A couple of weeks ago my 7-year-old said to me, “You’re just a big show off!” We were at packet pickup for South Riding Triathlon and, as is usually the case at these events, I’d bumped into a couple of people I knew and started chatting with them. Of course I’d promised Joshua we’d be quick, and in my mind I was being quick, but to a 7-year-old I was taking forever as usual. Must be really annoying to have a mother who shows off as much as I do.
But his comment irked me, enough that I’m still thinking about it two weeks later. Am I just a big show off? Is racing showing off? Do I race so I can show off when I win stuff? I guess in a way it is, and I do. Racing – and training – require selfishness to some degree, perhaps some narcissism, even. We may say we race to show a good example to our kids, but then we spend hours away from them in training and drag them to watch us race when they have no desire to do so. Of course, we need to get away from them for everyone’s sake, and it’s better to do our getting-away in a healthy manner than by hanging out at a bar chain-smoking and getting smashed.
But now I’m thinking about other things that could be considered showing off. Am I showing off when I wear my Boston Marathon t-shirt? My car is covered in stickers that say “BQ” and “26.2” and “ultra.” Is that showing off?
It’s just as well Joshua doesn’t know I have a blog where I write about all the showing off I do.