Still contemplating the word, "Triathlete"

Hmmmm ... it's still tricky, isn't it? Am I or am I not a triathlete? What about you?

Libor and Linda commented yesterday and it appears that even after years of tri participation, folks still have a hard time self-identifying as a "Triathlete." Why is that?

See, I think it has more to do with the mental projection of what we think a triathlete is: a finely-tuned human machine, chiseled, lean, and fast. I mean, that's all I see in the Triathlete Magazine. But obviously, we can't all be that way. We're all different ages, sizes, abilities, etc. We have different goals, training allowances, commitments, etc.

So, are there levels of triathleticism? Like "Entry-Level Triathlete" up to "Professional Triathlete?" If so, what are they called in those stages? I'd really like to know. I know how I stand in the rankings, but where do I stand otherwise? I don't want to be a cyclist (first) who does tri's (second). I want something more than that.

But am I enough to be considered a triathlete?

See, I kinda' like "slothlete." (Courtesy of Libor) Somehow, I think that fits me, too. Butto all of my friends that don't do this/any sport, they refer to me as "the triathlete," but Lord knows I'm certainly not a fast triathlete.

I do it for the same reason most regular people probably do it, because it's fun and rewarding. It's a constant challenge and does wonders for my mental and physical health.

So again, I pose the question, what defines a triathlete? The races?

The rankings? The training of three sports? Or am I just a cyclist (first) who does triathlons (second)? How would you define yourself? How did you come to that conclusion? Help my find which skin to wear! :D