Are You Doing the Danskin?

While I was hot and heavy in the middle of my swim workout at the NW Y this afternoon, I heard a voice urgently saying, “Excuse me!  Excuse me!” as I swam. I popped my head up and there was an older lady in the lane next to me, hanging on the wall. She said, “Excuse me, but are you doing the Danskin?”

For a minute, I was a bit slackjawed (“Huh? You interrupted my swim set for this?!?”) and then I simply said, “No, I’m training for something else but I have done the race. Can I help you?” She said, “Oh, I’m doing the Danskin this weekend and I’m just so worried about this wind.”

All I could think of was my bike workout yesterday, so rather than being pissed off at the interruption and brusque, I said, “Oh, yes. I can imagine. The wind has been so awful. What particularly has you worried?”  and she went into a description of swimming and waves and what type of stroke she was considering doing and so on. I admit I wasn’t fully listening because my mind was pondering that it hadn’t occurred to me that she was worried about the swimming and the wind, and I started to say, “If I were you I’d be worried about the downhills on the bike!” But fortunately my brain kicked in and scolded me for almost bringing up another worry to this woman who clearly wanted to chat about her swim fear. After a bit of conversation, I wished her luck and was able to get back to my workout.

A little later, the lifeguards needed my lane for swim lessons and, as we conferred, one of the guys (who I know from my daughter’s swim team days) said, “You’re doing the Danskin, right?” Again, I just said, “No; I’m training for something else.” (Nobody ever asks what “something else” is.)

Danskin: A Great First Triathlon

This is something I love about Danskin–everybody knows about it. People are genuinely excited about the event. Chances are you know some woman who is doing it for the first time and is so beside herself she could just about pee.

I remember that. And I remember how I was so scared about putting it all together and doing all that exercise at one time. So I  took the  “Are you doing the Danskin?” as commentary that, somehow, something about me looks like a triathlete…or I look like I’m training when I’m swimming…and so obviously, I must be doing the Danskin.

I’ll take it as a compliment.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Are You Doing the Danskin?

  1. Today

    I was at my Dr.\’s office and one of the dr\’s asked me about CdA…we spoke in the waiting room. After he left the room a young lady that was seated next to me said, \”You\’re doing an IM\”? I nodded and said, \”yes, my first\”. She then said, \”Oh, I am doing Danskin this weekend and it\’s my first\”! She was beside herself she was so excited. She tried to poo-poo her distance compared to mine and I refused to let her…I congratulated her on it and wished her a wonderful experience. I left excited for her.
    One of my favorite volunteer memories comes from being a volunteer at Danskin. I still wear that shirt and that day I was inspired to try a tri myself. Good luck Danskin-ers

  2. Too Funny!!

    I\’ve had the same experience. Earlier this week my son\’s baseball coaches were all wishing me luck on my race and I was excited that they rememered something so important to me….I also know I\’ve thrown out the IM word because I missed some games and I had to give a good excuse :)!! Later on in the evening one coach says \”so your big race is this Sunday right?? and it\’s at Decker Lake??? The whole time I thought he knew where I was heading because he\’s seemed so interested about my training, my bike mileage and we talked about the cold water temps in ID??? Oh well…it was nice for him to seem interested?? My love and passion for triathlon also started when I volunteered for Danskin not long ago:)!!! LOL!

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