My Plan for a Trump Presidency

I wrote a whole thing about being a woman in this moment and that “understanding” is not just a burden placed on people who live in cities to go out and find white rural voters to try to understand. Actually, the media did that a lot. But bubbles don’t only exist on the coasts. I wrote a thing about why sports matter and about how if the Trump voters I know knew the people who are being told “to get out of Trump’s America before the wall gets built” or that “a real President is going to abolish your [gay] marriage,” then maybe they’d have understood why some people are so upset and scared right now. I wrote about how more people voted for her and about how every woman (even the ones who didn’t vote for her) knows that saying she didn’t lose because she’s a woman ignores all the studies we have about how we perceive ambitious, smart, driven women. I wrote about what it’s like to be yelled at all the time and how you prepared to be yelled at again. I wrote about watching Obama this morning and always believing in the theory that the long slow arc of history bends towards justice. I wrote all that, but then I read this and it summed it all up better and I started laughing, which turned to crying, and then I couldn’t stop.

So go read that instead.

Why I Started Crying on the Top of Mt. Lemmon

I wrote this right after training camp in Arizona in early March, but then I also had written a story about training camp for espnW, so I decided to wait until that ran to publish this. Then, my editor asked me if I had thought more about why I randomly started crying. And I was like, OH, HAVE I. (And also, for the record, all this anger/confidence mellowed out some right before Galveston; we’ll see if it comes back.) So here is my original post:

There’s been this thing recently — as is perhaps obvious — where I haven’t really felt the desire to write stuff here. And I could say it’s because I’m tired and busy (sure, true, whatever), but it’s also because I’ve been fighting this weird simmering unease and anger that’s hard to pin down and that seems to be intricately connected to triathlon in some way that I can’t explain. Since there was no clear and perky thing to write, I didn’t write.

But then I was thinking about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ idea that you write not to make an argument, but to refine your argument in the first place. Not to answer questions, but to understand which questions are the ones you should be asking. And I realized the question wasn’t why I wasn’t blogging or why do I want to punch the old men who make vaguely sexist comments at me when I’m running. Those answers are somewhat obvious. The question really came down to: Why did I start crying at the top of Mt. Lemmon at training camp last weekend? (Less obvious actually.)

Have you seen the new Under Armour ad campaign? The first gymnastics video made me want to go fuck some shit up, but the subsequent Michael Phelps ad did that + so much more. I wanted to break things and cry and prove everyone wrong and buy Under Armour. Kidding, but not really.

Almost every female athlete I know who watches this has had the same reaction. I thought everyone was having the same reaction. But then I showed Steve and he was: *shrug,* the same as Nike. And one guy after another agreed. It was not that interesting to them. The more I think about this, the more I think this isn’t coincidental.

It’s in the tone of the ads, in the darkness of them. Nike’s “Just do it” is a great ad slogan, particularly for guys who have always been permitted to just do it. For women, though, there’s an element that it doesn’t capture. There’s a part of “just do it” that doesn’t speak to all the times you’re not supposed to do it, of putting in the work when no one even wants you to anyway, when you’re being told you should be doing something else, that you shouldn’t be doing this. I think that’s why these Under Armour ads, this slogan — “it’s what you do in the dark that lets you shine in the light” — resonate with female athletes.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the gendered expectations of what I should or shouldn’t be doing lately. Because, I swear to God, I can’t go a day without someone asking me to justify my life to them. Why aren’t I having kids yet? If I’m not having kids, shouldn’t I be climbing the corporate ladder or something? When am I going to get a real job? Oh, this triathlon thing you’re doing must be nice; it’d be so great to have that kind of time.

The idea that I have made a conscious decision to see how fast I can get right now and have made choices to support that effort is so alien as to be an entirely different language. In fact, now, I’m wondering if I should just start sign language-ing the next time I find myself in this conversation. *Signing: I do not acknowledge your boxes; stop trying to put me in them.*

It has also recently come to my attention that I don’t necessarily look like I should be a good athlete. This isn’t a passive-aggressive call for compliments, but a fact. I suppose it’s because I’m small and turn bright red and tend to look like I might pass out or die. This has been true my whole life, but given the difficulty of some of my workouts in the past few months, the degree of redness and possibility of passing out has increased. This is prompting a lot of people, mostly strangers, to make more comments than usual to me. I am a constant source of inspiration, evidently. It’s amazing I’m out here at all. I really should wear sunscreen. Am I sure I’m OK? I probably need a break. You know, I really ought to “ride a higher cadence/drink more electrolytes/midfoot strike when I run/not be out here by myself.”

