Off Topic Thursday: Tattoos

13 Jun

I’m hoping you all have different opinions on this one because I’m looking for some input. I think I’m ready (at age 29) to get my first tattoo.

I’ve contemplated for a long time what it would take for me to want to get something tattooed on my body forever. It would have to mean something to me, something deep and profound; something that would never change.

I’d contemplated a Deathly Hallows symbol for a while, and that’s still on the table, but I decided against it for now.

As a lot of you know, I’ve been training for an Ironman 70.3 since February. Finishing it has been a dream for a long time and I’ve been working my little tail off for five months to make this a reality. Recently, I’ve had co-workers and friends comment that I look like I’ve lost weight. I think of it has losing my social life and gaining a training regimen. I’ve also seen no change on the scale because I’ve gained it back in muscle. Anyway.

This major accomplishment is something that’s made me think about tattooing again. It’s a major accomplishment that I’ll be proud of for a long time. It’s something that at one point, I thought would be impossible for me. I used to be unable to run more than 3 miles before I was ground to a halt by knee pain. I fought through that and I’m so amazed at where I am now. 70.3 is within reach.

So that’s what I’m thinking of memorializing. I don’t want anything fancy and I don’t want color. I think I just want 70.3, or some combination of those numbers and a small word like ‘believe.’ I want it somewhere I can cover for work and I’m thinking on the side of my foot near the ankle (can’t decide on inside or outside).

Now I’m asking: Do any of you have tattoos? Any that you regret? What do they memorialize for you? Is this too trivial? Will I regret it in two years? Give me your thoughts as I have too many of my own.

Until next time, write on.

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22 Responses to “Off Topic Thursday: Tattoos”

  1. Deanna June 13, 2019 at 11:05 AM #

    I have 3. Two are fandom adjacent tattoos. I think as long as it’s something that impacts you, it’s worth it having artwork to symbolize it.

    I have a Deathly Hallows one that’s the symbol and it says “The last Enemy defeated is death” around it on my ankle. That was my first one. I love it. My second one is a lotus flower on my wrist which is in memory of a very good friend of mine who passed away in 2013. and my third one is on my forearm and says “Nous creons donc nous vivons” which means approximately “We create therefore we live” in French which I got as a scavenger hunt item during GishWhes 2017. (So essentially because Misha Collins from Supernatural told me too.)

    *technically* my Gishwhes tattoo would be similar to the Ironman tattoo because it’s a big accomplishment that I’m super proud that I was a part of, I did the hunt of 5 years and made really great friends all over the world. I think tattoos like that, ones that have important meaning to the wearer but an outside person may not get it, or understand are the best ones.

    when asked about my Gishwhes tattoo, I usually don’t say I got it because an actor from a television show on the CW told me to as part of his weird cult-like scavenger hunt, but having that tattoo, and knowing what it means and remembering the weird things I did over those five years and how that experience changed me as a person is worth it.

    As for if you’ll regret it, who knows, hopefully not, the ironman is a huge accomplishment and if I was able to do something like that I would 100% get it tattooed onto my body.


    • Sam June 13, 2019 at 12:24 PM #

      I really appreciate your insight! I’m still thinking of the Deathly Hallows one, but I’m not there just yet. How do you feel about tattoo visibility? Are there times you hide or want to hide them? That’s a concern I’ve had.

      And the big question: how much did the foot one hurt?! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deanna June 13, 2019 at 1:44 PM #

        All mine are in easy to see spots. When I go on job interviews I have a chucky bracelet that covers the one on my wrist and with long pants and long sleeves the other two are covered. The rest of the time I don’t care, unless there is someone who speaks French around and they ask me what my arm tattoo says and since I don’t speak French I don’t know how to pronouce it.

        As for pain, the one on my wrist was the worst, it’s also the only one I have that’s colored. the other two are black lines. my deathly hallows is right above my ankle and I would equate the pain with a terrible sunburn. It’s not bad exactly, but it isn’t pleasant. I’ve heard directly on the foot is terrible. Fattier areas hurt less than places where the bone is close to the skin.


