Wednesday, July 25, 2012


The other day I was referred to as "insane" for talking about a long bike ride like it was an afternoon at the spa or a day at the beach. I was quite taken aback by the comment and pressed the issue. Apparently, my passion for training and racing makes me "odd" and "a little off my rocker" and this person wondered if I have taken this too far.

I found this quite interesting...Then shortly after this lovely conversation (with a family member, mind you) I read THIS POST on my friend Jason's blog and had to laugh.

No, you will never hear any apologies from me for my choices these days.
I train a lot. I love to race. I surround myself with like minded people. I am happy.

But to label me insane? odd?

So let me get this right.
When I was lazy, fat and depressed there was nothing ODD about that?
Eating a $50 bag of Chinese take-out and drinking enough beer to put down a frat boy on a single Friday night is SANE?

Now, I do understand that I do train/exercise quite a bit more than the average "active" person but there is nothing average about me. I have an all-or-nothing, type A personality. I have found something that makes me happy, challenges me and keeps me healthy.

yes, i do take pics of my bike all the time. i love her.
does that make me crazy??


What motivates me to train hours and hours a week?
Why do I get up at 3am to fit in training?
Why do I spend hours on the roads running and biking?
So many things.

A desire to be better. Always, better. Stronger.
My daughter. She is growing up in a home that values active living and eating real food.
My dreams. There are so many things I want to do. If I want to do these things, I need to work.
work work work

...and believe it or not, I LOVE TRAINING.
Do you know how freaking happy it makes me to have Coach Awesome give me a tough workout and I nail it, bam! boomtastic! That is a good feeling, my friend.

I am still a baby (well, maybe a toddler now) in this triathlon world. I have so much to learn and I feel like a sponge, soaking it all in. I have some wonderful, fantastic, experienced role models that give me good advice, guide me and I am lucky to have them.

Don't forget, just 3 1/2 years ago I was learning to run. I was learning to live. I was learning WHO I was and what made my soul happy, my passion burn and I was creating a new path in life.

If you want to consider me insane for where this journey has taken me, sure.
No problem.
I'm insane.

But I'll gladly ride my bike 100 miles every Sunday (ok, maybe every day) with a huge smile on my face
sittin on the couch, watching TV and eating garbage.

So I'll continue to train, get up early, go to bed early and live the life I am living.
Call me crazy but I'm happy.
For once in my life, I am truly happy, centered and vibrant.

Has anyone ever commented on your "crazy" endurance driven life?
What was your reaction?


John Hulsey said...

They have commented, and I've listened and then moved on. My running makes me happy and keeps me sane. I'm not giving it up for anyone, nor am I slowing down. Why would I when it keeps bringing me amazing things?

Melissa Cunningham said...

oh, jen!
love this post!!!!
welcome to the "crazy"side of life!!

i too have been called obsessed,insane,cray-cray,accused of taking things too far....

but you know what,like you,training makes me happy!!!
while im not an official triathlete--not YET---i do doa lot of crazy training others call odd and crazy...

so keep on being the bad ass you are,keep on with your crazy training,and keep on being YOU!!!!

because YOU totally rock!!!!

Unknown said...

THIS EXACTLY! Keep it up, crazy, no apologies necessary.

Allison D. R. said...

Great points! My family's been very supportive of my change from lazy couch potato to (still working on it) runner. My hubs, parents, and siblings were there for my 1st 5K, and hubby still goes to every 5K (ran the last one, too, natch!).

When I invited my folks to come support me at my 1st 1/2 marathon in October (OMG, OMG, OMG...), they were supportive, then Dad threw in, "Isn't it maybe too early or too much of a leap forward for a 1/2 marathon? From a health perspective? Have you had a good checkup lately?" A) I've been running for nearly 2 years, with nearly 2 dozen 5Ks in my pocket. B) Every time he sees me, he comments how much thinner I look and asks how many miles I've done that week. But when I rolled out the big announcement...he kinda took the wind out of my sails. While I know it was said with love and there's a ton of support there, it still stunk.

100 miles EVERY DAY, though...? ;-) Like the fabulous Ms. Crow says, "If it makes you happy..."

Jason said...

Thanks for the shout out. Much appreciated.

Funny thing about my insane comment is that it was from triathlete peers. Just makes me laugh because this is who I am. Indon't critique them for being half-assed so why critique me for being all in?

The other thing I have learned in this life of mine from going through my divorce and moving half-way across the country to date somebody I met online is perspective.

Those that critique are actually calling themselves out more than they are reflecting on me. It is a jealousy that they have because we are pursuing our dreams and living a happy life. Something about that makes others ncomfortable but I will not apologize for being happy.

