OK, at the risk of giving Jorgan a heart attack before his race and me being expelled to IMJ (except I’m not on FB), here’s the question:
I’ve never liked social media, I’m on a couple of forums (obviously) and I work in the mobile comms industry but I can’t abide the the whole ‘barbie toes’ look at me stuff. I throw Strava in the same bucket, not as a tool, i think it’s great there, even though i don’t use it. What I can’t stand is the whole ‘if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen’, I used to think that was a joke but I’m convinced some actually believe it.
All my digital tools are private. My Garmin account is locked, I have no Strava, no FB, no TP. I do use Zwift but it’s private. Everything I do is inputted manually on a local XLS. That’s just me, I’m not saying my way is the only way…
Here’s the thing though,
I’ve done a few IMs and countless halves, marathons, crit race, road race, track race, TT, ultra (one). I don’t I qualify as a bucket lister for IM but certainly never going to bother the FOP.
So why do I keep thinking about getting a tattoo after all these years?..
Is a tatt really any worse than social media bragging? It’s a genuine question (hopefully)
It’s your body and digital footprint to do with as you please!
The only thing I would say, is that Mdot tattoos are not only unoriginal nowadays, they are also a ‘brand’ logo. So effectively people are branding themselves like livestock, whilst WTC laugh their way to the bank.
That’s what I think when everything is rational. Then when I can’t train cos I’m at another effin kid’s party or doing freakin DIY or just drowning in the banal stuff that suburban England does, I keep thinking:
’ Christ, did I ever do anything special, in my life, cos it sure doesn’t feel like it now’
I think it’s the selfish side of me coming and I can see point where these races will become harder/rarer. I never used to think about it when I was in the middle of it, now I seem to be doing less, I think about it more.
I immediately think “twat” when I see M-DOT tattoos at the pool/lake.
Same goes for the Outlaw ones (sorry!)
Most of these aren’t twats, at all.
But, why brand your body with that?
If it’s to let people know you’ve done endurance sports stuff, the way things are going, most of middle England will have done The Norseman by early 2020 (see BBC newsreader Louise Minchin)
I mean, it’s sort of the same as getting a Nike swoosh tattoo, isn’t it?
I’ve got one, plastered down my right forearm. At the point i did my IM (2013) it was at the absolute limit of what i thought i could ever achieve and i was unbelievably proud of myself for working towards my goal and executing on the day. This with no friends in the sport, no knowledge of training zones and all that jazz, didn’t know a thing about bikes (still don’t) and had just read one book on the topic … yes it was Fink!!
So when i did alright in that race (went sub 12 at Wales) i was made up. Definitely knew it wouldn’t be a one and done, but i was chuffed. So i went down to the parlour and got my first tat. Lots of people were shocked … i wasn’t the kind of chap that they ever expected to get inked!!
Fast forward a few years and i now understand more about the fact that it’s ‘just’ a global brand owned by a Chinese investment firm bla bla. I’ve since realised that i can achieve stuff WAY beyond an IM, and some of the events i’ve done now make it look easy in comparison.
Had i invested in that crystal ball would i have still got the tat? No, probably not. Do i regret it? No, not in the slightest, it’s not my style. Would i give a shit if people thought i was a twat? Nope, i probably am! But who cares. In fact, i would say less than 5 people have ever openly asked me about it, and i merely brush it off. I wasn’t looking for adoration from the uninitiated masses, just wanted to celebrate something that at the time meant a lot to me. s
It’s actually cost me a small fortune as once the ice was broken, i’ve since got 4 more (non sport related) tattoos since".
What you’ve done can never be taken away from you, it happened, you did it. It will not be diminished. You know and will always remember you did it. At the point you can no longer remember because you’re 98 years old, a tattoo will also just be a ‘meaningless’ mark on your body.
Do you want everyone else that sees you at the pool, beach or gym to know. Then get a tattoo or wear event merchandise. Do you want (or need) everyone to know what you’ve done. Do you need to be Bear Grylls or Ant Middleton; or can you be comfortable in your achievements only being known by friends, family and comrades/athletes.
I will keep my hand in SBR, but Ironman/long distance tri will become less frequent; all the training and obsessing is too much for me. As you can gather, I’m looking at the Cotswold 100K ultra for next year; super early bird entries now available! Who’s in?