I had just finished a swim at the quarry so I was in my club tri-shorts. They have graffiti all over them and a big skull on the thigh. I had wet hair so I grabbed the only thing in my gear bag, a black beanie. I wasn't even paying attention to my shirt...it was dry and didn't smell bad...the only 2 criteria that mattered.
There I was standing in line at Aldi with 2 loaves of bread and some hamburger patties hoping that I didn't see anyone I knew.
"Are you an athlete?"
I looked up into the face of the slightly strange looking woman in front of me, surprised to see her staring directly into my eyes.
"Are you an athlete?" she asked again.
"Um no...I'm just training for a race" I answered.
"Aren't you an Ironman?" she responded, pointing to my shirt.
I looked down. It was my volunteer shirt from last year's Ironman Florida. "Well not yet. I hope to be. My race is in November."
That was it, the extent of the conversation. It was her turn to be rung up and her attention turned to the cashier, and then bagging and boxing her items. I had never seen her before and I haven't seen her since. But her question has stuck with me.
Am I an athlete?
My quick response is no. I've never been an athlete. I've never been good at sports. I played soccer as a kid for many years, but I never was a star. I never scored a goal. I don't think I made any type of significant plays. I swam in High School and then again in college. But while I could swim forever I wasn't fast. I would be the JV swimmer the coach would put in the 500 to give the Varsity girl a break between the 100 Fly and the 500. I did karate in college, but that was a lifetime ago. So no, I wouldn't say I am an athlete.
But then I look at my training calendar and see what I've done in the past year to prepare for IM Florida. In the last 2 1/2 months alone I have put in over 1,200 miles. Is that something a non-athlete does? Probably not.
Then there's this:
I got my bib number last night. For an Ironman race. A freaking IRONMAN!! 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run. Me. ME. ME!!!! Is that something that a non-athlete does?
So crazy eyed, chatty lady at Aldi...yes. Yes I am an athlete. I'm a spandex wearing, quarry-scented athlete in a ridiculous beanie. And in 24 days...I'm gonna be a freakin' IRONMAN!
Only 10 days left to finish my fundraising for the Ironman Foundation through Team IMF. If you'be been putting off making a donation...please click RIGHT HERE and get it off your mental to-do list. Several have told me that they would donate and haven't yet. Don't make me tag you!! ;) THANK YOU!!!!!