This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. If you google “Should I join a tri club?” you get a lot of really excellent articles on the benefits of joining a tri club. I agree I think joining a club is great. But what do you do if you don’t think the club you are in is the right fit?
When we started running we joined our local running club and an online running club. Our local club was super fast and very elitists. However, the online club was super supportive and super social. Some of my very best friends have come from joining Runningoftheears.com. However, our local club offered training groups. However, I left that group when they told me I wasn’t fast enough to be part of the training team (I was running a 12 minute mile). It didn’t matter though because I had all these excellent new running buddies. When we moved we joined our new local club and although the people were 10x better and nicer the training wasn’t as demanding and beneficial. We just didn’t renew because it wasn’t worth the $40. We had our online clubs so it didn’t matter as much.
Now, I’m facing that same decision yet again. I’m part of an online triathlon group that is great and super supportive. I joined my local tri team because I wanted to be part of a team and I definitely wanted the training. However, recent circumstances have left a bad taste in my mouth. We have met a handful of really excellent people and that is great. But as a slower triathlete right now there is really no training for me. The bike rides offered by the local bike shop is WAY too fast for me and WAY to stuffy. They don’t seem to track where team members are going to be racing so there is really no added benefit of race support. And there really doesn’t seem to be a “sense of team” which is what I crave.
I realized this “sense of team” when at my race this weekend I was with my tri buddy Megan. She had 3 people from her tri team there and they adopted me. When I finished they were cheering. We all hung out during the awards and when I got home there was friend requests! There were apparently 5 people from my tri club at this race. I only knew of 2 that would be there. I talked to 1 person that I knew (who is awesome btw) but it was only cause she was setting up at the rack 2 down from me. There was no plan to meet up. There was no way to really know who would be there. There was no “sense of team”.
So now that our tri club membership expires at the end of the month the decision comes to renew or not. A family renewal is $75. Even though that isn’t much I question what am I paying for? I don’t “feel” like I’m part of the club. The last conversation with the president of the club was so discouraging that I’m honestly considering not renewing until he is out of office. However, the folks from the other club were so encouraging. Should we join their club? The husband’s concern is that it is slightly too far away and we wouldn’t benefit from their training either. So, now we weigh the pro’s & con’s and see what the best decision is for us. Maybe we just don’t join a club at all. Lots to consider.
So what would you do if you didn’t feel like you fit with your club?