Last Wednesday night (it has taken me a little while to get around to writing this), I met with my Team in Training mentor for the first time. While I am not yet 100% sure what role the mentor plays in training, I do know that they are former participants in the event and are available to answer any and all questions that may arise about training, schedule, and the event. I was very much looking forward to meeting her and getting a few of my questions answered. Also meeting us for drinks that night were another of her mentees, a friend who is also a mentor, some of HER mentees, and two other friends of theirs that had also done the NYC Triathlon with them.
At first, I was excited to be meeting a group of people I would be training with. The evening, as these things tend to, started off a bit awkwardly, with a variety of personalities trying to figure each other out. I got a number of my questions answered (the first workout will be an easy 10 minute out, 10 minute back run; yes, there were jellyfish, yes you could see them, but they’re not there every year; I should probably do advanced swimming, but I can start in intermediate if I want; everyone runs at their own pace and you tend to befriend those who are running in your speed group; we practice swimming with the wetsuits in the ocean a few times off of Coney Island before the actual race; triathlon swimming is mostly arm stroke because you are trying to save the energy in your legs for the last two sports) and of course, thought of many more that I forgot to ask (is the bike course hilly; do we wear the same shoes biking as running, or change in between; did you have to forgo a lot of your social life for training; etc.).
As the evening went on, however, and the conversation turned away from the tri and toward gossip and random chit chat, I got a little less enamored with my company. This is not to say that I didn’t like everyone, I just felt a bit of an outsider. The two other “newbies”, both guys, were awkward towards me in different ways: one was just totally socially awkward, and the other just sent general hostility in my direction and I could not figure out why. That worries me slightly since he and are are in the same mentor group. Everyone else, while incredibly nice and friendly, already knew each other. They were also all, from what I could figure out, about ten years older than me. They own their apartments, have real careers, and established and settled lives and routines. One even has a house down the shore! That she just renovated! While I always felt like could interact well in a wide range of age groups, the combination of their preexisting comraderie and the similarities yet differences in our lifestyles made me feel self-consciously young and immature. I am sure most of it was in my head and that they did not notice at all, I just hope that there are more people in my age group that I meet once this starts. I also hope everyone is not a lawyer or a banker (sorry lawyers and bankers, you know I love you all, I just wouldn’t mind feeling like I’m not the only arty person in the world doing this, as I already feel when I talk about it at my internship).