My name is Matt and I am a triathlete.....
This would be an accurate introduction but last night a word was in my description which flumoxed me a litte so it was off down enlightenment lane - or Wikipedia as some call it...
Falsehood, Deception, Mimicry.....none of which were particually endearing.... false, fraudulent....oh, yes, it gets worse....The question is however, was that the intent??? Am I pretending to be something I am not?
I suppose it comes down to context - "A Pseudo-Elite triathlete". By definition, do I class myself as an Elite triathlete? I race Elite category races, start in Elite waves and have beaten 'Pro' and other 'Elites' at some events so surely this makes me an Elite?
Is it perhaps the fact that I am not a full time athlete that determines whether I am an Elite or not - is this an internal goal or justification for a label such as 'Elite. I suppose it is in the eye of the beholder.
Since I have started racing 'Elite' I have become more and more aware of the 'Full Time Athlete' and the 'Part Time Elite' and the marked diferences between each. However I still class the part timers as Elite athletes - I suppose it's the impression that they give, the desire and the commitment, arguably more so than those that are training racing and recovering on a full time basis and not juggling jobs, family and related commitments - it is these athletes that have to have an uber-'professional' attitude to stay where they are.
Should I look for qualification from my peers, will this help help me feel more like an Elite? will my family take me more seriously? perhaps I should base my status on Facebook (Matt is typing a long justification blog about being Elite ...please tick like) or use a piece of paper issued by the BTF.
The term Pro also suggests being a paid athlete - this isnt my form of income and I would need to be doing extremely well to make any money from racing pro especially when traveling over the globe to race is not cheap, I would like to break even (oh ...to break even!). I am not paid by sponsors, I do not have any endorsements and there are some races in which 'amateur' athletes can also win money - is there any diference between them and me because I have a letter stating I can race in the pro division? Perhaps the label pro is misleading in itself....perhaps Elite is better.
From the begining of this article (rant) blog (discussion)it has caused me to think about how I could, should or would introduce myself. I do have a piece of paper saying I can race pro and I have raced and will look to continue racing elite.
At the end of the day though,
My name is Matt and I am a triathlete
- As an ex-National League Basketball player I took up triathlon as a development from cross training. I won my first Sprint distance race and placed second in my first Olympic distance. Since then I have raced the UK Elite Superseries coming 24th in the National Elite Champs, raced Vegas 70.3 WChamps and helped Paratriathlete Iain Dawson to World, European and National Titles. In 2011 I obtained Pro authorisation from the BTF and am pushing my development by stepping up to top level competition in 2012. Aside from this I am a L1 Swim and Tri coach and Professional Lloyds Broker.