When was the last time you were having a conversation with your triathlete and they just started talking about their training?  It had no connection to your conversation whatsoever.  Did you get the feeling they were never into your conversation to begin with or have they mastered the art of the multi-conversation?  If it hasn’t happened to you yet, expect it.  We trisupporters are all vulnerable to this practice.

33PicMonkey Collage

Is there such a thing as multi-conversing or should we just say tri-conversing?  My husband and I have had conversations these days and out of the blue comes a triathlon-related comment.  Perhaps it had happened in the past, but went unnoticed or perhaps it’s a new power he’s gained after taking his “pause”.

We were recently discussing The Wolf Of Wall Street and he says, “If I get 3 swims in this week, I think I’ll be good.”  He continued the conversation about the movie as if this comment never came out.  Then, several days later we were discussing buying a new dishwasher – granted a boring subject and even I was probably multi-conversing in my head – but he goes, “I need to buy a new helmet.  Got a 40% off coupon I should use”.  I’ll give him the fact that at least this  conversation was on the same tract – buying something new.  But, since this was no longer an isolated incidence, it begged the questions:

  • Does he literally carry on 2 conversations in his head at the same time?
  • Should I assume all he hears out of my mouth is “wah wah wah wah……” ?
  • Does he even realize he said it out loud or was the comment actually intended to be a private thought?
  • What happens when 2 or more triathletes have a conversation?
  • Or better yet, does he do everything in 3’s?  Since he participates in 3 disciplines, should he also be able to carry on 3 separate conversations?

So, I decided to test my theories of this ability and found the following results:

  1. My first test just took the direct route:  I simply asked him if he realized he did this and gave him the examples. Reply:  “Did I really?  Cool”.  And walked away.  Obviously, it’s either not a conscious phenomenon nor a concern or… I uncovered this secret ability and he’s acting nonchalant to throw me off.
  2. I had to follow him to pursue this line of inquiry.  I needed to know if he still heard me while the conversation was going on in his head.  Reply:  “Of course, I hear you.  I always listen to what you say.”  Went too far, so obvious lie.  I continued.  Are you aware of 2 conversations going on at once in your head?  Reply:  “Yes. I do this at work, too.  I can get more accomplished.”  Finally, do you mean to verbalize both conversations?  Reply:  “Probably should work on NOT doing this, huh”?
  3. I then listened to a conversation between my husband and a good friend who is also a triathlete, while fixing dinner.  I was not eavesdropping as they were sitting in the kitchen.  The true focus of the conversation was one topic – triathlons.  Every so often it would change to work, but quickly reverted back to training, gear, and races.  I concluded through observation that with the rapidity to which they jumped from one conversation to the next, they were having at least 2 conversations going on in their heads.  No need to ask to confirm.
  4. This final conclusion I just stumbled upon one day and found astounding.  Wait for it….HE CAN NOT MULIT-CONVERSE WHEN THE INITIAL TOPIC IS TRIATHLON-RELATED AND HE IS TALKING TO ME.  When the conversation is initiated with a triathlon subject, the entire focus is on this subject.  The ability is only present when the conversation is off topic.  Let me give you an example.  He was writing to his coach and I asked if he heard back from a friend about ski helmets and I got this cursory reply:  “Stop.  Can you wait until I’m finished here?  I need to get this done.” He was totally unable to discuss both subjects at the same time.  Astonishing!
  5. I have yet to observe the 3 conversation phenomenon, but am keeping my ears open….I have certainly not ruled out the possibility.

So, there you have it; the results of my VERY unscientific study.  I’m still not convinced he isn’t hearing “wah, wah, wah….” from me sometimes, but until I can develop a test for that…… Now, I want to know: