Ever wonder why some titles are just more gender skewed?
and it's not because ironWOMAN or ironLADY sounds strange..
i truly believe it's because some races are not meant for women or ladies!
now, before you throw cabbages at me, let me explain and set the record straight:
1. i am a supporter of ladies being included in all sports, especially male dominated ones.
2. there are ladies who beat men square at races
3. at a race, to a certain extent, both genders are equal
4. i will be truly honoured to be called an ironman
point 3 is what i would like to use to best illustrate why i believe races like the ironman is not meant for ladies.
does this really exist in races? well, let's see:
1. race timing? yes and possible
2. equipment? yes definitely
3. strength, skills and experience? yes quite possible although the average male is 20% stronger than the average female but sometimes, this is not a disadvantage to the ladies
4. training hours? yes, can be equal
you can probably think of a million more equalities, so what tips the scale and makes it ironman and not ironlady?
... the wilderness...
women and men react differently to the wilderness.
men on one hand (or the other, whichever one they choose) can pee/poo at any point in time and place. and sometimes it's not even during a race! you often see taxis at the side of the highway, both doors open, cabby standing in the middle, only thing in sight is a thin stream shooting out into the wilderness. I once dated a guy who was waiting for me while the whole household was out and he needed to pee. mom never really understood why her baby roses died overnight.
ladies on the other hand, think really hard and contemplate if they can hold it to avoid the wilderness. a doctor once told me, urinary tract problems are more common amongst women because of our natural habit of holding in our pee till a proper rest stop. he mentioned "especially for chinese women"... he must be referring to the large number of chinese women on tour buses across china longing for a proper toilet or one with a door!
it must be the way we are built differently. men do not have to be inches from the ground to pee hence saving them the worry that any creepy crawlies can nip them in the process. if anything, they probably had fun shooting the creepy crawlies at a distance.
we're pretty much the same when we poo in the wilderness, but this only happens when it's really bad. by which time, you're too consumed with the tummy churns to bother about creepy crawlies... mr crawlie better be on vacation before sh*t happens!... know what i mean?
but the wilderness is not the reason why we do not have ironlady titles or that the ironman is not meant for women.
the fact for me is, it's called the ironman because the race is 17hours (and some 40mins more for me). you've got to go sometime during that period and a proper loo is a luxury. so women and men just 'go' as they go. no qualms, no gender boundaries. ladies react like their male counterparts.
admit it. it isn't a very lady like thing to do.
during a race, women are not coy. we are just as strong as the guy next to us in spirit and courage. we no longer act very lady like either. we become athletes... not women and definitely not ladies.
we are strong, confident and honestly... can't give two hoots about who spotted our fannies in the rush of the race.
we dump our bikes, and hit the nearest bush clearing. helmets visible... nothing else. i've once shared a bush with a triathlete friend during my first OD at kenyir. sweet guy, threw me his water bottle to clean up after..
as I looked at pictures from that kenyir race, i thought "how ironic!". the day before i had taken a picture dressed in white, with slight make-up on.. smiling sweetly in front of a bunch of kept dears. some other shots had me feed them through the fence. and the very next day, i was sharing a bush with a guy and his water to wash... without even blushing or feeling awkward after.
what is even more ironic is the person who taught me how to pee while on the bike was shen. sweet shen, now happily married and pregnant with her first child. sweet in real life, tyrant survivor during races (makes you wonder which is her real self and which her alter ego).
how ladies change at the bang of the start gun..
so to me, the ironman title is quite apt seeing that it really isn't a time or place to be lady like. we become one of the boys and it is always in great admiration that some ladies beat the guys at their own game.
but we couldn't have just adopted this tyrant survivor gig. i'm quite sure all women have it in them.. we're just too lady like to do it other than in races.
for example, the first ever wilderness I can remember is locking myself up in the toilet with my cousin su-en.
there we were, sweet young things of 5.
i came up with the idea that since our parents have started letting us feed ourselves, we must be matured enough to lock the toilet door. su-en couldn't agree more. So we marched up to my mom's room, went into her toilet and closed the door.
su-en asked how does the lock work and like a pro i said, "you just push this button. see?" once locked, we realised that there was only one toilet bowl. being my guest, i let her go first. while I waited cross legged my mom called from downstairs. i instinctively wanted to open the door to answer when i realised that i couldn't unlock the door. i panicked and su-en, still seated, started to cry.
ever notice how, when you panic, your pee just feels like gushing out even more?
well, that was how i felt. su-en did not help either by being fixated to her seat. I wanted to pee right there but was too shy because at 5, you are matured enough to know that that's not what you should do.
meanwhile, my mom had rushed up with a bunch of keys to open the door from the outside. all was calm until we heard my older brother say (and i'm very sure it was said on purpose)"wah! so many keys-a? it'll take us forever to find the right one!" su-en started crying again...i only two things on my mind:
1. i need to pee... how?
2. how can anybody pee THAT long? i'm sure she's just sitting there on purpose!
the moment of truth arrived and i knew i had no other choice... and like an organised crime raid, my mom found the key, busted through the toilet door and found me peeing my life away... ... into her toilet sink...
ok, maybe that was a psuedo wilderness situation. but thinking back that must have been my first pee-with-audience encounter. and when it was time to deliver, i roughed it out like the boys and delivered.
who knows, maybe that was my first calling and i was meant to be an ironman after all...