      • Sam June 13, 2019 at 5:09 PM #

        I can handle a bad sunburn for sure! I swim a lot so anywhere I get it will be visible a lot, but I’d want to hide it on an interview, too. Thanks so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. mariaku June 13, 2019 at 12:28 PM #

    I remember that feeling of trepidation when I got my first tattoo – notice I said first because I am currently up to 4 and wanting another but the first one was special.

    It was one in remembrance and the one I love the most as there’s a lot of memories attached to it so seeing the ink reminds me of all of those good/ bad times but never did I regret it or the ones that followed.

    For the exception of the first tattoo, the others are for me and are varying but each one holds a memory or a reminder so when I look at them, I’m reminded of the why behind it, so I think and hope that if you do get this tattoo, that something similar happens every time that you gaze upon it. An ironman is a huge accomplishment and I know that if it was me, I would want to honor that.


    • Sam June 13, 2019 at 12:33 PM #

      I’ve heard that they can become addicting!

      Sometimes it’s hard to think that finishing a 70.3 is a big accomplishment because I’m surrounded with people who have done multiple full IronMan races (140.6) or who are world ranked in several distances. I think this would help me remember my goals and what I’ve accomplished. Thanks so much for reaching out and giving me your insight!


  3. Becky Ross Michael June 13, 2019 at 12:38 PM #

    I don’t have tattoos, but my daughters do. I would suggest avoiding anything trendy that you’ll outgrow as your tastes change. Don’t rush into anything…


    • Sam June 14, 2019 at 1:50 PM #

      I’m only thinking of the 70.3 one for now. There are some ‘trend’ things I’ve thought of, but I’ve always talked myself out of it so far. Thanks for chiming in!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. alilovesbooks June 13, 2019 at 1:13 PM #

    I don’t have any tattoos as I’m too much of a wimp about the needle thing. That’s not to say I’m against them and I have thought about what I would get. If it was me I’d probably go for something small and meaningful (at least to start with), either a symbol, date or phrase. I think I’d also be inclined to put it somewhere I could hide it if I wanted, wrist, ankle or shoulder. My brother pretty much has a sleeve now and I really don’t like it.


    • Sam June 13, 2019 at 5:07 PM #

      I think we’re in a similar place! I’m nervous when I think about it, but also kind of excited. I do want it to be something I could hide, though. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Kiersten June 13, 2019 at 2:11 PM #

    As someone with a lot of tattoos (I have almost a full sleeve and a few other random ones), I would advise you NOT to put it on your foot. Foot tattoos do not hold up well at all. Within a few years your tattoo is going to have spread and be illegible and messy. Feet/hand tattoos are never a great idea. I almost got one on my foot and my tattoo artist advised against it. Now, I’m glad I didn’t, because I’ve seen how poorly they can age.


    • Sam June 13, 2019 at 5:10 PM #

      That’s really great insight, thank you! I’ll have to look into placement more, I hadn’t considered that some places wear better than others. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Amanda McGill June 13, 2019 at 3:29 PM #

    I don’t have a tattoo, but my husband got one last year after he completed Ironman Mont – Tremblant. He never wanted a tattoo, but it was a huge accomplishment when he finished the race. He loves it and is really happy that he can now show it off in the warmer months!

    I think the best thing to do is a lot of research on what tattoo you want and seeing if you get excited or if it terrifies you. Your achievement will always be there so you can always get it in a year from now if you really, really want it.

    Side note: I know you said that you were thinking of just getting a 70.3 tattoo, but I find the swim, bike, run icons to be really cute as well.


    • Sam June 13, 2019 at 5:46 PM #

      Congrats to your husband! What a great accomplishment! I do like the three sport symbols, but I also like that 70.3 means something if you are a triathlete and is a little bit of an ‘inside’ thing. It means something if you already know what it means. Thanks for sharing your insight!


