What is in a name?

March 25, 2008

As I mentioned recently, I’ve had this weird struggle with embracing the whole “endurance athlete” thing. I haven’t exactly figured out why, but it has been slowly wearing away. I guess a pound full of leg hair at the bottom of a bath tub will do that to you.

A few weeks ago while flying down to New York on business, a coworker saw me pick up Bicycling Magazine at the airport book store. Despite riding to work for almost a month straight last summer when I busted up my car, she didn’t know I rode and asked me if I was a cyclist, but that is a different story all together.

By no means am I a “cyclist” and I felt like I should have corrected her and told her that I was a “triathlete.” But for some reason I didn’t even want to bother. It isn’t like I’m ashamed of being a triathlete, I’m actually really proud of it and it has ridiculously happy that it has become such a big part of my life over the last two and a half years. Maybe I was just tired of explaining that just because I’m a triathlete doesn’t mean that I’ve done an Ironman, or what the order of events are, or how long each distance is.

One of the most important things that I learned at the training seminar I went to a few weeks ago was that no matter how much I swim, I’m not a swimmer;

No matter how much I bike, I’m not a cyclist;

No matter how much I run, I’m not a runner.

Being faster at any one of these sports individually ultimately doesn’t matter to me. It is the end, all I want is to cross that finish line with less time on the clock after doing them all back-to-back (or at least with the same time and less pain).

So after 1900 meters in the pool before work, and 4 miles on the treadmill tonight I decided it was over. I’m no longer a swimmer, or a cyclist, or a runner, or a gym rat, or an all around fitness buff.

I realize I may be a little late with this, and it is almost an awkward argument to have with myself almost two years into this journey, but I’m done with just being “a guy who has done a few triathlons” and need to start owning up to my “triathlete” title.


I feel like I need to go bang a gong or pop open a new box of Clif Shots. Oh well. I’ll just do a swan dive into bed and slide around under the sheets with my new slippery legs.

G’nite tri-studs.



  1. Congrats! Just being a triathlete is a huge accomplishment greater than most can imagine. Enjoy it! Embrace it!

  2. i think you are the last person to recognize your name change… i always knew you as jamie the triathlete. live it, learn it, love it.

  3. Yeah man YOU ARE A TRIATHLETE! I feel the same way, it’s not about the solo sports it’s about putting all three together.

    You don’t have to do IM to be a triathlete Jamie, you are one. IM is just a distance.

  4. Absolutly your a triathlete. Cyclists, runners and swimmers do not have to train at changing clothes and gear as fast as possible! Thats what makes us different.

  5. good post. fun to catch up on my reading. happy training triathlete.

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