Why Do YOU Do Triathlon?

A few years ago, Ben Greenfield asked an interesting question of all of us crazy 3-sport idiots. It was a seemingly simple question, but the more I think about the question, the more annoying complicated it becomes. The question is this: WHY do you do triathlons?

Simple at first, but then maybe a bit more complicated as we try to answer Ben’s challenging follow-up…essentially “I don’t want the bulls**t logical answers like ‘I want to stay healthy’ or ‘it’s fun’ – I want you to dig DEEPER”. Deeper? Is there a deeper?

Ben breaks it down into the rational vs. the irrational, and gives a great example here: A rational answer is “my clothes fit better”, but ask WHY do you want your clothes to fit better? Maybe because you don’t like the way other people see you now. This comes back to a self-esteem issue, or maybe you just want to be able to get a better-looking girlfriend… 🙂 We get back to what Ben calls “irrational” answers for pursuing triathlon, but I think he just means “real”.

So take a look at Ben’s article by clicking here: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2009/05/why/#idc-cover

…and then you can read my shameless but real reasons here:

  1. it took me a while to figure this out, but it’s the fear of dying at an early age. My family has a history of high cholesterol and a lot of other ailments, and I want to live a happy, healthy life without all that crap
  2. triathlons are like Type A conventions – nowhere else on earth is there a larger gathering of motivated and intense people. There are no victims in triathlon
  3. the challenge teaches me how to beat my limits into submission. i used to think a 5:30 half ironman was out of reach, and then i trained my ass off and hit 5:17. triathlon gives me confidence
  4. i love looking good naked. Triathlon is the fix for that (in my ever so humble opinion 🙂 ). Though i’ve learned the hard way that a beard can really ruin that…
  5. saying “i’m a triathlete” is fun, and crossing the finish line rocks my world
  6. there is the hope for constant improvement, and there is nobody that can hold me back from doing more and doing it harder and faster but ME. Nobody says “slow down” in triathlon unless it’s intended to make you suffer for a longer period of time
  7. it’s just not possible to be bored of triathlon. I’ll never beat Macca’s 2010 win in Kona, but being an age grouper, Kona is still possible and a better AG finish in reach
  8. the mandatory alone time makes me a stronger person
  9. the prospect of living the last 20 years of my life in a prison of my own body is TERRIFYING – i want to be active and healthy when I’m older, and this is the best sport to keep that a real possibility
  10. the bikes are f**king awesome

Now go back to Ben’s article (here), and read all the real reasons for doing triathlon that other people have posted there. If you’ve ever wanted to see other triathletes from the inside-out, Ben definitely seems to have drawn it out here.

What are your real reasons for doing triathlon? Let us know by posting in the comments.


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