I’ll give you two guesses about which gender has made every single one of the SUPER HELPFUL comments about what I should be doing.

And, you can be sure people would like to let me know that the science is still out on if women should even, biologically speaking, be pushing their bodies too hard. What if it makes you infertile? What if it’s just too difficult to overcome all your hormones and stuff? Besides, no one wants to see women looking like that. Right?

It’s annoying and bullshit and an artifact of a time I mistakenly thought we were no longer in, but it’s also made things very simple. I spend a lot of time talking to myself while I’m training, because there isn’t anyone else to talk to. And, when so many people have opinions about what I should be doing, it’s very easy to tell myself, “Screw them all, I’m nailing the shit out of this workout instead.” It’s really easy, when I think I might cry, to think instead: I don’t want that old guy eyeing me like he’s got something to say, to think, even for a second, that my crying is why women shouldn’t be allowed to do sports. When I want to hit Stop on the treadmill, I find myself arguing that I can’t, because I want the high school girl watching me to believe, even just a little bit, that she can do things too. It’s exhausting, but it’s also simple.

Last weekend, I was at training camp in Arizona with Hillary and Smashfest teammates, and one of the things I appreciate is that there are a LOT of fast women there, and guys who aren’t the least bit fazed by fast women. Of course, none of this stuff was consciously going through my head during camp; I was too tired. Mostly, I was just trying to try my hardest and not give up. Because if this is the thing you’re doing and you don’t do it, then what the hell are you doing anyway?

So we ran. And then we rode 118 of the hardest miles I’ve probably ever done on Friday and swam 3,000 yards of the fastest 200s I’ve ever done. And Saturday we were in the pool for the longest I’ve ever swum (10,000 yards) and rode some slow slow recovery miles. This meant by the time we were set to race up Mt. Lemmon on Sunday, I was wrecked, but I was determined. I rode and rode, and when I got dropped around 15 miles in, I rode some more. And then I started to fall apart. Maybe this was all a waste of time. Maybe I hadn’t come as far in the last nine months as I felt like I had. Maybe this whole triathlon thing was better as a hobby. Maybe everyone else (not at camp) was right. Maybe I should buy into the American Dream after all, meet expectations.

But then I started to talk to myself like I usually do. And I thought about what you do in the dark, and why it matters. Mt. Lemmon crests just after 20 miles, and then descends, and then there’s a little climb again before you descend the last mile or so into town. I started really hammering that last few miles and arguing with myself about why I needed to try my hardest even if it didn’t matter, even if no one else knew or cared. I would know if it wasn’t really my hardest. And, all of a sudden, as I’m descending into town, when it’s all over and the tough part is finished and you’re basically done, I started to cry.

Why? Because I was tired, yes. Constant fatigue is an overwhelming part of serious training that can not be ignored. But it was also because ‘Screw them all.’ Because I’m doing it anyway. Because who cares if I cry or not; I reject the traditional male lens through which you view sports. Because I was worried I had somehow failed in those miles I’d questioned myself, as if everything could fall apart so easily. Because I don’t have to justify anything to anyone.

And, of course, from there we finished camp and I tried my hardest. And no one really knew how big an emotional meltdown I’d had (ed note: or no one knew until I wrote about it for espnW, hah). Or that in the question of why I needed to go into the bathroom at the Cookie Cabin at the top of the mountain and sob for a few minutes were so many other questions I can’t answer.

 

The Women’s World Cup is Awesome

Last summer, when people kept telling me the World Cup was starting, I was like, “No, no, I’m sure that’s next summer.” Hah. Turns out I was sort of right. Just turns out that I sort of care more about women’s soccer than men’s.

So when I found out the final was in Vancouver and tickets were like $70, it was a no-brainer to go.

At first, I wanted to work the tournament for FOX. Then, I actually didn’t want to work at all because I am exhausted. Then, I sort of ended up working anyway, writing this and this.

