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Day 60 – Banned for Life

116 days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

There’s a Facebook group out there that seems to not want me.

Before you label me a whiner or a complainer, let me say up front that I’m not bitter about it. I’m actually OK with it. And to prove that I’m OK with it, it’s been two years since I was banned from it and I haven’t given it much thought until now.

I was listening to a Triathlon Taren podcast. By the way, those podcasts are really quite good. I just love a good Canadian accent and he’s got a great one. Seriously. English Canadian. Not French Canadian (which is also nice on the ears).

Anyway, Taren was saying how there was a seemingly, large number of people in a certain Facebook group that were doubting his methods and throwing bad energy his direction. I don’t know if he and I are talking about the same group but that got me thinking about the culture of our sport. Actually, it got me thinking about a specific culture within our sport: The YADIAWAMWITB culture. That’s pronounced yadi-a-WAM-wit-bee and it sounds like a South American tribe that lives deep in the Amazon.

I live by acronyms and this one is great. It stands for

You Are Doing It All Wrong And My Way Is The Best

Nowhere is that attitude more prevalent than on social media. In fact, one of the podcasts I subscribe to has an episode with “You’re Doing it ALL WRONG!” in the episode title. OK. Tell me I’m doing it wrong.

That’s fine, but I don’t understand where that attitude comes from. How do you know I’m doing it all wrong? Maybe it was my intention to finish last in the one mile fun run.

Yes. I’ve had people tell me I’m doing something wrong and it has helped me greatly. However, that sage advice came from people who knew me well and knew what I was trying to do. I’m not saying anyone should stop telling other people that they are wrong. I’m just observing an interesting behavior which I believe is a result of our general lack of understanding of fitness and physiological adaptation.

It’s not that we are ignorant. It’s that there are many questions about how best to train and race that have not been answered by scientific investigation. Every year we learn more, but without answers based on reason we settle on our own methods. This is the art of training. Yet in that art, there’s self doubt because the results of our art are measured objectively (race times, placings, etc) and the relationship between our methods and the objective measures is not well understood. Self doubt makes it easy for marketers to convince you that you are doing it all wrong so they can sell you a gel, or compression boots or a transition mat. “Buy their product and you’ll be doing it all right. ”

Self doubt may also be a reason to tell people they are doing it all wrong. I’m no psychologist, but it seems that if you are unsure of something you might try to recruit others to your way of thinking. Right?

Not everyone is like that, of course, but it makes sense for some people I know.

They can tell me I’m right or they can tell me I’m wrong. Either way it doesn’t matter because I’m probably not buying their products and I’m not looking for a solution to a problem I don’t have.

Enough of my B.S. for one day. Until tomorrow…

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