Saturday, July 07, 2007

Does Your Family Get It?

This whole tri thing. Or even general fitness and working out. Do they come to your races, support your training, or just understand why you do it?

Mine doesn't.

I had a short conversation with IM Able a few weeks ago, a couple days before the Philly Tri. She asked me if my family was going to be at the race cheering for me and Speedy and I told her no, that they really didn't get my triathlon habit. And that got me thinking.

Of the six people in my family, all were athletic in some way at some point, mostly in high school. My mom played raquetball, my dad wrestled, all of us kids played soccer, and my brother and two sisters ran track. We weren't great athletes, but we were out there doing something. Today, though, I'm the only one is committed to something active. And it sort of bothers me that they aren't, and that they really don't seem to understand it. Right now, and likely for a long time in the future, triathlon is a big and important part of my life, and it stinks to feel like it's not supported by the people who are most important to me.

I'd love to see them start working out again. Even walking the dog would be a great start. But they're not interested. Actually, though, my brother's girlfriend recently started running again and is training for a race, and my sister's boyfriend has been making some noise about getting back into running (he ran in college). Hopefully they'll bring my siblings along with them for the journey.

I've tried to get them involved. I've invited them to races, but they're not really interested in coming. I've offered to run with my sister, but no go. Add to that a dose of, "Have you lost weight? Your belt looks tighter," from my Italian, food-is-love mother. No, Mom, it's in the same hole it's been in since I got it.

These conversations are really frustrating. Maybe I'm just not trying the right methods to get them going.

But even more than that: My grandmother's health has recently deteriorated a lot. She has never been very active, and part of me thinks that if she had been more actively engaged in some healthy habit she would not be going downhill as quickly. Knowing that these genes have likely been passed onto my mother and me and my sisters worries me, and while I feel like I'm trying to put up a good fight against my genetics, it worries me that they aren't. (Yeah, I know, they'll probably live till they're 95 and I'll keel over of a heart attack at 50. We'll see who's worried about whom then, right?)

I've sort of lost my point, I think. But if you have a good support system, don't take it for granted. Realize how lucky you are and be sure to tell those people what their support means to you and give them big thanks.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Sorry to hear that.

My family looks at me askew, but they know it's something that I enjoy doing. None of my races are near them, so having them attend is not an issue.

My immediate family (wife and son) are a lot more understanding. My wife knows it's something I must do, so she willingly gets up at 430am on race morning; I let her sleep every other day. My son would rather not go to the races, but he doesn't complain too much (for a 16 year old).

Keep doing it for yourself. Hopefully you'll eventually inspire them to get out and walk that dog.