We all know that having a triathlete partner can be both really awesome and really awful. From the time triathletes spend training to special eating needs to money spent to missed kids’ events to questionable vacation venues, it can really cause issues for a triwife. But, since living with a triathlete and being all-out is a little impossible, we have identified triathlete wife (husband) types that you just might relate to…
4 Triathlete Wife (Husband) Types
The “I’m All-In” Supporter
We are talking matching race day shirts, kids’ hair with matching bows, and homemade signs. This is an all-in supporter, giving love and attention to the triathlete everyday. They wake up early to show their support by filling water bottles for morning workouts, making post workout shakes, and even sometimes riding the bike along side your triathlete on a training ride. At the races, they arrive with the triathlete with tired kids in tow and find the best places to offer support and have bells and signs ready.
We are here to say that we started our triathlon life this way and in a way still are, but the true romance of being the All-In Supporter does die off after a year or so. Sorry to burst that bubble. A couple strong of you may survive, but most do not, as being an All-In Supporter is exhausting for both the wife and family.
The “I’ll Support Him, But What’s In It For Me” Supporter
This is where we currently fall. We started like most as the All-In Supporter, but ended up here. We are happy they race and happy it makes them happy, but we no longer provide an all-in type of support. The realities of life have set in.
This wife can now sleep through the 4:30AM alarm and expects dirty water bottles to at least end up in the sink and GU packets to be out of the bike jersey before the jersey hopefully ends up in the laundry basket. We still fuel them and cheer them on at the races, but we balance our time between providing support and enjoying ourselves.
For example, why should I sit around with him the day before a race while in an exotic location? We hit the jungle spa or go zip-lining, while they hang back with their feet up in the hotel room and check their bike in. We look less at what we can do for them and more at what are the perks for me of him being a triathlete.
The “It’s Good For Him, So I Will Support Him” Supporter
There are many triathletes who start racing for health reasons, for a way to destress, or to drop a few pounds. These triwives know it is a good thing for their partner, but are not 100% sold on it being their responsibility to be all-in, too. They understand the need for the triathlon addition in their lives and respect that. They may even change the way the family eats and head out to a local race to offer support, but show up at race time, not at body marking 2 hours prior to race start.
This triwife does often get more involved little by little. This sometimes evolves into the best type of relationship with a triathlete, because it is not forced upon them, but becomes a way of life. They can find a happy balance for the family – that is until the triathlete becomes tri-crazy.
The “It’s His Thing” Supporter
This is the hands-off triwife. We know many of these, but actually not very well…We have met them once or twice at a race and then when they don’t show up for a race, we have found ourselves ending up being the support team for their triathlete. Which is okay, because hey, we’re out there on the course anyway!
This triwife supports by not complaining about the triathlon lifestyle and allows the triathlete to handle all of their own stuff, like fueling, gear, laundry, and race days. It’s this triwife who will show up time to trim at races alone or with the kids if it fits into the family’s schedule. There is no resentment and no discouragement, just an understanding that this is what works for triathlons to be part of their lives.
So, these are the types of triathlete wives we have been at one time or another over the years. We’re sure there are others and would love to hear from you…
Do you fall into any of these categories or do you have your own?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.