Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Unsportsmanlike Behavior

When I was a senior in high school, by the way my 10 year reunion is this year - I'm not going but that's beside the point, my swim team won the Sportsmanship Award at the State Championships.  It was a pretty cool moment!

 That's me in just the suit

One of the newspaper articles written about the meet said that our team had class and even mentioned that we probably won the award since we congratulated teammates and competitors alike. 

Congratulating my friend Ali, from another school, on her win in the 200 yard freestyle

A newspaper photo of me congratulating her immediately after the race, I came in third

Oh, and this also happened:

First in the 100 yard backstroke

That win meant a lot to me, it was a great way to end my high school swimming career, but so did the Sportsmanship Award.  I would always shake my competitors hands after a race, whether I won or lost.  I tried to be as gracious and humble of a winner as possible, and I would celebrate the triumphs of others around me.   

I like to think that I do that today as a triathlete. 

Mike and I aren't the fastest swimmers, although we are faster than most, cyclists or runners.  But we do this because we love it.

I have seen and heard a few things lately that have made me sad.  Sad for our sport and for some of those that compete in it.

Case in point: At the Corporate Challenge, two days after our marathon - I was not running it and Mike just walked it, a co-worker of Mike's asked him if he had raced over the weekend.  When Mike said, yes a marathon, the same co-worker said, "oh did you finish this time?"

Later that same co-worker was talking about how Mike (not me, because this guy didn't even acknowledge the fact that I am a triathlete as well) should join a local team if he "wants to be competitive".  

I have also seen some bad mouthing online and ungracious behavior of those who compete in the triathlon world.  It makes me sad.

Often runners bad mouth cyclists and vice versa.  Well, Mike and I are both as triathletes.

I don't know how to fix the problem, but I just wish everyone would support each other. No matter if you win or you lose, as long as you finish (and sometimes even when you don't) you are putting yourself out there.

Support one another

Everyone out there is trying as best as they can, and maybe what they did was their personal best.  Who am I, or anyone else for that matter, to take that away from them?


  1. Amen - we should definitely be supporting each other no matter if we're runners, cyclists, swimmers, all of the above, walkers, weight lifters etc. We're movers and that's what matters. I even complimented someone the other day for keeping up with his walking - I larger man I have seen often in my neighborhood and we've said hi to each other. I give kuddos for anyone trying period.

  2. I keep forgetting you are from Maine. I saw those pics and I was like, whoa! That's at Umaine! Then I remembered. lol

    Yes, I agree. It's so much nicer to be nice than to be an ass. Why do people have to be like that?

    1. Haha yep! That's exactly where it was :)

  3. I hear ya. Most of the triathletes and runners I know are supportive and encouraging to everyone (even the last place finishers). Of course, that being said, there are the super competitive a-holes that act elitist and look down upon those of us (me included) that are slow and non-competitive. Like they don't have time to acknowledge us lowly folks who never make it on the podium (we're so slow they should not even let us race with the fast people- I actually heard one of the men who always wins say that).
    Oh well- I think the majority of us are supportive and friendly and encouraging. We just gotta keep being that way so more people will continue to enter sports and want to be a part of it.

    And BTW- what a rude thing to say to your hubs ("oh, did you finish this time?"). Wow- super jerky!

  4. One of the things I loved at the tri this weekend was seeing how the tri allows so many different types of people to compete and do well in each persons preferred discipline. I have nothing but respect for every single one of the amazing swimmers that kicked my ass and the girl who was next to me in transition that told me she "hates" running but loves tri's because she is a strong swimmer and cyclist. Tri's allow people to show off their talents and thats really cool to see. But one of the biggest things I see, more-so outside of races is runners vs. cyclists. or Triathletes vs. Monothetes. I don't think one is better than another and it baffles me that other people do. (I actually had a triathlete girl tell me online this weekend that runners are all self-conscious and that's why all they do is run and no tri.)

    I've volunteered at a few races lately and it was great to cheer every single person on. EVEN when seeing people I don't care for...if I knew their name I cheered for them regardless of my personal feelings. Everyone deserves support out there, no matter what.

  5. I would just tell that person to stop being so jealous and get over themselves. Life's too short. Tell Mike to get all gangster on his ass :P lol

    People are always jealous and therefore CONSTANTLY try to put others down. If people focused more on themselves and less on everyone else the world would be so much nicer :)

    PS: apparently no one wants to mess with a pregnant woman because I lost it on some guy trying to yell at Colin over the weekend.....he shut up pretty fast. lol

    1. Haha!! No one should mess with you, you are growing a human!

      I actually said something like, 'well that was rude' to the guy and then we kind of stopped talking to him. Mike is too nice to go gangster on people! haha.

  6. You are so kind Jamie! That's awful that anyone would say rude or mean things. Keep up your good work! Oh, and I'm definitely in triathlon training mode now. I might need some of your speed on the swim :)

  7. I always feel conflicted in the cyclists vs. runners argument--because we do both! I think we (people who do both) are few and far between, and we're able to see both sides. There need to be more people like us. :)

  8. I'm still really new to the active world and I just don't understand not being supportive of each other. I know how great I feel when I hear spectators yelling that I can do it as I get closer to the finish line and I want nothing more than to support all of the athletes around me. I think you have a great attitude and hopefully those less than nice triathletes will learn from you and your husband.

  9. Being supportive of other athletes- no matter what their sport- or how they finish compared to you- is the name of the game!

  10. I hate to see bad sportsmanship no matter what sport. I have found I have seen it also a bit in the blogging and internet that people on dailymile and the internet bad mouth each other. We weren't even at the same races...but I think it's so sad to not support others. We all love the sport equally and all want to succeed. Great post!

  11. Sportsmanship is such an important thing to have. Being supportive of others, whether you know them or not, is necessary. Pushing others not only makes you feel better but it makes them feel better too!

  12. This makes me sad, too. The reason I started running was to support/raise money for the Colon Cancer Alliance. Every time I run, I use both the Saucony Run4Good app as well as the Charity Miles app so that I can make every mile mean something to someone else who may not be able to make a lot of positive change in his/her life. The farthest I have ever run is a half marathon, and I don't know when/if I'll be able to train for a farther distance (I am terrified of the water, so a tri is out, although the duathlon intrigues me a LOT). But one of the reasons I stay running is because of the kind people out there - people who say "great job" and mean it, even if I'm slower than they. Hopefully we can change it by setting a good example. The power of positive response is incredible. After all, you can't spell "smiles" without miles!

  13. For real! We're all just out there trying to do our best! I find that runners are suuuuuper supportive, but I'm sad to hear you've been exposed to so much negativity!

  14. I totally agree. The same thing goes on within different workout types. Many times I hear crossfitters/weight lifters say negative things about running etc. In my opinion, if you are doing anything active and enjoying it, it is the right thing. Just because one thing works for someone, doesn't mean it works for everyone. I am very impressed with your swimming skills Jamie. I have a lot to learn in that area;)