Good for you for not apologizing!

donna furse said...

yes, a ton. And when you have kids, they call you selfish and, " oh, you must have a nanny and not work and just train all day, you must not see your kids", shit like that. I've learned to balance an endurance lifestyle with a husband and 4 little kids, its not easy but its my choice. I too have gotten up at insane hours just so my husband isn't alone in the morning with the kids, or trained at night because I volunteered all day and had kid sports all night, but still people will criticize you and call you crazy no matter what you do.

misszippy said...

Oh, yes, I've had it. And it's always from a sedentary person, too. So that's fine. We can be crazy this way--we get the last laugh b/c we have it figured out!

Joshua said...

Most people used to say the same about me, then at some point they saw how much better I was as a person. You know my story. And now, I have the chance to motivate these same people. Odd? Maybe be today's standard which is sub-par in itself, but happy as can be that I'm ABLE to wake up every morning after major brain trauma and coma four years ago? Damn right I am

Unknown said...

All the time. And my response "if this is insane, I don't ever want to be sane". There are FAR worst things I could be addicted to.

Great post Jen!

The Rhyme and Reason said...

I feel you! My father thought I was crazy for dropping almost $700 for IMLP! Most people my age are out drinking till 2am and spending their money on clothes and alcohol. I spent my money on bikes and tri stuff! I love the culture of triathlons. There are so many awesome people in the sport and I also love learning from them all. If people think we're insane, let them think that! But when we're all 70, healthy and strong, they are only going to wish they tried out triathlons...

robinbb said...

I love being crazy if that is what crazy is. My parents tends to be the most unsupportive of my new life. They have learned to accept that I am an endurance athlete but will never understand why I choose to do what I do. Great post!

Running With The Girls said...

Some people just don't "get it" and probably never will. Sometimes its best to just move on. I think what you do is outstanding and incredibly motivating. You're level of fitness and dedication is extraordinary. And I completely believe laying around all day, chugging beer, and eating crap all day is 100% INSANE and GROSS!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Someone just casually said I was "becoming obsessed" with running and I thought "If you only knew..." I barely run 3 days a week, running maybe 15 miles total. I am no where near obsessed, but from where I was 3 years ago, there has been a dramatic shift. It goes back to the saying "If this is wrong, than I don't ever want to be right," right?

baker said...

All the time. 'Insane' 'Crazy' 'Freak of Nature'... I kinda like it. I have always strived to be different and this is one way to do it. I get very mad though, when people say, "I could never do that." Neither could I 3 years ago, just get out there and do it man.

Katie said...

I don't think you are crazy at all. In fact, I think you are exactly perfectly right.

Carolina John said...

Yes we are obviously completely nuts for doing all of this crazy endurance stuff. Totally off of our rockers.

But I guess as long as we all do it we'll be ok. I think it's funny that the people that call me insane are always overweight.

KateKirk said...

Being morbidly obese or doing triathlons are similar in being at the extremes...I'm not a triathlete but a committed runner and think people who let themselves get terribly fat and unhealthy are insane, just as I think about people who are doing Ironmans. People who don't run 30-40mpw think *I* am insane. It just means you do what many other people don't.

But whether you're an avid athlete or an avid overeater, who cares what people think? Own your decisions or change them. Done.

track coach and adorable wife said...

Wow, you are insane ;) But maybe that is the right side to be on!

Donna said...

I had a somewhat similar conversation yesterday with a taxi driver. He asked about my ankle (it was taped) and asked where I was going (the track) and asked why I do it and wasn't it crazy to train if I had pain, wrapped ankle, etc.

We had an interesting conversation but the long and the short of it was "honestly, what is my alternative? when I train, I feel strong and good, when I don't, I feel weak and tired and unhappy" - yes it may seem crazy to some, but my choice seems perfectly normal to me - and frankly if everyone could feel the difference, their ideas would change too I bet!

Oh - I also think crazy is a whole lot more fun :-)

Kristyn said...

I've seen a pin that says something like: "Obsessed is the word the lazy use for the dedicated." Keep kicking a$$ girl!

Ransick said...

We're not insane, we are passionate about something we love to do :-). Insane is trying to run when it's 104 degrees out, oh never mind, I tried to do that....

Megan Pennington said...

Hi Jen!
I love this post and LOVED meeting you this weekend at Tri For a Cure!! You are even more awesome in person!! I'd love to hook up with you and Dawn for Beach to Beacon if you guys want to. My email is:

Suz and Allan said...

Such a great post! If this is crazy then sign all of us for the nut house. It's so sad that being committed to living a healthy, happy, and active life doesn't get a better reputation in our society.