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Tri Storytelling



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 27th 05, 07:20 PM
Wendy
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Default Tri Storytelling

There's a storytelling guild in my department, and I was thinking
about how to talk about doing a triathlon in a way that would be
interesting to people who were not part of the sport. For example,
a race report that talked about course details, how many people
were drafting on the bike, etc., would probably lose the audience.
So would getting too didactic about the rules, though it might be
worth making the point that a tri is not a free-for-all (or at
least shouldn't be). Any ideas? Ruth Kazez has written some
wonderful posts, and I've thought about introducing her.

Wendy

  #2  
Old June 27th 05, 07:58 PM
rsquared
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Wendy wrote:
There's a storytelling guild in my department, and I was thinking
about how to talk about doing a triathlon in a way that would be
interesting to people who were not part of the sport. For example,
a race report that talked about course details, how many people
were drafting on the bike, etc., would probably lose the audience.
So would getting too didactic about the rules, though it might be
worth making the point that a tri is not a free-for-all (or at
least shouldn't be). Any ideas? Ruth Kazez has written some
wonderful posts, and I've thought about introducing her.

Wendy


One suggestion that works for me on the cookout & cocktail-party
circuit...

Triathlon is remote, even aloof, for most people in my circles anyway.
What seems to hold their interest is when I broaden the story; make it
bigger than myself.

Examples:

* My spouse handled meal prep.
* My son made signs and did yardwork.
* My daughter made tee-shirts.
* My boss worked with my vacation scheduling.
* The volunteers were great...

In fact, I get bored repeating *my* story.

However, a really driven, hard-core triathlete may be so focused that
they don't necessarily notice the stories that occur from the curb.
Depending on your personality, this may or may not work for you and
your delivery style.

I think this helps explain why Ironman coverage tends to have little to
do with the race.

rsquared

  #3  
Old June 28th 05, 01:18 PM
Tom Henderson
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Wendy wrote in
:

rsquared wrote:

Triathlon is remote, even aloof, for most people in my circles
anyway. What seems to hold their interest is when I broaden the
story; make it bigger than myself.

.....

In fact, I get bored repeating *my* story.

However, a really driven, hard-core triathlete may be so focused that
they don't necessarily notice the stories that occur from the curb.
Depending on your personality, this may or may not work for you and
your delivery style.

Thanks, rsquared!

It didn't seem like just talking about my own experiences would be
that interesting, and I'm definitely not "hard-core" - a consistent
BOP'er, actually. I'd been thinking about talking about different
people who've participated in tris - why not volunteers and RDs too?

Wendy


You might also try to answer the question most asked by the general
non-workout crowd: "Why?"

What makes someone want to combine three "difficult" events into one?
Why do us BoPers train so hard for races we have no chance of winning?
What makes someone who started doing sprints and said "I'll never do an
IronMan, that's just crazy!" decide that in fact it's a great idea? Why
do many of the best athletes wash up after the race and head back down
to the finish line to cheer on the BoP crowd?

Tom
  #4  
Old June 28th 05, 04:40 PM
Wendy
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Tom Henderson wrote:

You might also try to answer the question most asked by the general
non-workout crowd: "Why?"

What makes someone want to combine three "difficult" events into one?
Why do us BoPers train so hard for races we have no chance of winning?
What makes someone who started doing sprints and said "I'll never do an
IronMan, that's just crazy!" decide that in fact it's a great idea? Why
do many of the best athletes wash up after the race and head back down
to the finish line to cheer on the BoP crowd?

Thanks, Tom! I was hoping to find a way to convey what the experience
is like, and why people choose to do it. Despite occasional horror
stories, it seems like tri folks generally show great sportsmanship -
it would probably help to make that point.

  #5  
Old June 28th 05, 06:28 PM
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Wendy,

I am a member of a University Tri club, and our coach encourages us to
write race/event reviews for him to post on his website
(trisportcoaching.com). Generally the focus isn't really on the
workings of the race, but on the events leading up to and following it,
with a few memorable moments from the race itself mixed in. The people
reading it, family, friends and supporters are often more ineteresed in
our overall experience from the event more so than what happened minute
by minute durring the race. It's a lot more fun to read about, and
write about, the fun stuff and camaraderie experienced not just between
teammates, but between athletes and competitors there at the race. The
small parts written about the actual race for me anyway are things like
hurling myself down a big hill in full aero just hanging on for dear
life. I only remember the fun parts, that's probably why I still do
this silly sport. The time spent traveling and hanging out before and
after the race itself dominate the time actually spent racing, and that
is what is most enjoyable to read about. That and the help you get
from all the other athletes before durring and after the race, most
people see tri as an individual sport, but everyone out there gives you
strength and encouragement. If you haven't raced you don't know that,
and even some people who have don't realize it. The small highs almost
always outnumber the lows, and nothing feels quite like crossing the
finishline with your fellow competitors cheering you on.

  #6  
Old June 28th 05, 06:37 PM
rtk
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Wendy wrote:
There's a storytelling guild in my department, and I was thinking
about how to talk about doing a triathlon in a way that would be
interesting to people who were not part of the sport. For example,
a race report that talked about course details, how many people
were drafting on the bike, etc., would probably lose the audience.
So would getting too didactic about the rules, though it might be
worth making the point that a tri is not a free-for-all (or at
least shouldn't be). Any ideas? Ruth Kazez has written some
wonderful posts, and I've thought about introducing her.

