Photo: Aaron HershWhen I tell people that I’m a professional triathlete, the first question I usually get is: “Have you done THE IRONMAN?” Most people mean one of two things—either “an” Ironman, or “the” Ironman, the one they see on NBC from Kona that’s kind of a big deal.
Of course, my answer is no. As much as it may surprise my dozens of loyal readers, I haven’t done an Ironman. And while I’m a proud two-time finisher of the Kona Underpants Run, I’ve been unable to sell the rights to my hairy-chested tighty whities to NBC.
And answering “no” always saddens me a bit. Not because I haven’t done an Ironman, but because something in the question, or the tone or the look I get when I respond “no,” makes me feel like I need to justify why I haven’t done an Ironman.
I feel the need to give an explanation about being “new to the sport,” or “planning to do one next year,” or “but I still tri really hard I swear!” It’s like the many triathlons I’ve done, some over very hard courses at a fairly...