Home » 140.6 Journey » To tattoo, or not to tattoo…

To tattoo, or not to tattoo…

Mar 13: Day 29

Planned workout(s): None (rest day)

Weight: The bloat is still real.

I really need this fasting day today.  Not so much to get the scale down, but just to reset my mind and get back on track.  Slipping into some bad habits that I really don’t want to slip into.

For those who do triathlon I am sure you’re seen it: the IM-Dot tattoo.  It’s a badge of honor that says “I’ve done the full Ironman”.


There’s a kind of mystique about this thing.  There isn’t any actual official rule about getting it, or what it should look like, or where it should be.  But there are some unspoken ones.  I’ve never even done a full ironman and am aware of these.  They include:

  1. You need to actually do the race first.  Training doesn’t count.
  2. DNFs don’t count.
  3. 70.3 (half ironman races) doesn’t count.  This one is kinda squirrelly though.  People seem OK with it as long as you put 70.3 somewhere on it to clarify.
  4. Non-official ironman events don’t count.  Even if it’s the same distance, if you use their logo, it should be one of their official races.
  5. Races where elements are cancelled outside the athletes control (like the bike being cut  short due to severe weather) MAY count, but leans to no.

I get these rules.  They make sense to me, but it’s kind of my personality. Heck, I refuse to even put on the race shirt for a race I haven’t completed yet (that’s a topic for another day, actually).  I’m totally OK with waiting until I have finished a complete, official IM before I consider getting this tattoo.

From there though, there’s a lot of personal choice involved.  Where you get it is up to you, although the calf seems pretty common.  What you do with the base logo is up to you too.  There’s all sorts of room to express your personality and journey through the tattoo.  Check out some of these examples:

IM collage

Me, I’ve always pictured the IM Dot with a dragon perched on top, wings spread.  That would be how I would do it.

If I do it.

See, I’ve never been inked before.  I don’t find them offensive or anything, but I’ve just never done it.  So now the real decision is, for this major life event of such personal importance, is now the time?

I just haven’t made up my mind.  What do you all think about it?


3 thoughts on “To tattoo, or not to tattoo…

  1. Loved that you raised this. So where would you put it? A tattoo at your age for this reason makes sense. Tattoos for young people who haven’t fully formulated their values and passions is scary — too permanent. Tattoos for beauty? That’s a cultural thing & maybe inter-generational, but not for me. Mom

    Sent from my iPad



  2. I thought about getting the tattoo, but never have. Not sure why. Tradition in right calf (timing chip doesn’t cover it up, people see it when racing but discrete at other times). My thoughts about the “rules”…your body, your ink. If you completed a 140.6 (whatever the brand), you’ve earned it. M-dot is a company logo but also a term for the distance. That said, I don’t know why you would avoid a Ironman branded race then get that logo (like being a dodgers fan and getting a Yankees logo tattoo). If the race is shortened but you finished, you’ve earned it. If you DNF, you didn’t. Typically, a m-dot outline indicates a 70.3 and filling it in is a 140.6. Getting 70.3 added to the m-dot is fine…but removing it or hiding it once you do 140.6 is hard. Easier to get the outline if there is even a remote chance that you will do the race down the road. That said, not everyone that has a Yankees tattoo have played for them…it could just indicate that you are a fan. Your body, your money, your ink…

    Liked by 1 person

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