Wendy


I'm really flattered!!!!
Here's a post that got picked up long ago and I found on a UMich site.
I first posted it here.

If you have yet to do a triathlon, let me assure all newbies, that
sooner rather than later, you will be standing at water's edge asking
yourself "why?" You might turn to your fellow competitor, repeat the
question, and likely receive the non-answer "yeah, why?" Nowhere is
this question asked more emphatically than at the beach at Kona in
Hawaii.

Although there may be as many small reasons as there are triathletes, it
seems to me likely we can find one big answer common to us all.
Triathlon is not a unique sport. It is one of several that are based
on survival, unlike war games which usually involve a ball and
territory, or aesthetic sports judged subjectively for the grace of
their exhibition of strength, or others symbolizing different facets of
living. With any survival sport, the romantic quotient rises with the
distance covered, the obstacles surmounted, nature's rough edges
combatted. Going it alone adds immeasurably to the feat, which is why
we object so vehemently to commercial pressures to make this a team
sport. They would gouge the heart out of triathlon, a Darwinian
contest for the individual.

It is soppingly sentimental to say there are no losers among the
finishers of a triathlon, like saying we are all winners in the game of
life. Barf, because it's not true. Yet there must be a sentence that
can be constructed -less gooey - but saying just that: There are no
losers across the finish line. In a game of survival, the trophy goes
to the fittest, but all who finish are deemed fit; that's the prize.

The effort to prove oneself so extraordinarily able is heroic (if there
is such a thing as heroic with only oneself as beneficiary). In a race
of the magnitude of Hawaii Ironman, it is a grand gesture. How often
in our daily lives have we the opportunity to make a grand gesture, to
be a hero to ourselves, to survive as superbly fit and able men and
women? On a smaller scale, this can be said at the starting line of
all triathlons.

Ruth Kazez
  #7  
Old June 28th 05, 09:29 PM
Triathlete
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Tom Henderson wrote:
Wendy wrote in
:


rsquared wrote:

Triathlon is remote, even aloof, for most people in my circles
anyway. What seems to hold their interest is when I broaden the
story; make it bigger than myself.


.....

In fact, I get bored repeating *my* story.

However, a really driven, hard-core triathlete may be so focused that
they don't necessarily notice the stories that occur from the curb.
Depending on your personality, this may or may not work for you and
your delivery style.


Thanks, rsquared!

It didn't seem like just talking about my own experiences would be
that interesting, and I'm definitely not "hard-core" - a consistent
BOP'er, actually. I'd been thinking about talking about different
people who've participated in tris - why not volunteers and RDs too?

Wendy



You might also try to answer the question most asked by the general
non-workout crowd: "Why?"

What makes someone want to combine three "difficult" events into one?
Why do us BoPers train so hard for races we have no chance of winning?
What makes someone who started doing sprints and said "I'll never do an
IronMan, that's just crazy!" decide that in fact it's a great idea? Why
do many of the best athletes wash up after the race and head back down
to the finish line to cheer on the BoP crowd?


This is my favorite question.
I love the progress that I make.
I love the progress that people who I do not even know are making.
I love the stories.

I don't feel it is worth it to do little distances. This is probably
something I need to analyze in my life, as I am sure that it has
repercussions elsewhere.
  #8  
Old June 29th 05, 02:21 PM
Mike Tennent
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Default

Hi Ruth,

I was hoping you'd be lurking and respond.

I lost my copy of that post and it is one of the best musings on the
"why" question that I've ever seen. I'll be posting it over on the GFT
forum soon.

How's the garden?

Mike Tennent
"IronPenguin"

  #9  
Old June 29th 05, 03:04 PM
rtk
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Default

Mike Tennent wrote:
Hi Ruth,

I was hoping you'd be lurking and respond.

I lost my copy of that post and it is one of the best musings on the
"why" question that I've ever seen. I'll be posting it over on the GFT
forum soon.

How's the garden?

Mike Tennent
"IronPenguin"

thanks for asking. My Can't Stop-itis, so characteristic of
triathletes, applies to everything else. I now have three ponds in my
tiny yard and 4 tanks indoors housing turtles, toads, sal****er fish,
Cichlids, and anything else that dares cross my path.

I was hoping to do Edmonton, at least the short tri, but both my knees
are trashed. However, I'm training as if my future depended on it. My
enjoyment of races was always subdued, but I really rilly love to train.

And the trains, I mean electric ones? And Florida Ironman? Yes this year?

Ruth Kazez
  #10  
Old June 30th 05, 02:08 AM
Mike Tennent
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On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 09:04:49 -0400, rtk wrote:



And the trains, I mean electric ones? And Florida Ironman? Yes this year?

Ruth Kazez


I'll be doing the Great Floridian (IM Distance) for the 6th time, 9th
IM.

And the train business is really taking off. Looks like it'll work
into the retirement thing I want it to.

Keep on trainin'.

Mike T.
IronPenguin Electronics
www.ironpeng.com/ipe
Special Effects lighting,
Crossing guards
 




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