It was still sort of a vacation, except with a lot of driving. We drove up to Eugene on Thursday, but because traffic was insane we didn’t get there until late. Headed right to a brewery and then ran Pre’s Trail in the morning (which isn’t that cool a park, but is such a soft trail that I managed over 10 miles without really feeling it—even though it was so, so hot and my ankle has been bad lately). Bought some stuff from the Nike store, naturally, and then hit the road again.

More traffic on Friday, because cars are just my most favorite thing, and we finally got to Vancouver around 9:30 p.m. We were staying in the West End, which I picked based on three things: you could walk to the stadium, there were lots of bars and restaurants, and we were close to Stanley Park. I was right. It was a pretty cool area and Stanley Park has to be the best urban park around. But I didn’t get to run in it much, because the wildfires meant the smoke got really heavy and thick by Sunday.

The game, itself, was kind of insane. Soccer goes by so fast. It’s not like baseball. You have to load up on all your food and drinks beforehand, or you’ll miss something. Then three goals are scored in 15 minutes and aren’t you glad you loaded up before the kick-off? And then, in less than two hours, it was over. We stayed for the celebration, but there’s only so long you can keep cheering. Outside the stadium, it was just about one TV camera per every ten spectators. We hit up a bar and tried to figure out a way to get into the team party, but the smoke was getting so bad and we were both so tired, then we didn’t prowl the streets too long.

I wrote about what it was like and women’s soccer and Hope Solo and Canada.

Then it was more traffic Monday morning, when we spent well over an hour at the border. The border agent seemed weirdly suspicious of us, when I said we weren’t bringing any food back and didn’t buy anything, so finally I was like, “Oh, well, yeah a t-shirt.” Which wasn’t true, but it made him feel better and he waved us through and we went on to Seattle.

I got to run in another park, Discovery Park, which was very cool, but maybe my least favorite of the three. And then we went to the Space Needle (because you ought to do that one time you go to Seattle), the big REI store, and of course another brewery.

Now, vacation’s done and I’m so tired I don’t even know how to get back to work.

USA! USA! USA!
USA! USA! USA!
The celebration -- through the increasing smoke.
The celebration — through the increasing smoke.

Oh, look. They found three more slots for Kona. This is a pretty good open letter about some of the problems with the Women for Tri Board deciding that giving themselves three Kona spots is the best way to promote women in triathlon. I’d add as a question: Why didn’t you do a contest of some kind to give the slots to beginner female triathletes, who could have fundraised and been ambassadors to their communities in much the same way that is proposed but better?

http://www.somerandomthursday.com/an-open-letter-to-the-women-for-tri-board/

The Case for Incivility

Last week, Slowtwitch published an op-ed about the dominance of American women in ITU racing. It’s, by the way, something I also wrote about. The premise of Slowtwitch’s piece was that, as is said in the opening line: “access begets prosperity.” The reason, it says, that the American women are so good at draft-legal racing right now is because there were so many of them swimming and running as kids and then in college through the 1990s and 2000s. That’s true. I have no quibble with that argument.

Then there’s some hand-waving and therefore, says Slowtwitch, Ironman increasing the number of professional women’s spots in Kona, so that women have an equal number of starting spots to the men, isn’t going to increase access or participation overall, because what we really need is more programs to get people into swimming and running (and cycling presumably) and access at that beginner level has nothing to do with access at the highest level.

This is pretty faulty logic, because it draws a false parallel and skips a bunch of steps. Like the step where the requirements of Title IX are what begat the increased number of women participating in swimming and running in the first place. It’s not like thousands of 10-year-old girls suddenly created their own swim programs out of nothing. Those programs were created because there was an increased demand at the college level, which then meant an increased demand at the high school level, etc. It also skips the step where USA Triathlon was able to tap into the excess of collegiate female runners and swimmers and bring them over to draft-legal triathlon, because the opportunities in ITU draft-legal triathlon existed for them to be brought into.

It seems pretty strange to argue that the success of women in ITU draft-legal racing proves that we don’t need equality in non-drafting Ironman racing. Because I feel like it might actually be an argument for the opposite.

But whatever.

That isn’t actually my main problem with the debate over 50 Women to Kona. My problem is that then Slowtwitch argues that the real issue is that people in this debate just aren’t being nice enough. This is something I keep hearing. If we could just have a civil discussion, then I’m sure everything would be fine.

Let’s concede for a second that there are problems that exist in the world about which civility is not required. There are injustices so terrible that the only appropriate reaction is anger. That is simply a fact. The disagreement, then, is over whether or not you think this is one of those things.

