I’m having a hard time formulating the words to describe the experience at Ironman HQ this past week, as part of the Women for Tri Board of Advisors.
We have been given an amazing mandate . . . how to grow our sport among women. This is what I have been trying to do for several years, and the benefits for me and so may others have been more than I can describe.
My experiences since becoming part of this board have not been optimal — there is a rabid group that has been trying to hijack the mission of the board. I don’t quit, but the constant bombardment at times has made me want to walk away. My reasons for participating are not self-serving, I have no need to add my name to the record books, to headlines, or to “history”. I want to grow women’s participation in a sport that has changed so much since I first decide to become a triathlete. There are equal opportunities today for just as many women to enter any race they want to enter as there is for men. There is equal access to training — we can swim bike and run as often as anyone else if we chose to. When we have as many female professional and yes even age group triathletes as men in a race then the percent of women earning spots to Kona will be equal to the men. It’s a privilege to be earned, not something that is just handed to any of us.
Work for it, and you will grow what you want handed to you now. And then, you will have earned it.
If we grow the base of women in triathlon then the rest will follow. And it will mean something, because we earned it on a level playing field.