Tuesday, March 15, 2011


In today's episode of delusions of grandeur, let's talk about triathlons.

Some people decide to do a triathlon to accomplish a solid goal, something they can look back on in their later years and feel as though they did something in life.

Other people decide to do a triathlon because they're on a date with a beautiful woman and it becomes increasingly apparent that if they don't do a triathlon, there is no chance of her calling them back in any foreseeable future.1

And lastly, some people decide to do a triathlon because their sister just finished a freaking Ironman and now sends them text messages while they're at work talking about the amazing backcountry skiing she is doing at that precise moment in powder-filled Utah.

Triathlons come in three flavors: difficult, impossible, and sit down on the couch and start crying while eating donuts because there ain't no way you will ever do that.

Of course, that's just what the motivational training videos are trying to tell you when they show you models with what can only be plastic-surgery-enhanced six packs.

Seriously, though, if you want to do a triathlon, it's easy! Just follow these three steps:

  1. Run a lot
  2. Bike a lot
  3. Give up the first time you set foot in a pool, because you will never overcome the embarrassment of swimming four laps in the slow lane, getting lapped by the slow lane swimmers, and needing to take a 10 minute breather before your lungs implode

Which is unfortunate, because swimming is easy, right? I got the swimming merit badge for heaven's sake. It can't be that tough. It's not like I didn't do anything, and then paid off the camp counselor with a twinkie to sign off the requirements for me.

Oh, wait.2

Anyways, I discovered something about swimming last night: it sucks.

It's nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to make me look fat and pasty while panting and randomly thrashing my legs and arms and head, trying anything to figure out how exactly everyone else is getting air. Like, do they have snorkels or something? Because seriously, this swimming gig is a joke.

My family has a long tradition of participating in Donutman. I think it's high time I started training for that instead.3

1. Ahem, not that I, um, did that. Ahem.4
2. Just kidding! That was actually the fishing merit badge. In my defense, the deal was struck by a co-scout, Whit, and I a peer-pressured participant. My 13-year-old self spent about a year worried that someone would ask me how I didn't know the first thing about fishing when I had the merit badge. In hindsight, I'm not sure why that frightened me, because I obviously don't know the first thing about swimming, even with a valid badge.
3. Like the individuals I overheard the other night, talking about how they had eaten six and seven Krispy Kreme donuts that day, respectively. I don't have much to say about that beyond my expression of complete conviction that they will be stricken with Type 2 Diabetes sometime in the next forty-eight hours. Of course, I should at least here mention my good friend Brian, who once managed a dozen in under ten minutes.
4. It didn't help.


Melody said...

I have 2 sils who have done Ironman. And ultramarathons. My mother does marathons. I have a husband who does triathlons and marathons. And I, being both a geek AND a dork, have a donut eating contest at work where we eat the same number of donuts over 30 minutes (10) and them check our blood sugars after an hour to see who can compensate for all that sugar better. It would seem that opposites do, in fact, attract.

bek said...

chris, would you rather swim in front of people you could beat in any running/biking race or play the piano in church?

MommaMcCarthy said...

Maybe I shouldn't tell you that I once ate 7 Krispy Kremes in the car on the way to stake conference. In my defense, I was made to squish in the middle-back seat for over an hour and since I was in the middle, I was holding the donuts. Oh how I miss my early-twenties metabolism...