What It’s Like To Be A Professional Triathlete

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Jul 29, 2013
  • Updated Jul 21, 2015 at 3:36 PM UTC
Illustrations by Leigh Guldig.

On competition:

“For the most part, people are supportive. I do find that dichotomy weird—I’ll be head to head with someone and afterward it’s like, ‘Oh, hey!’ and all cheery. That’s something I find hard, to be friends because you know you’re going to have to race them. I’d rather not know them at all.”

“I view racing just like any other job—outside the office we are buds, but when it is time to put my head down and do work, it is all down to business.  It is hard sometimes though, I won’t lie. If you have a crappy race and a close friend has an awesome one, you have to be happy and supportive of them and celebrate their day, yet at the same time, whether a friend or someone else, the competitive fire is always there and having a bad race sucks. It can be hard at times to externally show a happy and supportive attitude when you are pissed on the inside! I think nastiness between competitors stems from a lack of confidence though. If you believe in yourself and what you can do, and understand some days will be better than others, it is easier to embrace the success of others. I believe people who lack confidence sometimes put up these fronts to their competitors to gain a mental edge for themselves.”

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FILED UNDER: Features / InsideTri

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a contributor for Triathlete magazine, a six-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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