03. March 2015 · 1 comment · Categories: Triathlon · Tags:

I am fascinated by tattoos.  And no, I don’t have a single one.  But I love them.

I love that people have the passion for something, or the interest in, or the will, to put something permanent on their body.  To go through the pain, and to be marked for life.  Or even just the simple love of the beauty, or the desire for the memory.  I’m sure there are thousands of distinct reasons people seek out their individual tattoos.  If tattooed people don’t mind the questions, I love to hear the stories behind the artwork.

If I were going to get a tattoo, it would have to be something Polynesian.  I love the designs, the strength and beauty.  I particularly like them creeping up the side of the neck to the ear, which I saw on many a lady when in the region – but was hesitant to get my own, as I thought my City of London law firm job wouldn’t really appreciate the artwork in the same way.

A few of my top picks:

Why haven’t I done one on a hidden spot, if not my neck?  Well, truly I am too indecisive, and while I think these tattoos are stunning, I don’t have the passion behind them to sit for needles for that long.

So why am I discussing tattoos in what is ostensibly a sports blog?

Now that Tom and I are based in Florida, we have seen so many more tattoos here than we ever saw in the UK.  We can’t quite figure out if it’s just because there is generally more skin on show due to climate, or if people are more likely to get tattooed here.  And there is a huge prevalence for MDot Tattoos:

This is the logo of the Ironman brand, the best known brand that puts on long distance triathlons (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, for a total of 140.6 miles covered by the athlete).  There are other races of the same distance, including the increasingly popular Challenge Family.  But Ironman cornered the market with its name – it sure sounds better to say “I’m an Ironman” than “I’m a long distance triathlete“, doesn’t it!

There is no doubt that it’s a massive accomplishment to finish each and every Ironman (or any long distance triathlon!), let alone do all the training to get to the start line, so I can understand why people get these tattoos.  But why do more people seem to sport them here than in Europe? We have competed at Ironman brand triathlons in Lanzarote, Spain and Haugesund, Norway, and competed/attended countless triathlons in the UK, all featuring scantily-clad athletes, same as in Florida, but we never noticed the MDot tattoo featuring so heavily as we do here.

A friend of ours (who is a truly exceptional Ironman triathlete and has an MDot tattoo with fantastic personalisation) told us a story about once meeting someone else with an MDot tattoo.  He asked him which one he had done, only to hear that the man had never done an Ironman, but that he hoped to one day, and the tattoo was his inspiration.  This again provokes some thought – is that fair to those who have put in the time and did the deed?  Or is there no such thing as bad etiquette when it comes to what art you choose to put on your own body?

I would love to hear people’s thoughts!

Do you have a tattoo?

Do you have an M-Dot?  If not, would you get one?


1 Comment

  1. That Canadian who married an Irish guy

    Interesting post indeed! I have 2, but I definitely think that’s it for me. Mine are certainly not works of art, but at the time, they certainly meant something to me. They were both impulse decisions, yet, no regrets and have deep meaning. Helps that they are also concealed while wearing a tank top.

    1) 3″ high, blue horse on my back, somewhat of a My Little Pony. I was 18yrs old and got it in Ottawa, Canada. My friend was getting her belly button pierced, and I randomly thought I needed something to commemorate my years of horseback riding!

    2) Script saying “Go On Ye Girl Ye” on the side of my ribcage. I was 30yrs old and got it in Sydney, Australia. It was an expression this boy (now husband) used to say, which basically meant “go get em’, attack life!”

    Safe thing about back and ribcage, is they shouldn’t stretch too much.

    One of my friends is getting a design made that includes lace and although I had no desire of getting one, I went on Pinterest and was obsessed at looking at some for her. There are incredible artists out there!