The Bar Room Bet
You know the triathlon was created as a barroom bet, don’t you?
“Who is the best athlete, someone who swims a mile, bikes a hundred miles, or runs a marathon?” one guy asks.
‘Well, the best athlete is someone who does all three, back-to-back!” another responds, and all nod their heads.
“Well, once we stop drinking and start doing something with our lives, maybe we can create a contest that becomes a real competition!”
Hence, the dumbest and most ego-intensive sport ever was created.
Before long, people were training dozens of hours every week for a “sport” without any public competitions, prize money, or the chance to gain any notoriety for being great at it. Triathletes were that weird breed, people who loved to exercise just for the heck of it.
Then came the Ironman competition, cross-training shoes, their magazine, and “The Ironman” watch from Timex. Triathlon became an Olympic sport. For a couple of minutes, triathlon became the cool thing for baby-boomer weekend warriors to start taking an interest in. Yuppies could go out and buy a bunch of stuff (something they love to do) and show up the following weekend, geared up as a triathlete!
As a result of wanting more people to participate, “amateur length” triathlons were introduced. These mini-triathlons were a far cry from the original barroom bet distances. These abridged versions defeated the point of the first barroom bet – an incredible fitness challenge only for the super elite athlete. This new triathlon 2.0 was hardly challenging. The floodgates opened for the oxymoronic “out-of-shape triathlete.”
Enter The Jackass That Says, Tri-ath-a-lon
“I’d love to stay for dinner, but I am training for a tri-ath-a-lon!”
Note the four syllables.
Jackass, it’s tri-ath-lon. Three syllables.
And, hey, midlife crisis, if you are going to compete in this silly sport of wimpy distances and insist on boring all your friends with the details of how much you train and how tired and hungry you are all the time, then at the very least, can you please learn at least how to pronounce the name of the sport correctly!
Next week’s bar bet involves REAL-TOR versus REAL-A-TOR.