Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Triathlons vs Crossfit

This weekend I got to listen in on a VERY unique conversation. These 2 men were speaking about things I didn't know men spoke about or even noticed. Things as a coach I strive to get my athletes to see. Its one of the things about crossfit that is so appealing, but many forget. The 2 men were in the front seat of the car and me and the wife of one was in the back of the car. These 2 gentlemen had just finished their first triathlon. They were so proud, as were us girls of them. They were being "Chatty Kathys", as would anyone who just finished their first tri. They talked about the difficult part, one claimed the bike, the other claimed the swimming as their difficult events. They talked about equipment and when they leaned on the other one. Then the sentence came out. I'm not sure which one said it but it was spoken, "This sport isn't like crossfit". Having done a few tris myself my first thought was "duh", but one said "its every man for himself". I quickly turned up my listening ears. They talked about how in this tri, other athletes were not really friendly to others. They were excited just to be there, then when they were not the fastest, other athletes would just yell at them to get out of the way, some even used vulgar language to inform them of the unspoken "rules". Interesting. These 2 gentlemen said when a girl crashed and burned, they were informed not to stop and help but to keep going (trust me, these 2 gentlemen would have stopped and stayed until help arrived). They said NO ONE stopped to help the bloody young lady.  They found this most disturbing. Both of these new, USAT licensed, Triathletes are also crossfit athletes. This event reminded them of the "community" found in crossfit. Even if you are last, you will be applauded along the way, as well as at the finish. It doesn't matter what weight is on your bar or if you are even doing RX, you are well aware of the support you have around you. Just finishing a WOD is a big deal, last or not. This support is found in the sport, not in a certain class or just one box. Its in the sport. They were frowned upon for not having the latest and greatest equipment in the tri, but in the box it didn't matter. If you finished last, you still felt like you finished first. This was really moving. As a Coach I do all I can to make sure all my athletes are VERY aware of the faith I have in them to finish, to keep going, to pick up that bare one more time. These 2 athletes confirmed with me and all crossfit coaches, that they emphasis, belief and truth put on "community" does work.

I thank these 2 athletes for not only making me a proud cheerleader on the side, but proud to be a Coach in this crazy, amazing, life changing sport, crossfit.


  1. Serious bummer of a post, but I understand what you're saying. However, I would put forth that the vast majority of tri athletes are supportive of each other. I've spent many hours at the end of these races and have enjoyed supporting those who are slow, overweight, new (and, frankly, I've fallen into this category, myself.)

    But I think you have a point: We in the tri community could do more to be more accessible and embracing of others. I'll definitely try to do a better job of that. Thanks for your post. :)

    Nathan Nelson
    Provo, Utah

  2. This post is seriously pretty harsh to hear because I can tell you that I'm in a TRI team and we always all make sure that we all make it and that we're going to be okay, it is a timed event therefore you can't stop and hang out and take care of the person but you will fer sure make sure they get the right help. In addition I've not always done TRIs I've also been a runner, and I think the runner community is one of the most friendly ones, I'm talking from experience even if they will mess their time up they will stop to give u water a gel or help you out.

    I don't know anything about cross-fit, but I'm glad ya'll are building a good community.

    Ana B
    Houston, Texas