Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can a Mormon Tri?

Over the weekend I did a small triathlon hosted by my tri club and I stayed behind afterwards to cleanup and what not. Last night I hooked up with a couple of buddies from my Tri Club and we went out and did bike intervals by the airport.

In both instances I realized that there was a good chance I was the only member of the LDS Church in the group - at least as far as I could tell - and I think you could probably questions the extent of my membership...

Anyway, it got me wondering as to why this may be...

I have a couple of possible theories, but if anyone else wants to weigh in...

1 - Training for a triathlon takes a lot of time, and members of the LDS Church don't have that much time, between working extra jobs to pay the bills and filling callings within the Church.

2 - When triathlons started, there was full nudity in the transition area's. I know I look at some people and question why this was ever abolished, and they probably look at me and are extremely grateful. Could it be a modesty issue?

3 - Coffee and triathlon training seem to be closely entwined as well - Do members of the LDS Church just not feel comfortable amongst coffee drinkers? And those who enjoy a beer after a race?

4 - Most triathletes I've met lean left politically, and it's one of the unwritten laws of the Church that you have to vote Republican...

Just some thoughts I've had...


  1. Maybe because they're too busy sitting around on their fat butts eating delicious baked goods, jello, and funeral potatoes. Oh, wait--those are the reasons why I don't do triathlons, not why other LDS members don't. Although, there are probably some who share my very valid rationale. :)

  2. Consider this - I have free time galore, don't object to nudity, drink coffee and alcohol and lean slightly to the left politically and yet I DO NOT TRI! :)

  3. And what on earth is a funeral potato?

  4. And I probably should have added in the kid thing... That's why Mrs. Koda doesn't - and perhaps the reason I do...

    I'm not saying everyone should - I just find it interesting that in a state that is approx 50% Mormon, you would expect an athletic club to have a similar ratio of diversity.

    Oh, and funeral potatoes - similar to scalloped potatoes I think. In Utah they are usually brought to the potluck after a funeral (because we're not cool enough to have a good old fashioned wake!), hence the name, along with the green jello, with the grated carrot in it.

    It's a strange culture, that's for sure!!

  5. Tell me you don't put carrot and green jelly in scalloped potaotes (we call 'em heart-attack potatoes!
    No whiskey after a funeral? *gasps* Strange culture indeed!

  6. I think you may have someting there on some of your reasoning, but let me twist it around for you.

    I work in an industry that's notoriously liberal. Libs all around me everywhere. During the election, this might as well have been Obama's campaign hq.

    And there are many of us here who run pretty seriously (I run, but more just so I can justify the occasional donut). Liberal people tend to be single or married with few or zero children. I'd argue that your tri crowd is mostly left-leaning because they're the ones with the time on their hands it takes to train for those runs.

    I actually know several conservative running-minded folks that would love to compete in these runs, but can't because of kids (church callings, I don't think really factor in). Most of my LDS friends my age work at least 2 jobs to support their family.

    My guess is that the LDS runners you do get at these things are in their 40's or older. That's because their kids are grown and they're more financially stable by that time.

    I don't think the nudity, the coffee, or the lefty politics of other runners are keeping the conservative LDS away. I just think their lifestyle keeps stuff like that on the back burner.

    By the way, the most die-hard runner I know is LDS conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry (KNRS). Dude lives in NY and runs some sort of race everytime he's here.

  7. Oh, and for the record- I've never had green jello with carrots in my life. I'm not sure I've even seen it served at any LDS function. That's the one stereotype I've never understood.

    I have, however, eaten my fair share of funeral potatoes.

  8. Green Jello and Carrots... I had it once at an LDS function - wasn't that great either, and while it was in Southern Africa, it was attributed to Utah. No idea where it came from either.

    My intention in writing this was more a comedic type look at the situation, but I think you may be right about the kid thing... There is one other guy in the club that has as many kids as I do, and he actually started in the sport at the exact same time as me...

    As for running and donuts... Amen Brother!!!

  9. I should add that the only time I skip funeral potatoes is at funerals. There's just something about corpses and banquets that just doesn't jibe with me. At the ward Christmas party? Sure. After a viewing and funeral and just in the next room over? Call me crazy, but I'll pass.

  10. It could also be that since most wards (especially in Utah) provide an excess of social activity, the people who do have some free time on their hands already have it filled for them. When they're looking for volunteers for something and they ask me, I'd feel weird saying, "I'm going running that night".

  11. (What I meant by that - is that most people won't go looking for new friends or new groups, simply because ward sociality (... socialism?) fills up everything else.

    (and I really wish there was an "edit" button on blog comments...)

  12. Yep, an edit button would be nice... The other option is to delete the comment and start over, but then you have the deleted comment, and everyone wonders what was said...

    You could be right with the social thing... I don't play basketball, and share very little if anything in common with anyone else in my ward. My motivation for joining the Tri Club was to get some friends who enjoyed the same type of recreation as me.