When The Bullshit Dries Up

Posted on July 22, 2017. Filed under: first time ironman, ironman, ironman tips, new ironman tips, Uncategorized |

I read a blog this morning. It was a Lakesman race report, a race I don’t know, by an author I don’t know. But I loved it.

I have largely withdrawn from triathlon social media because it just got, well, so tiresome. Whether it was “smashing” training sessions illustrated by a random picture of a Garmin screen without any context whatsoever, or phantasmical stories of magical products that made ambassadors as fast as the wind, there was something about the overwhelming whiff of bullshit that turned me off.

Whether a humble brag or a twank, there is something about the onanism of a triathlon training update on social media that makes me want to wash in dettol and boiling water.

On the other hand, however, I love race reports. Why? Because.

Because that is when the bullshit dries up. When you are called to account. Whether aiming for a podium or simply to finish within cut-off, there is no hiding place on the day. Stripped bare, with or without the Emperor’s new tri-clothes.

In my experience there are three kinds of race reports, particularly in long distance triathlon – the perfect race race report, the excuse based race report, and the discovery race report.

I love the first kind. Much in the same way I loved to read The Right Stuff or Trainspotting. I’ll never be strapped into a space rocket for launch or shoot up heroin, but at an intellectual level I am fascinated by a different way of life. The absolute epitome of the genre is Iron War, I’ll never overtake Dave Scott on Palani Hill but, boy, can I appreciate that race.

The second type amuse me. Those that take no responsibility for the outcome of their race – “a kraken emerged from the water and pulled me under just as I was about to be first out of the swim”. I maintain a list of the best excuses for a shit race, I also note those that learn nothing from the experience for future entertainment.

But the third type. Oh, the third type. They make the hairs stand on my arms. Bring a tear to my eye. An overwhelming sense of camaraderie with an author that I have never met and will never know.

Like the blog I read this morning they are visceral. An overwhelming sense of achievement but a recognition of the hardships on the journey from aspiration to accomplishment. The self confidence that comes from looking over the edge, accepting your own failings and saying “hell yeah, I got this”.

Ironman gouges a deep, raw tract in the soul and the best blogs are a humble re-telling of the brutality of those 140.6 miles. No gloss. No veneer. No excuses. Just straight-talk of a long day out; the campfire tale behind the thousand yard stare.

A story of a life-changing event. Experiences that will be carried forward in life – sacrifice, suffering, pain, overcoming, acceptance, humility, confidence.

Straight talk captivates me. Sucks me in. Moves me. Inspires me.

I’m glad I read that blog this morning. It reminded me why I love long distance races. It’s what happens when the bullshit dries up.

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5 Responses to “When The Bullshit Dries Up”

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https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsSuperb summation young man!

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Thank you sir. Hope you are very well!

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Nice bit of writing mate.

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Cheers Andy. Hope you are doing well buddy!

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All good thanks mate šŸ™‚

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