Michelle Barker's books on Goodreads
Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)

The Beggar King The Beggar King
reviews: 8
ratings: 21 (avg rating 4.00)

Tesseracts 14: Strange Canadian Stories Tesseracts 14: Strange Canadian Stories
reviews: 4
ratings: 15 (avg rating 4.07)

Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales
reviews: 4
ratings: 14 (avg rating 3.79)

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Writer in Training: Find Your Tribe

            Okay, this is going to be hard for some of you to hear, but I’m afraid it’s the truth:

            If you don’t believe me, try it out. Start talking about your run pace, the intervals you did at the track, how tough the 100s were in the pool because you only got a 5-second break in between. Talk about your aerobars. Whoever it is you’re inflicting this on—husband, girlfriend, best friend—if they’re not a member of the tribe, their eyes will glaze over and they will make polite noises and find a reason to leave the room.

            They won’t care about your latest post on Strava, or any of your PBs.

            They won’t care how many cool things your Garmin can do.

            They won’t care that it’s London day on Zwift.

            Which is why it’s so important to find people who do.

            Find your tribe.

            I couldn’t talk triathlon all day long, but it sure is nice to sit down with a tri friend for coffee and discuss running techniques or exchange advice on how to deal with an injury. Not just nice—essential.

            Triathlon may be an individual sport, but having training partners makes it so much more fun. And I believe we train better in a group (at least, I do). The competition makes me work harder. The camaraderie makes it fun.

            I’m lucky to be part of a group of women friends who are committed to triathlon. I  live with one of my sons who is also training for the Ironman—plus my daughter is doing the race. If I get the itch to talk about my latest trainer ride, I can talk to them. It keeps me from driving away the friends and acquaintances who literally couldn’t care less about how many workouts I do in a week. And why should they? For anyone who doesn’t do it, it’s boring as hell to listen to.

            So, how do you find your tribe? Join a Master’s swim group, or a running or cycling group. There are also, of course, many triathlon clubs. The sport has become so popular there’s really no reason to train alone if you don’t want to.

            Spare your friends and family. Find your tribe. Everyone will thank you.

            And if you still don’t believe triathletes are annoying, have a look at this comedian ripping into us poor folk.

            As for my workouts (because I’m allowed to talk about them here), I’ve had an unexplained Achilles injury for the past few weeks that has kept me off the roads. But it was Watopia day on Zwift and I was up for the Three Sisters, so this was my Saturday morning:

Happy training!