Rise Of The Ironmum
Ask any mother with young kids, a job, a household to run and people to keep alive, what the toughest job in the world is, and you’ll get a mass of middle-aged women screaming “Mum!” (much like arsehole children when you’ve JUST sat down on the loo). There’s no doubt that this epic, marathon-like, never ending occupation is tough at times, so why the hell would anyone decide to add to the chaos, the stress and the exhaustion, by deciding to train for triathlon??
It might interest you to know that the largest age group in competitive triathlons, worldwide, is 30-49. Or maybe not. Women our age are focused; determined and understand commitment to get a job done. We are at the age where we know it’s all up to us; if we want to achieve what others don’t, we need to do what others won’t. There’s something about the challenge and the commitment, as well as the comradery and the achievement, of competing in triathlon after becoming a mum.
It’s this idea that just because we are a Mum, we have not lost ourselves. That even though those little bastards unwillingly make us feel like shit as we set out to show a good example and do something, anything, for ourselves; we do it anyway to show them that time spent on yourself is time well spent. That they can do amazing things too, that just because you are getting older, does not mean you get weaker or become less prominent in the world.
Its’s the competition but lack of comparison. When you compete by yourself, for yourself, it’s all about you. You beat your own times and run your own race. There is enough comparison amongst women in the world, competing in triathlon gives us a break from all that.
It’s the feeling of belonging to something other than a family that you built. Its people valuing you for your individuality, not because you feed them or wipe their arse (don’t try and wipe people’s butts at your tri club or a race event - #awkward!). It’s support on race day and all the days in between. It’s a pat on the back or a kick up the arse, without the nasty underlying tone of jealousy or resentment.
It’s just women, being nice to each other and understanding the challenges that this sport we choose to train for is a bitch to balance with life, but we do it anyway. Because those that don’t do it, rarely understand it.
It’s proving age is just a number, showing that women, no matter what age or size, are capable of racing the races the men do. Hell, we do better! We have higher pain thresholds, better ability for endurance activities and are historically a shitload more stubborn than our male counterparts. They just (typically) have longer legs 😊.
It’s something about that finish-line feeling for those pushing 40. Whether it be because we’ve helped all those we love around us kick their goals and want to smash some of our own or because years of stereotypical bullshit has us standing up for our foremothers and breaking down barriers for our daughters. It’s being awesome, at any age, size or life stage.
Why do you tri??
Me? I just like the medals.