By Carissa Hutchinson
One of the athletic world’s most grueling races, Ironman pushes athletes to the limits. Ironman triathletes spend months training for their event, spending hours at the gym and eating only what their body needs. As a daughter of an Ironman, I know Ironman not only affects the athlete but it affects the family as well. The following are 7 ways to know if you’re a daughter of an Ironman:
1. Knowing the distances involved in an Ironman event is a sign that you might be a daughter of an Ironman. When I tell people my Dad is an Ironman they often reply “he must be ripped,” thinking he’s a body builder spending hours at the gym lifting weights. I then reply, “No, an Ironman is a triathlete who swims 2.4 miles, bikes 112 miles and then runs 26.2 miles.”
2. If your dad has his training schedule on the refrigerator so everyone knows where he is at, you may be a daughter of an Ironman. Winter is the off season with only one workout a day, but once the snow melts the real training begins with two workouts a day. One before work and one after work. At least I always know where my Dad is.
3. Is dessert limited at your house? If homemade popcorn cooked with coconut oil is considered dessert you might be a daughter of an Ironman. My dad does not eat anything with refined sugar in it. This means no chocolate, soda, candy, or my favorite ice cream. Not only does he not eat it, but there’s none of it in the house. The only junk food we have is hot cocoa. Dates and raisins are considered “sweets” at my house.
4. If beef, pork, lamb, or any kind of red meat is not consumed in your house then you might be a daughter of an Ironman. When I tell people we don’t eat red meat they think we are salad and nut people. That’s not true at all. We eat fish, chicken, turkey, and seafood, as our main proteins. This change has not been too bad except for it ended our Christmas dinner tradition of eating prime rib.
5. If your Dad owns a pair of speedos then you might be a daughter of an Ironman. It doesn’t matter if he’s training at the pool or relaxing with his family he always has those things on. Sometimes he’ll even wear them when he’s training on his bike!
6. You might be a daughter of an Ironman if your Dad is able to program his bike trainer to race any course of his choosing. My dad has done two Ironman events and I know for a fact he practiced both bike courses like crazy. But wait there’s more, with this bike trainer comes a TV that he can actually see and ride the course on.
7. When family vacation means that you’re going to an Ironman event then you might be a daughter of an Ironman. Being in college and almost ready to leave my family to be on my own, my Dad always says “This could be our last family vacation.” Well, our last “family vacation” was going to support my Dad’s race at the Lake Placid Ironman in New York.
I may joke and never truly understand why my Dad does them, but Ironman has not only changed my Dad’s life but it has changed mine as well. I’m far more knowledgeable about health and fitness then I ever have been before. Not saying I’m going to become an Ironman anytime soon or that I abide by my Dad’s eating habits, but I try to support my Dad the best I can. But when I get tired of drinking hot cocoa I’ll go out with my friends for a milkshake and some cheese fries.
Carissa Hutchinson is a senior at Ferris State University studying television and digital media production. She’s currently on two internships with CBS 62/CW50 Detroit and M-1 Studios in Ferndale. While attending college she was a very active member of Delta Zeta and the Media Communications Association. Take a look at Carissa’s work at carissanhutchinson.wordpress.com.