they probably don’t want to).
When you’re in love with triathlon, you want to share that love with someone that understands. If they can’t understand it, how will they ever understand me? So it seems I may have to make the choice to be alone to enjoy doing what I love. I may be single forever, but at least I’ll be living life happily… in my peed in wetsuit, on my way too expensive bike, or my in my running shoes that get more mileage than my car these days.