Clearly some people think it is.

Do I think calling someone names is a good PR move? Or that yelling at them is going to convince them of your rightness? No, not particularly. But, do I understand why someone might be upset enough to do so? Yeah, sure. And I don’t have a right to tell them not to be upset.

When you say that what we just need is more civility, what you’re saying is that others don’t have a right to be angry with you, that what you’re saying and doing is not in it’s own way more uncivil. When you say that reasonable people can disagree, what you’re really assuming is that everyone agrees you’re one of those reasonable people.

(Arguing about the size of the pier is not a reasonable argument. Can everyone please stop talking about how there just isn’t enough room on the damn pier? There used to be, when more than 100 pros did the race. If there’s not now, it’s because those spots have been reallocated to people who would pay for them. That’s fine. Ironman is a business and it has every right to make that business decision. But own that decision then. Stop acting like this is all just in the hands of Hawaiian pier builders.)

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the call for civility tends to come from those defending the status quo, or that it tends to be directed at women and minorities. “Why can’t you just be more polite about us discriminating against you?!”

Part of the reason people seem so frustrated and so unable to articulate why precisely there should be an equal number of women as men is because this fight has already been fought so many times. Literally. This exact same argument. In so many sports. So it’s hard to figure out why we’re having it again, or why we’re supposed to be nice about it.

I do think there are reasonable ways to address the pro qualification question that aren’t 50-50. I’d be fine with 30-30, though I don’t think it’s really necessary and would cause a lot of over-racing. I think a 5% rule built in, with a whole lot of other questions about the details, could work. I think going back to a system similar to the age-group qualification system would be fine. (I think the only reason Ironman even moved to the KPR system in the first place is because they want to eventually move the age-groupers to a ranking qualification system as well, which nobody wants because we might as well just start having our paychecks sent directly to WTC if that happens.)

But I think if you’re going to set an arbitrary number, as dictated by a quasi-governing body, then it needs to be an equal number. If Ironman was a nonprofit governing body and not a private for-profit company, it would have to be. I simply can not think of another sport where the governing body would allow such a discrepancy at the highest level. Even on the other side of the same sport (draft-legal triathlon) it does not happen.

Everyone keeps nodding wisely and saying it’s all so complicated. If we allow the same number of women as men, then what’s next?! But it’s not really that complicated. It might be inconvenient. It might raise some questions you’d rather ignore. It might mean, somewhere down the road, that more women do Ironmans and fewer men get spots at Kona. God forbid. It might mean that someone is going to disagree with you. But that’s life. There’s nothing that says I have to think you’re smart or that you have to like me. We just have to get an equal shot. Anything else just wouldn’t be civil.

The Slowtwitch Question

Last night, I was reading the Slowtwitch interview with Beth Gerdes on my phone. I don’t read most of the Slowtwitch interviews, but I like Beth and she’s been killing it recently, so I was reading the interview and I got to this question:

ST: Did you two at one point consider not having the baby, or was that a thought that never crossed your mind?

Beth: Seriously? This is a question? Hah. No, we never considered it. I admit I was terrified at first, but Luke was very excited from the get go. We actually found out that I was pregnant two days before Ironman Hawaii 2013. Luke came 2nd that year so I’d say it was some good motivation for him.

My only reaction was ‘whoa, that’s surprisingly real for a triathlon interview,’ but she handled it in the only way that probably made sense for her. And I moved on, read the rest of the thing (which actually is much more interesting and she has a lot of good stuff to say about coming back after having the baby, the WTC points system, and her recent races), and didn’t think about it again.

This morning, I turned my phone back on to find out that my internet had thought about it a lot and was PISSED about the question, primarily because they felt it was a fundamentally inappropriate and sexist question.

I’m not sure they’re right. There are plenty of reasons to be upset about the question and how it was asked, particularly if you are Beth, but it is not a fundamentally sexist question. You don’t ask guys about training through pregnancy, not because you’re sexist, but because it doesn’t make sense to ask them. The decision to have a kid may be a personal decision between two people, but one of those people will disproportionately shoulder the burden of actually having the kid. It is a question that female athletes grapple with far more so than their male counterparts, because women are the ones who will have to be out of training and racing for a year, and lose everything that comes with that. Women are the ones who will have to make the hard comeback to full-time professional athlete. Yes, there are challenges for the male athletes with kids too, but they are far greater for women.

