What’s it like being on the other side of triathlon? Two women disclose the nitty-gritties—and rewards—of being half of a triathlon marriage
By Eric Nicole Salta | Photos courtesy of Touie and Anika De Rosas and Sid and Kat Maderazo
If there’s one thing more challenging than triathlon’s competitive nature, it’s the strain it puts on personal relationships. Triathletes know all too well the struggle to pay equal attention to training and finding time for their family and friends. Yet for people who are trying to balance between spending hours on a bike, in the water, or at home, there are those who have managed to present a different portrait of the triathlon couple.
Take the cases of Anika De Rosas and Kat Maderazo. Both striking and successful, they also happen to have hardcore triathlete husbands. And they’re both completely fine with it. “When Touie and I met, his interest in triathlon was already starting and it wasn’t part of my plan to stop him in any way from pursuing it,” says Anika.
Triathlon is time-consuming, but it shouldn’t become a reason or an excuse for a couple not to make time for each other
“I’ve never felt like it’s taken time away from our relationship and marriage,” she continues. “Triathlon is time-consuming, but it shouldn’t become a reason or an excuse for a couple not to make time for each other. Effort can be as simple as doing errands together—it’s about finding time to be with each other, without sacrificing our individual hobbies.”
Kat, for her part, has also embarked on a journey with Sid’s career as a TV commercial director, businessman, and triathlete. “Full acceptance played a very big part in supporting him and it was a fast, but not easy, transition on my part, maybe because I was already used to his crazy schedule,” she says.
For Kat and Anika, supporting their husbands means listening, caring, and cheering for them as well as serving healthy meals at home. Such actions not only strengthen the relationship, they have a positive effect on performance come training and racing days.
Says Anika, “I find that listening to Touie talk about triathlon is important to him. He knows that he can always come and talk to me about anything that interests him. It’s important for him to know that he’s got me behind him 100 percent.”
Apart from having a healthy active lifestyle, he has inspired me to work hard in everything I do and to always look at situations constructively
“I love how she is very straightforward,” says Touie. “She made it clear that she will allow me to train whenever I want to as long as I know my priorities, and can balance triathlon, work, and, most importantly, family. She does not recognize the sport as my ‘mistress.’”
For some wives, support might come in the form of taking up triathlon themselves. But, as Kat proves, you don’t have to get into the sport to reap its benefits.
“Sid tried to convince me to get into triathlon,” admits Kat, “but it’s something that I’m really not into. On the other hand, I have inspired him to eat healthy because I am raw vegan. Apart from having a healthy active lifestyle, he has inspired me to work hard in everything I do and to always look at situations constructively. I really admire him for his discipline, hard work, and determination.”
Anika and Kat are earnest studies of how balance and empathy between partners have the capacity to bring out the best in each other, bouncing off positive energy to create equally positive results. Ultimately, triathletes are never really alone—even in moments of difficulty. Knowing that your significant other is waiting to greet you with a big smile and bear hug at the end of a grueling race is motivation enough to finish-kick your way to the finish line.