We three TriWives have become accustomed to the lifestyle of being married to a triathlete and for the most part, love it. It’s not always easy, though. For us, it’s meant big changes in our day-to-day activities, vacations, personal life, dealing with the kids, etc. So, we decided to look at what has worked and what hasn’t for us, to keep harmony in the family and have a happy life with a triathlete.
But, with a twist, we are looking at both perspectives – partner and triathlete – so you get the big picture. Since we let a triathlete take the first shot, it’s now the TriWives turn to share our do’s and don’ts for a happy life with a triathlete. It’s all we ask for in return for our undying love and support……
DO: Communicate with us about the time you will need for training, which races you’d like to do, what your dietary needs are, what expenses are likely to be, etc. Keep the conversation going about your needs and be open to compromise. After all, this is a family effort.
DON’T: Tell us what races you’ve signed up for. With limited vacation time and the fact that we’ll be on our own a lot during the race, we have to make the most of where we’re going. This needs to be a joint decision.
DO: Remember it’s not just about you. It would be very difficult for you to do this sport without our support. Consider how what you’re doing affects the whole family.
DON’T: Get upset if we ask you several times what your training schedule is. While it is important, it’s not the first thing we think about and it truly may skip our minds.
DO: Understand that sometimes dance recitals, soccer games, and gymnastic meets might get in the way of a long bike ride, so be flexible. You can’t watch the clock and the temperature the whole time.
DO: Continue to be a positive role model for our children. Your commitment, discipline, and passion for this sport has had a profound effect in what great people our kids have turned out to be. What a tremendous influence you have had on them.
DON’T: Ask us to set our alarm for 4:30 am for your workout, just in case you sleep through yours.
DO: Let us know how we can best support you and your triathlons and what we can do to make your training easier.
DON’T: Make us feel guilty because we’re not working out 6 days a week or that we’re eating way too much food. Remember we are not triathletes, but still believe in a healthy lifestyle. We just like to work out on our own schedules and follow our own diets.
DON’T: Get offended when we’re a little grossed out by your sweaty, smelly body and clothes. There are limits to our love…
DO: Be respectful of our friends who are not triathletes and limit the conversation about triathlons when we are with them. Sometimes it’s okay to talk politics and religion.
DON’T: Just talk to fellow triathletes at dinner parties and other get-togethers. Our other friends may not be triathletes, but trust me, they are just as interesting conversationalists.
DON’T: Have a conversation about bodily functions at dinner, whether we’re with friends or alone. Let’s keep some things secret in the relationship and the romance alive!
DO: Be brief when a non-triathlete asks you how your race went. They are being polite for asking and really only want to hear the abridged version. No details please, only the highlights. Not everyone loves triathlons like you do.
DO: Show us appreciation for all we do for you; the sacrifices we make in our own lives; the extra tasks we take on in the house and with the kids, etc. We want to know you recognize this and appreciate the effort.
DON’T: Treat us like we don’t understand how hard you train and how much discipline it takes to be a triathlete. We are amazed at what you’ve accomplished and are so proud of you. It’s just not our whole life.
DO: Offer to help more with the house and family during off-season. This is your chance to give US a bit of a break.
DO: Pick up after yourself in and off-season. Put your gear, clothes, etc. where they belong – no sweaty caps in the kitchen sink or towels thrown across a drawer. We REALLY greatly appreciate the sweaty clothes placed in the washer – actually turning on the machine is a definite bonus. Just saying….
DON’T: Take us for granted and the work we do around the house to make it function while you’re training.
DO: Continue to get excited and love being a triathlete. We love that you have found a passion in your life. It’s very hot…
DON’T: Become obsessive over the sport. You say it’s your hobby and not how you make a living, so remember actions speak louder than words.
DO: Tell us when you’ve had enough or just need to take a break. We are supportive of you during all phases of this journey. No martyrdom in our house….
So, we hope no one is offended by our comments. These are our personal do’s and don’ts that help US keep everyone in the family pretty darn happy…….Make sure to also read the Do’s and Don’ts from a female triathlete’s perspective and from the triathlete, himself…