That is just a fact. And it is just a fact that I am sure there are female professional athletes who have ended up pregnant and simply were not prepared to have a kid at that point. There are countless reasons they might make the decision to have an abortion and that is their decision to make.

So. I read that question and I thought maybe we were letting women own their experiences a little bit. I thought maybe this was a step in the direction of allowing these decisions to come out of the shadows, and to let them simply be one of many decisions you, as a complex and nuanced person, make.

But I was wrong.

When everyone got upset about the question, this was the response:

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 12.29.08 PM

Ugh. So, nope, we’re not letting women own any of their experiences. Actually, still just making moral judgements about them.

People are upset about him asking the question, but I think they’re upset for the wrong reasons. They seem to think he shouldn’t have asked it, because it’s a topic that shouldn’t be touched, because it’s offensive for polite company. They seem to be saying: No one should ever suggest any woman has ever considered an abortion. What they really should be upset about, though, is that he asked it hoping to catch her in some kind of moral trap.

I’m a big believer that if we’re more honest, as people, then it would be better for everyone, that these are not things that we need to hide away in shame. Women deal with miscarriages all the time, yet never talk about them. Infertility is a tough problem for a lot of people, but they never mention it. The statistics suggest that you probably know someone who has had an abortion. But I doubt you know who they are. If we share our experiences, then we allow others to recognize themselves in us and to realize that they are not alone.

I’m sorry Beth’s interview is becoming all about this one question. You really should read the rest of it. But what if it was a totally different person who had been asked the same question and they had said, “Yeah, it’s a tough issue for a lot of pro women, and I really considered all of my options, but I’m glad I decided to have Baby X and it’s been great.” Or, hell, what if they had said, “Actually, I’ve had an abortion before.” (They wouldn’t, because they wouldn’t want the death threats or the outrage or sponsors leaving them.) But if this imaginary person had been asked the same question about her experiences and she had answered it with her own truth, I wonder if the outrage would have been the same.

I didn’t think much of the question at the time because somewhere in my head I had thought maybe that meant we lived in a world where it really was just one question among many. I was wrong, though. We don’t live there yet.

I’m Not Getting Into the 50 Women to Kona Debate (Because It’s Not a Debate)

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 9.47.38 PM

Sunday was International Women’s Day and, besides the fact that I had a hard time getting into a manufactured holiday that allowed brands to jump on board with pseudo-pro-women messages that they could and would quickly move on from and forget, I actually thought the #50WomentoKona campaign used the moment interestingly and effectively.

I haven’t been incredibly vocal on the internet about the fact that a world championships, of any sport, needs to have equal spots for women and men to compete. That’s not because I don’t think someone should fight the equal-spots-at-Kona battle. I do. It’s more that I haven’t gotten into it for the same reasons I wasn’t that into International Women’s Day as a whole. I’ve been trying, for my own mental health and with some success, not to fight the obvious fights. Because they shouldn’t even be fights in the first place.

I don’t need a specific day to tell me that the contributions of 50% of the population should be valued. In fact, I find doing so implicitly allows that they don’t need to be valued the other 364 days.

And I don’t feel like rationalizing why women should get the same right to start a race as men, because that implicitly allows that there’s some reasonable argument as to why they shouldn’t.

Yes, I know that there are fewer women in the sport of triathlon than there are men. That’s true across most sports. Ironman has claimed they’d like to fix that, if for no other reason than self-interest. It is also true that female participation in all sports historically has increased when opportunities for those women have increased. It’s as if no one has ever heard of Title IX and the growth in female sports participation in the decades since. (Arguably, I think Title IX should now be changed and/or amended, with the collegiate sports climate having changed so much since, but different debate.) I was going to list more examples of how opportunities at the highest levels have increased the number of women participating from the bottom up, both because they had something to shoot for and because they had role models to follow, but there’s too many examples. Google.

I don’t really know, either, if the women’s triathlon field at the top is deeper or less deep than the men’s. That seems like a rather arbitrary argument, the type of which I tune out of on sports talk shows because of its inanity. What makes something deep? What makes it competitive? A race could be close and slow; is that better than if one person runs away with it quickly? Some decent analysis suggests that the women’s races are at least close to as deep as the men’s. But, even if they’re not. Even if you want to argue that women’s racing sucks balls (because you’re a moron), are you arguing that you’re going to make it better by restricting it?

