Since having children and embarking on my ‘triathlon journey’ I have come across some fellow ‘Tri Mums” that have unfortunately been judged pretty harshly by their friends and family! Sometimes I feel like my ‘non-tri mum’ acquaintances can make some pretty harsh assumptions about us a ‘Mum Athlete’ at times. I have learnt to “shake it off, shake if off ah ha” (thanks Tay Tay) buuuut that doesn’t stop me from wanting to stand up for any Mum who has ever felt judged by anyone for pursuing their sport!
1. Tri Mums prioritise themselves over their children
It saddens me to say, but I myself and other Tri Mums have been accused of ‘prioritising their sport before their children ‘. I can assure my their children come first, always!
What people don’t understand is that just because you spend time training and competing, it doesn’t actually mean your spending less time with your children. More often than not, your actually making sacrifices elsewhere in your life. Most Mum athletes that I know are up in the wee hours of the morning, training in the late hours at night or in the stinking hot heat in the middle of the day. They do this because this is the time when their children are asleep. They aren’t sacrificing time with their children, they are sacrificing sleep!
Sleep is not the only sacrifice they make. Mum triathletes also part with much craved down time in the evenings, which is the time many parents would spend having a glass of wine and watching some TV. These are the sacrifices they make.
2 Tri Mums are highly strung and super competitive
Whilst many Mum triathletes are committed and are love to have a good crack at it out on the field, they are probably the least competitive with other athletes. Being a mum changes you. You see life differently. Others aren’t your competition, they are your fellow athletes and team mates. Yes we love to compete, and yes we are aiming to be the best we can be, but the only result we care about is if we gave it our best shot. whether that puts us in on the podium, in the middle rankings or chasing up the rear, we don’t actually care. What we care about is that we turned up on the day and gave it our all!
3. We can’t bring it like the rest of you can
ah ha girlfriend you think just because I’m a mum I’m going to eat your dust? Think again! As a Mum, every opportunity we have to train is golden. So you can be assured that we give our all in each training session. So despite what you may think, just because we have little people in our lives, it does not mean we can’t bring our A game on race day.
4. She had an easy baby, so it was easy for her
Say whhaaat? Easy baby? hahah your kidding me right. Okay, they may exist for some, but not for the Tri Mums I know! Broken sleep, night after night for goodness knows how long can take its toll. So please don’t tell us that we had an easy baby/babies – we might just explode!
5. Mum Triathletes must have heaps of family to help!
Wrong, again! Whilst I have amazing friends and family who are super supportive, most have families of their own or live far away. Most of the mum athletes I know have just their husbands to help. Some of them don’t even have that. Often they have hubbies that work away and limited family to support. Tri Mums are just dedicated, creative and find ways to work around their barriers.
6. Mum Triathletes are Super Mums
Personally I think all Mums have super powers! We are all fabulous and amazing. However the term ‘Super Mum’ gets thrown around a bit… Don’t assume we don’t have days where we feel like we are losing our shit and feel so lost and don’t know how to cope. I think all Mums have those days. Tri Mums included!
7. Tri Mums have a lot of money
Hahahahah! Just because it SEEMS like we spend ALL of the money on ALL of the races, we don’t! Or maybe we do? But we definitely don’t have a lot of money. We just choose to spend it on bikes and running shoes. We sacrifice the extensive wardrobe and beautiful home wares that we could of had if we just didn’t buy that bike!
8. Mum Triathletes only eat RAW PALEO and whatever other fancy words for food you can think of
Some of us might. Not all of us though. It’s called balance. We NEED chocolate and wine just like the rest of you!
9. They have so much time because they don’t work
We wish! How do you think we sponsor this extremely expensive sport? Some of us might be lucky enough to get the odd sponsor here and there, but we “work hard for the money!” Even if we don’t go to work, we are still time poor like everybody else!
10. They are insane
No, actually, we are NOT insane. In fact, this is the one thing that keeps us sane! Going for that run, swim or ride is exactly what we need to reboot, recharge and keep us going. If we didn’t Tri, we would most probably be struggling a whole lot more in this world of motherhood. This is our coping mechanism!
I hope you have never felt judged for doing what you love! If you would love to connect with other Mums that get you, please head over to our Facebook community where we offer a supportive community for Mums that love to tri, we would love to have you there!
By the way, have you got access to our Resource Library? It is full of actionable tools to help any mum athlete including goals setting workbooks, race day checklists, training programs and more. Check it out!