Dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) As a Triathlete — My First Professional Article
I love that this article—Dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) As a Triathlete—is one that regularly recirculates. Not bad for the fact that I wrote it in 2007 (though it went online in 2014). This is actually the first article I ever wrote about sport—before this, I was a fashion/culture writer at ElleGirl in college, before the magazine folded. It was for my Health and Science class at Rutgers University—we had to pitch articles to publications completely blind, and at 20 years old, this was what I chose to pitch to Brad Culp, the then-editor of Triathlete. I didn’t expect to hear back (I was just completing an assignment, I didn’t think any sports editor would take a 20 year old junior/fashion journalist seriously and had barely started training for triathlon myself) but Brad got back to me and suddenly, I was writing about triathlon.
This article changed my life.
Not just because I got to dive into some gut issues that I’d recently been dealing with, though there was that. Writing this article (and then, to my surprise, getting paid for it!) changed my entire career trajectory. If it hadn’t been for this article, I have no idea where I would have ended up, so Brad, thank you for taking a chance on a weird pitch from a young writer.
I also got to write the conclusion that is still one of my favorites that I’ve ever written:
On the bright side, triathlons are possibly the best competitions for people with IBS. After all, as Tim Phelan reminded me, just look to Julie Moss, the original Ironman legend. He asks, “What other job can you have where you finish second, crap your pants and people love you?”