4 days until my first triathlon. Current weather forecast for the day: Sunny with a high of 18c (64f).
A topic up for debate in the tri community: what makes a person a triathlete? Is it anybody that has ever done a triathlon? Is it somebody that continues to do triathlons? Are only the pros triathletes? Do you have to do an ironman to claim the title? Perhaps only Kona is good enough?
Here's my personal opinion: a Triathlete is somebody that has done at least one triathlon and intends to continue doing triathlons. If you've done one, checked it off your bucket list, and never intend to do another, you are not a triathlete. You are simply someone that has done a triathlon.
Sort of like golfing. A few years ago, I learned how to golf and went golfing a couple times. But, I don't continue to golf, so I am not a golfer. On the other hand, my father in law is a golfer. He golfs every week when the weather is nice enough. He isn't a professional, but he still has the right to use the title of "golfer" in reference to himself.
I also don't think you have to do an ironman to call yourself a triathlete. You only need to do an ironman if you want to call yourself an ironman.
So, by my own guidelines, I could claim the title of "triathlete" Saturday evening after I have completed my first triathlon, but I'm hesitating. Why? I'm not sure I think it counts because it's a pool swim. I kind of feel that I need to experience the open water swim in a race before I claim that title.
What do you think? When will you call yourself a triathlete?
On another note, check out this post at Racing with Babes. It's a post that really strikes a chord with me and I suspect may with a lot of us.