I wondered this as I rode my bike through the beautiful countryside this morning.
(not from my ride, but could have been!)
I have to preface this post with the comment that I am NOT calling anyone out or trying to put anyone down. My thoughts simply stem from my own self-consciousness...not from anyone else belittling me or any other rookie!
So when do I get to stop being a rookie?
Another blogger posted a blog that included a picture of a bike in transition and challenged the readers to decide if the person was a rookie or not. This was all done in fun, but frankly I wasn't sure what he was getting at. The post mentioned the numerous gels taped to the bike frame and the power meter. I wasn't sure if the comment about the gels was to make fun of the fact that he had them there or not- which I guess makes me more of a rookie than the pictured rookie!
I have no idea if taping gels to my bike is a rookie mistake. I don't even know what a power meter is... I know it tells you wattage of power, but if you gave me a number, I'd have no idea how you got it or if it was good or bad!
BIG BLINKING SIGN ------> ROOKIE!
I think back to when I started running... like before I was even willing to run a 5K. I remember someone asking me if I wanted to buy a tech shirt and I didn't even know what a tech shirt was! The funny thing is now, when I see someone running in a cotton T-shirt I wonder if they are new to running, since I couldn't imagine running
in a cotton shirt. So does that mean I am no longer a rookie? At least a little?
So going back to the blog post by another blogger... Looking at the picture, the person was surely less of a rookie than I am! I have to think though that even those triathletes that think they are no longer rookies still do things that the Pros laugh at. Don't you think? Or at the very least, they are doing things that a few years from now we will wonder what the heck they were thinking!
So I offer this question- when will I no longer be a rookie? What is it that I have to learn?
A friend of mine and I both joined a triathlon club here in our area. To say that it was hard is an understatement. While I don't think it was the club's intention to make us feel this way, we certainly have had a hard time breaking down the barriers to get to know the people that are already "in the club." They already have friends and groups they work with. We've had to insert ourselves into places that are uncomfortable just to get to know a few of the people. I've made up my mind to be the "welcome wagon" to anyone NEW who joins as soon as I get my feet on the ground and get to know the ins and outs of the club. It would serve them well to work hard to embrace new members.
Then I stop to think- maybe, just maybe, it's my own self-conscious behavior that keeps me feeling this way. I mean, the club members whom I have gotten to talk to have been wonderful to me. They didn't approach me, but when I have approached them, they were very welcoming. I'm sure they have no problem with me coming to their club swims or runs, after all, I paid to be a member. I really think I just need to work harder at joining in the fun and stop worrying about what they are thinking.
To all of you out there that are no longer rookies or newbies, embrace those of us who are. Know that we are the ones who will help you keep your sport going after you are retired. Get to know us, help us, and work with us. You were all rookies or newbies at some point too.