In June, one of my colleagues learned that I was going to be participating in my first triathlon. When most people discovered this piece of information they had reactions like “you’re crazy” (yup) ,”wow, you’re a beast!” (cool, thanks, I’ll take it), “you sure like to start big” (yeah, notorious overachiever, right here) and “do you think you’re going to win?” (oh helllsssss no). But not this colleague, his reaction was certainly unique and it stuck with me. He said to me “I didn’t know you were like that.” I very quickly responded “I didn’t either. It came as quite a surprise to me.” and then as I walked away I thought: what the hell does that even mean!?

LIKE “WHAT”!? Is there some sort of strange stereotype of triathletes that I’ve missed? I feel like it’s some strange alternate universe where I’ve just “come out” as being something taboo. What the heck am I “like” that this person didn’t expect?

I feel like there are a few options:

  1. Athletic: Yeah, ok. I can give him this one. I’m a dancer, and and actor and someone who considers myself creative and active but I never really called myself “athletic.” I’m sure it could apply to me because athleticism is definitely a part of dance (otherwise there’d be a lot of dancers passed out mid choreography) and I had been running for a few years but it’s not a word I would have used to describe myself. To me, athletes are these mystical beings with skills far superior to mine and who are involved in sports. Yeah yeah, I know… I count but it’s still not the word I would have chosen so he gets that one.

Ok, maybe that’s it! I don’t know what else he could have meant! Strong? Active? Competitive? Brave? Dedicated? I have no idea. If anyone else figures it out…let me know. Otherwise, it turns out, I’m “like that” and that’s just the way it is.

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