During the many years our husbands have been a part of the triathlon community, we’ve been associated with triathlon clubs and just on our own, so to speak. Belonging to a tri club was especially beneficial when our triathletes were just starting out, for no other reason than they provided so many built-in resources. But, there was so much else to be gained and learned…
Articles have been written on why they are beneficial for the triathlete, but not so much for the triathlete’s family, which face it – HAPPY TRIWIFE HAPPY LIFE. So, we thought we’d provide you with why tri club’s may just be a great solution for bringing everyone in the family on board the triathlon train. (Okay, I am sorry for that one).
Right now, neither of our husbands belong to a tri club, but I think mine is starting to miss the camaraderie and having people to share his pain with during the long rides and runs on the weekends. And, I will admit that I miss having fellow trisupporters to commiserate with and alternatively, celebrate the victories.
For those of you who have never been a part of a tri club family, we thought we’d give you some tips on what you may be missing and why they just may be the perfect choice for both the triathlete AND the family.
To Tri Club Or Not: Can It Make For A Happy Family Life?
They’ll have a built in triathlon community & resources.
When a triathlete is first getting started doing triathlons, face it, they have a lot to learn and certainly, we’re no help. It not only takes tons of time to do the training, but also tons of time researching how to do the training! By joining a tri club, there’s a built in group of people to go to for help or who know who to go to for help. Why reinvent the wheel? Any time they can save time to be the family, will make you much happier and much more likely to accept this lifestyle.
There’s safety in numbers.
Triwives/partners worry about their triathletes. Every time they go out on that bike by themselves, a little panic sets in. The run, too, but mostly the bike. People act crazy these days towards cyclists. Being able to track them on GPS helps a bit, but we’ve all heard the horror stories of other cyclists’ encounters with cars and their drivers, so we know what danger lurks on the roads. If we know they’re not alone on the roads, the worry truly is lessened. There is safety in numbers and if something, God forbid would happen, we have the comfort that there is always someone to help or get help and who will then let us know.
Whew, at least we don’t have to worry about the swim. Oh crap, I forgot about the triathletes who train in open water. Okay, so the same safety in numbers principle applies to swim training, too.
Your social life will improve.
The triathlon community is really a small community and one that likes to hang together and talk triathlon. When you join a tri club, you can make a lot of friends with like-minded people who won’t mind the dinner conversation being focused on “Man, I couldn’t keep anything down at Arizona”! The kids will also appreciate having friends to play with while the adults chat.
Many tri clubs have both pre-season and post-season celebrations and often in between, so you can get a lot of partying in with people that you just might enjoy being with!
The family will have its own support team.
Families of triathletes often feel excluded and/or neglected from this aspect of their triathlete’s life. When first getting started, they may not even realize what the time and monetary expense will be and just how important training and racing will be to the triathlete. They need someone to talk to who is going through the same issues and yes, we do have issues with this lifestyle. Just being able to talk about how we are feeling with like-minded individuals can diffuse any potential conflict and make for a much happier home.
Also, tri clubs often have many members going to races, especially local ones, so the family has a built in set of peeps to hang out with on race day and maybe even travel with. It’s so much easier, not to mention fun, spectating when you’re not alone, especially at full distance races and if you have kids in tow.
We love how our friend, Jen, put it:
…it made me feel like triathlon was more important than our family. Today, I know everyone in his training group and I consider them friends. When they go out to eat after their long grueling workout, TriHubby calls me and the kids and I meet them for lunch. We have celebration gatherings after anyone in the group completes an Ironman. We support each other’s families. When being a TriWife seems unbearable, I have other TriWives to call up and complain to….and they know EXACTLY what I am going through!
We couldn’t have said it better and it certainly sums up why a tri club may just be the right fit for the triathlete and their family.