These are all the same arguments that have been used time and time again to stop women from competing in the same events as men, to limit them to shorter or smaller versions. You know, so as not to damage their reproductive systems. Oh, is that not the argument anymore? Well, it was originally. And now, after women weren’t allowed to do those things for centuries, we just can’t, for the life of us, figure out why there aren’t more women doing them currently. Guess we’ll have to wait until a competitive women’s field emerges in order to grant them permission to compete in the thing they have to first prove they have developed sufficiently in. Why didn’t women get to compete in ski jumping until this past Olympics? Why do women race the 6k instead of the 8k in collegiate cross-country? Why don’t female swimmers get to contest the 1,500 meters at the games? Because, the old white men say, they just don’t have the competitive depth to earn a right to be here. They don’t deserve it.

So, no, I’m not having that debate. It’s not a debate. It’s already been had, these battles have already been hashed. I can’t get myself excited about posting a race photo in my support of #50WomentoKona because my photo doesn’t change the facts; it shouldn’t tip the balance of what is right. I’m having a hard time getting outraged, because it’s an obvious fight. It’d be like if a company told you that only people whose eyes were blue got to do this race. You’d know that was dumb. Clearly, people with brown eyes can race too, but there’s not much point in arguing with that. Instead, you’d just start to question other things about that company, start to wonder who was running things around here and what are they thinking. Maybe you’d start to think there must be better races, where people with all kinds of eye colors get to stand on the same start line.

Why I Won’t Be Applying for Ironman’s Women for Tri Thing

Last week, Ironman and Lifetime Tri announced their new “Women for Tri” initiative. It’s not super clear what this initiative is other than some kind of program to increase women’s participation in triathlon, presumably to increase their participation in Ironman and Lifetime brand triathlons specifically. Oh, and “empower female athletes.” Naturally.

The application for the Board of Advisors says that those selected will help develop a five-year strategic plan, champion the Women for Tri organization (which apparently will be an organization separate from Lifetime or Ironman, or within the two companies?), and personally actively work to fulfill the mission of: “breaking down barriers to entry by providing greater access to education and relevant content and by cultivating a networked community of female athletes.”

You can also apply to be a “street team ambassador” for this initiative.

Look. If a company wants to ask women to help them better market to women, that’s their prerogative. And, I have nothing wrong with more women doing triathlon.

But, I’m not sure triathlon has a woman problem. According to USA Triathlon, 36.5 percent of people doing triathlons are now women, even with the sports’ massive growth recently. That number has gone nothing but up in the last 15 years. The sport, historically, has been one of the few that pays men and women equally, and that treats them equally — with the obvious notable exception in recent years coming from Ironman. Some of the biggest stars have been women. And, women have always been made to feel welcome at every level. Sure, 36.5 percent isn’t 50 percent, but so what? Just because there are more men doing triathlon, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with that. If there were less men doing triathlon and participation was split evenly, would that be better?

(Yes, there are women-specific training groups that attempt to alleviate some of the fears women have about training with men. And, yes, there are mental barriers women often have to believing they can’t do triathlon. But, I don’t think these are systemic to the sport. Nor do I think that they’re necessarily unique to women and not to beginners generally, or that they’re not self-resolving.)

Some people appear to be applying to the Women for Tri board because they want to address female equality as a whole across the sport, and talk about women’s treatment at the pro level. And, I completely get why you would want to be involved with two of the biggest race brands in the sport as they address ‘women’s issues.’ But, I don’t think that’s what this is going to be about.

The only thing we know about this initiative is that it’s about increasing women’s participation in triathlon, and attracting women to the sport — either through any actual plans or through a pink-washing of sorts. Women’s participation has already fueled the running boom and funded countless new women’s athletic brands. Women, if you can win them over, are willing to spend money. Why not on triathlon?

I don’t have a problem with Ironman as a company. They put on good events and people have the option of doing those events or not. What I do have a problem with is when we pretend they’re not a company owned by a private equity firm intent on hitting full market saturation. Finding ways to bring more women into the sport isn’t about triathlon; it’s about selling to an untapped market.

Of course, these companies have the right to try to grow their business. I just am not 100 percent sure why I should help them do it for free.