Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ironman Tattoo

The tattoo has been a bit of an ongoing thing with me.

Back when I was attending summer school in Oxford in my younger years I decided one afternoon that I wanted a tattoo. I can't remember now exactly what I thought I wanted that day but I imagine it was something along these lines...

No offense to those that love dolphins.
I remember taking the bus to the local shop and sitting in the waiting room with only three chairs. No air conditioning in the middle of July. I just sat there, sweating, watching the artist work on some Bengal tiger sleeve on this one guy. I waited, and waited and finally left after an hour of listening to the low hum of the needle and not really being able to pinpoint exactly why I had even decided to go there in the first place. Welcome to being 18 years old in a foreign country with no adult supervision.
So I left, lesson learned. I always knew I wanted a tattoo but nothing ever really sent me to the shop till I ran my first half marathon in Philadelphia 4 years ago. It was a life changing day for me. Within two weeks I was off to the shop and had artwork from the medal, blazoned into my back for as long as I shall roam the earth..

I can't find the photo from my actual tattoo that I have now but see that foot? I have that foot with the words, more in cursive writing around the side of it that says "Philadelphia". It's about the size of my hand and I love it. No regrets.
So, my next project is the Ironman tattoo. I went and met with an artist last week. I just wanted to go over a few of the details of what I was thinking since it's not just the standard MDOT. She came highly recommended as one of the best artists in town and the studio itself looks like an art museum. It's just a beautiful spot but when I met her, she seemed kinda indifferent. She wasn't rude but she wasn't overly excited or helpful either. I want waves inside my MDOT but she says that it has to be big for her to do that. Maybe she's right but the artistic side of my brain wanted to say "liar". On the flip side, why would I question her, she's the artist, not me. The other issue I have is where I'm going to put it. Part of me wants it on my calf. Part of me wants to put it high up on my quad. I have a feeling that'll be a last minute decision though.
I was with some of my girlfriends the other day and we were debating the MDOT tattoo location and one said "if you put it higher up, you can hide it" but then the other said "yes, but the MDOT tattoo is the trump tattoo, it belongs where people can see it, even in an evening gown, it's ok to let others know, you're an Ironman."
Decisions, decisions.
What do you guys think??



  1. When I considered locations for my tattoos, it was always "what can I get and not take any time off from running?" That means nothing that clothing rubs or is on your feet. I have one on my shoulder (i got in the summer, so i just ran in tank tops) and then one on each wrist. That's my only advice.

  2. Many will say that the M Dot is just free advertising for the the brand. I would make it personal and make it fit you. You know what I went with, lettering that says "Ironman 2013 Gal 6:14" and I went with it on my side around my ribs. While it hurt like a big truck (sensitive area) I love it when I see it.

  3. Very cool. I'd go with the calf. I love seeing them there during races. Badass.

  4. If I ever earn one of these (& overcome my fear of needles...yeah I know what I do for a living. I can give them all day, it's different.) I want it to scream to the world that I am an IRONMAN! Seriously, what could be more amazing than being out in an evening gown looking stunning and have someone realize that you are not only a hot mama but an Ironman too?!? I think this is a no brainer!

    And really, that chick is a big fat liar....I've seen people with amazing tattoos...they can do anything. Maybe it's just beyond her skill level? Hold out for what you want.

  5. I definitely wouldn't "settle" for something that is just kind of what you want. I think if you find the right artist they can do whatever you want, even if you aren't 100% sure of it or not Only issue with the calf is yes it screams to other I've done an Ironman....but when do you ever actually get to see it and enjoy it? So maybe think about that...maybe put it somewhere that you can see everyday and remind yourself of such an awesome accomplishment!

  6. I'll probably never get a tattoo, but if I had to pick a location I'd probably pick the outside ankle. That way it isn't seen that often in regular life, except for when you are doing your actual sport.

  7. Oh, and Oxford is awesome! Looks like Christ College above! I've been reading the Harry Potter books, I'm now on book 6 - those are fantastic!

  8. i can't wait to see what you get! i agree with michael, don't settle, someone will do what you love!

  9. Hi Coy,

    What about an Ironman necklace? Check out the Inspired Endurance website and type in "Ironman"... they carry the official Ironman jewelry and their stuff is awesome.
    Susan SRMS

  10. I like the idea of being able to cover it. You can cover a calf tat in an evening dress if need be, you just need a little longer one. Not sure where I'd get mine if I do an IM, but I'd definitely get one.

  11. Calf. Don't question it. Make your decision and don't overthink it.

    Think long, think wrong.

    And the only reason I clicked here and read this entire thing was because I thought I was going to see the tatt.....but it was just an explination of what's going on in your head.

    Well played.

  12. I have a tattoo that is pretty much always covered up unless I am in a is on my lower back. I saw if you want the world to see it put it on your calf!

  13. I think you can do whatever the hell you want :). I have nothing against tattoos that honor a stellar monumental event - like the IM. Isn't it traditional that the mdot is on the calf?? I see a lot of them there anyway. I say get it, and show the damn thing off! :)

    I wanted to get one for my Leadville 50, but I sat there for WAY too long pondering what to get...drawing countless pictures and which words. I finally gave up, it was stressful. Ha. So I decided to just get a bracelet. Nope, still couldn't decide what it should say. Maybe one day.