Cheating Cheating

Cheating Cheating

Sue_Marilyn_bwWhen I started my business, I had a friend’s financial advisor walk me through how to take in cash “under the table.” I’m not kidding. I made a conscious choice to never ever cheat in my business. I would like to tell you this choice was for a higher purpose, but that’s not entirely the truth. I’m aware enough to know that it would not end well for me in prison, despite my thorough enjoyment of Orange is the New Black. I wouldn’t curry the favor of Ruby Rose… it would be more like Uzo Aduba’s character “Crazy Eyes”.

This last summer I had an opportunity to run with a group of age group triathletes. These are people that are successful in their lives and careers. And they’re talented triathletes. They had given up on the dream of Kona. They pointed out that our sport was riddled with cheaters and dopers.

They identified some characteristics that cheaters share:

  • Consistently win/podium
  • Train in the dark (alone)
  • Have a look (outlier body phenotype)

I gulped when I realized those traits might apply to me. I said it out loud. Their first response was that I don’t have “the look.” For a moment I felt offended. And then I felt relieved!

I thought a lot about that run and I continue to contemplate what it means for our sport and sport in general. I realize like business, there will always be cheats. The solution? Transparency.

Due to my flexible schedule, I train almost entirely alone. At times that means painfully alone. I decided to change that as of 2016. You can now find my training uploaded for public view on Strava (Suzanne Aquila) and on Garmin Connect (fewoman1).

Things you won’t see:

  • Specific goals of my workout. And if I achieve the goal.
  • Swim training. I don’t wear a watch when I swim.
  • Heart rate. At this point in my career I don’t wear it all the time. Or when I race.
  • Every run. I treadmill without a watch.
  • Weight training.
  • Grit. My secret ingredient.

The last thing I want to add to the transparency is that I take four drugs. I started all of them before triathlon in my overweight phase. I do so with my MD’s supervision:

  • Allergies (moderate) treated with Allegra/Flonase. Diagnosed as a child.
  • Asthma (moderate) treated with Advair. Diagnosed as a child.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease (a form of hypothyroidism that is autoimmune) treated with Synthroid. My grandmother had it as well.
  • Caffeine. My drug of choice! Two to three double espressos per day.

The good news is that I believe my triathlon training has helped reduce my incidence of asthma attacks and the inevitable increase in my dose of Synthroid (it hasn’t changed in years).

If you want to change sport, I suggest you take the time and effort to make your training and life transparent. Make your workouts public. Discuss your health. And show everyone around you that we can win without cheating. Join me in #cheatingcheating.

Categories: Lifestyle

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Sue Aquila

You can Sue on Twitter @fewoman