A Treatise on the Fat Slow Triathlete

For the past month or so that tag line has been at the bottom of almost every post. The question, though, is what does the tag of “Fat Slow Triathlete” actually mean?

As most of you readers know, I was not always Fat or Slow, and until 2011 I was not even a Triathlete. I grew up in a small town in Florida (raise your hands if you know of the town DeLand). I was thin my whole childhood. I played football, and soccer, and ran track in junior high and high school, and joined the Navy in 1981 and stayed there until 1991. I remained in pretty good shape until 1988 or so, when my weight started to go up. It was not bad at first, a few pounds here or there, but I just chalked it up to age (the ripe old age of 25). I was still active, I could still run pretty well, so I kept going forward.

After the leaving the Navy is when it started to become a problem. What had once been a few pound gain started becoming 10 and 20 pound gains. It turned out that I had thyroid cancer, which took the entire gland from me, and kept packing the pounds on me until I reached the apex of 303 pounds in 2010. Eventually I found a doctor that located the hormonal issues that was causing me to not shed the weight as quickly as I should, and since I have competed in and completed marathons, half ironman races, and numerous triathlon sprints.

When I started training I decided to start a blog to keep me in check, allow me to share my thoughts on the issues I was having, and just give me an outlet to express my fears. I was hoping that by doing this, even though it opened me up a bit more than I was used to, that it could help others in the same boat I was in. Since starting in 2010, the blog has grown more than I thought it would, and it always makes me happy when I get a message from a reader stating that something I wrote about helped them, or expressed a fear that they were having too.

What I also found out was that there are MANY Fat Slow Triathletes out there. But I need to clarify that term. The title Fat Slow Triathlete is not a description of the person writing the blog or reading the blog. It goes deeper than that. A Fat Slow Triathlete is not, by definition, Fat, Slow, or even a Triathlete. It is an attitude. A way of thinking that doesn’t allow for obstacles to get in the way of the things you want to achieve. If you’re “fat” … so what? “Slow”? ….so what. It’s a way of saying, yes I am Fat (or obese, or overly tall, or old, or young), and I am slow (or injured, or tired) but I can get off the couch and train, and I can compete in and complete any race I want to. It becomes a way of life.

So the title of the blog is not meant as a self deprecating statement. It’s a pronouncement that we can overcome any obstacle put in front of us and cross that finish line. We may not finish first, and we might finish last, but we WILL finish. We hold our head’s up high and know that we overcame. Our sport doesn’t have “losers”. Everyone that toes the line and crosses the finish is called a Triathlete, or a Marathoner, whether their time is 3 hours or 9 hours. We can exclaim with pride that we ARE FAT SLOW TRIATHLETES … and we WILL be reckoned with!

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