Moving from LA to the east coast in 1997, my once hard-bodied man turned into a workaholic couch potato; snowstorms did not help the cause. As you can imagine, this meant putting on the pounds. It finally took seeing that “huge ass” (his words not mine) in one too many pictures to bring about change. It started with joining a gym and progressed to signing up for an extreme training class. I had no idea what a life-changing experience this would turn out to be for the two of us.
The class was taught by a former navy seal/Ironman who convinced a group of 4 guys of varying ages – Carl by far the oldest and least experienced in any of the disciplines – that they had the makings of triathletes; enticing them with how much fun they would have, the camaraderie, and what great shape they’d get into. He failed to discuss what this would entail with me, however, but I’m not sure even he had any idea at the time. Just happy to have my hubby active again, I naively encouraged this behavior. It started off small for a brief period of time. I say that because after doing one Sprint race HE WAS HOOKED. It didn’t take long to progress through the stages – Sprint to Olympic to Half Ironman to Full. Needless-to-say, our lives seriously changed through each progression. Our time together, the food we ate, our social life, vacations – everything revolved around training and races.
Along with the progression in distances, came the “need” for higher end gear. It starts with just a bike “off the rack” and as of this date, has evolved into a titanium (or whatever the current light-weight metal is), custom built, really expensive piece of art that beautifies a corner of my dining room.
Thank God the speedos evolved from bikinis to thigh length trunks (won’t show you either of these pics). Speaking of which, I digress, but must tell you that this is NOT a pretty or pleasant smelling sport in any respect. The clothes are not designed to flatter, especially those bike shorts (this is not a good look for adult men) and helmets, which are now aerodynamically designed, but that just means they look like they have beaks on the back of their heads. And oh, the odors – hours of pasted on sweat is just not right, nor is touching sweat-soaked running clothes.
One positive aspect of this sport is that gift giving became much easier, as he always either needed something (an advantage in having 3 sports to choose from) or the community obliged by producing items such as triathlete cufflinks.
When I think back on the past 10 years, however, of course gift giving is way down the list of the many positive aspects that came out of that extreme training class. I can travel around the world for a race if we so choose – granted trips are limited to race venues, but we often vacation afterwards like Yellowstone (see pics below) after Coeur d’Alene and Quebec after Mont Tremblant – take advantage of this if you can; my husband has the lowest resting heart rate and body fat measurement of all the patient’s in his doctor’s practice; and I now have the greatest group of friends you can imagine – caring, outgoing, and fun – which is how I got to be a proud member of the triwivesclub. As much as I complain about my “lost life”, my new found one rocks……
All the best,