  7. Shantall Elizabeth June 13, 2019 at 7:21 PM #

    I have one tattoo that I got last year when I turned 29 years old. It was a sketch I had worked on for a couple of years of something my mother used to say when I was kid. I had finished the design when I was 28 then I took another year to find an artist I was comfortable with to help me bring it to life. It was quite a long process and I am so happy to have taken so long with it because I don’t regret it all.

    I think that if having this tattoo of this accomplishment of yours means so much to you than definitely go for it! Memorialize it in the way you see fit!


    • Sam June 14, 2019 at 7:05 AM #

      Thanks for sharing! I’m a lot less nervous about finding a good artist because I want something so simple but I can see how a more artistic image would take so long! Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. mistysbookspace June 13, 2019 at 10:55 PM #

    I currently have 4 tattoos. I was 18 when I got my first one and honestly when I when I had them done I didn’t know what I wanted except for one of them. I don’t really regret any of them and honestly I kind of forget that I have them. I will say that once you get that first tattoo you will most likely want to get more. At least that’s what happened for me.


    • Sam June 14, 2019 at 7:06 AM #

      I’ve heard that so many times! I’m a little nervous to open the floodgates haha. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. aquapages // eline June 14, 2019 at 5:07 PM #

    Congrats on your progress! I completely get wanting to celebrate that. Personally I’m kind of glad I don’t have the money for it as a 20 year old, or I would have a lot of tattoos by now, however scared I’m of permanence, haha. I really like your idea, but probably sit with any idea for a while before committing. I would guess that anything personal to you or motivating won’t grow old. I’ve been stuck on the idea of getting an ouroboros for a long time, as it’s a cool symbol that humans have rediscovered through mythology and religions like ancient egypt, norse mythology and alchemy. It also has meaning in the cyclical and neverending nature of the world, which gives me some comfort even though I’m not religious. Tattoos are just so cool in general because people chose them so carefully, there’s so many amazing styles and you never know the whole story before you ask!


    • Sam June 15, 2019 at 9:32 AM #

      The personal meeting is part of why I like getting 70.3 instead of something more obviously triathlon related. I hadn’t thought too much about the cost but I can’t imagine something as simple as what I’m picturing would cost too much. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lauryn McC July 3, 2019 at 8:46 AM #

    The Tattoo Addiction bug bit me big time. I am now, after a few years of getting work done, am the proud owner of a complete left sleeve. It was a very long process! I had moments waking up and seeing something that will be there FOREVER, that garners a lot of (sometimes unwanted) attention, caused me to say to myself “what did you do!” but you know what.. I have beautiful art that I love.. and yes, i do have many others elsewhere. None do I regret.. What does make me crazy, is when people “pet” them. I do NOT appreciate being touched by strangers, I don’t know where their hands have been.. and I don’t understand the fascination with touching other peoples skin.. its weird.
    Each artist has their forte’. My artist happens to specialize in Japanese style, he’s done some of my sleeve in the tebori method. I didn’t just walk in one day and say hey, I want.. I did a lot of research for different shops, looked at MANY portfolios, some did their best at traditional, some were amazing at portraits. So do your homework.
    Some of the best tips I can give you: Cheap tattoos are not good, Good tattoos are not cheap. Remember to tip your artist. Also, if you want to “try on” a tattoo. …see if you can find someone that’s good with henna.. and maybe they can do a temporary on you.. This way you can see if its something you like, the placement.. etc. ALSO.. a note about writing.. if you go too small, the letters will eventually spread out into each other and you will have a blob. So remember, words need to be a bit bigger. The more detail to a piece, the bigger it needs to be. Also, if you get something with straight lines, try to find a flatter body part otherwise it will look wonky.. Hope this helps!!


    • Sam July 3, 2019 at 11:06 AM #

      Good point about size. I’d been thinking small but not super little. Maybe an inch tall or so. I was going to look at recommendations when I’m ready to pick an artist. I don’t want someone brand new! I hope no one wants to pet my ankle lol. Thanks for chiming in!


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