Jason Shortis – Getting Older

Professional triathlete Jason Shortis takes a look at how the real world views triathlons

As I get older and start thinking about the end of my career as a pro, I find myself seeing the triathlon world a little differently. Triathlons have been a massive part of me for most of my life. Because I have been immersed in it for what feels like forever I think that sometimes I create a bit of a distorted view of how the rest of the world views our sport. This was really brought home to me the other day during class.

I am currently in the process of completing a Bachelor of Exercise Science.  It is part of my plan to set up the next phase of my life when I am no longer racing in triathlons professionally. I suppose everybody has to grow up sometime!

There are many parts of the course that I am going to miss out on because of some upcoming race commitments. I attempted to explain to my lecturer that I was a professional triathlete with contracts for upcoming races and that I would unfortunately miss some of the laboratory classes. She then asked me if I raced in the masters category representing Queensland (the state where I live). I tried to explain that I got paid actual money for doing these races, but it seemed as though she thought triathlons were something more akin to a fun-run.

This just emphasized to me how young the sport of triathlon really is compared to most other sports. Even though we are in the Olympics with hundreds of thousands of people racing Ironmans and 70.3’s all over the world, we still have a long way to go to be recognised as a mainstream contender. Another realisation I had (yet again) was that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously no matter how big a deal you may think you are in triathlon!

Keep an eye out for more of Jason’s blogs on triathlon220.com.au or follow Jason @JasonShortis on Twitter.