It only seems fitting at this holiday time of year that I take stock and give thanks (from a triathlete's point of view, of course).
I'm thankful for chlorine - Now that I spend countless hours at the local pool swimming back and forth like some caged and deranged animal, I give thanks to modern chemistry. Without it, the local youngsters would quickly turn my beloved pool into what the ancient Greeks called the Urinarium.
I'm thankful for Lycra - This wonderful, modern, stretchy fabric allows all triathletes (men and women) to wear comfortable-yet-snug, tight-fitting clothes over raced-toned bodies.
I'm thankful for sunglasses - Not only do they shade my eyes from the sun, but they allow all triathletes to anonymously observe the wonders of tight-fitting Lycra over race-toned bodies.
I'm thankful for carbon fiber - My biking buddy in high school used to say bike racing is not about the chassis but about the engine--as he kicked my butt on the way back home. Well, Mark, thanks to the wonders of carbon fiber, it's now all about the chassis. After all, it is so much easier for my bike to shed a few pounds than for me to lose weight.
I'm thankful for pull buoys - Or as I like to call them during an especially rigorous masters workout in the pool: the poor man's wetsuit. They provide all the buoyancy at just a fraction of the cost.
I'm thankful for big girls on mountain bikes - They keep me honest, grounded and in touch with what's real and what's not. Just when I think that I'm the next Lance, one of these gals will fly by me like I'm standing still and give me big helping of reality.
I'm thankful for fast food - There's nothing better than a 1,500-calorie super-sized meal after an especially hard and long workout. Training for an Ironman not only makes you fit but also makes for pure, guilt-free fast-food-dining enjoyment.
I'm thankful for GU - Not only is it a great quick and fast energy food supplement, but it also provides that added hand stickiness that makes for superior bike handling through better handlebar grip.
I'm thankful for Versus - Versus now broadcasts most Ironman races, as well as many of the ITU races. Much of the time the production values of these broadcasts are so poor their goofy race coverage will certainly keep our sport a small and well-hidden treasure.
I'm thankful for the finish line - I don't really need to explain this one, do I?
I'm thankful for Body Glide - I don't really need to explain this one, do I?
I'm thankful for beer - I don't really need to explain this one, do I?
I'm thankful for aero bars - Aero bars have become the surest and quickest way to identify fellow triathletes on a training ride.
I'm thankful for traditional water bottle holders - The new behind-the-seat water bottle holders that are now all the rage have almost cost me my life twice. Why? Because they also double as missile launchers when the guy in front of you hits a bump.
I'm thankful for the swim - It keeps the run weasels honest.
I'm thankful for the run - It keeps the swim weasels honest.
I'm thankful for the bike - It's a great way to dry off before the run.
Finally, I'm thankful for the sport of triathlon - It's a great way to be alive.
If you, too, are thankful for the sport of triathlon and want to spread some of the joy at this holiday time of the year, I recommend Race With Purpose. It's a great organization that raises money for needy children.
From their website: "Race with Purpose athletes have raised millions of dollars to support organizations that serve kids who struggle because of poverty, disadvantaged educational systems, and preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease as a result of obesity."
The organization is building a community of like-minded runners and triathletes who want to contribute to something bigger than just themselves. Visit their website to get an early start on spreading the joy this holiday season.
Roman Mica is a amateur Clydesdale triathlete who lives and races in Boulder, Colorado and has his own website; www.EverymanTri.com. He is also one of the founding members of www.raceAthlete.com. He has a book published, entitled My Training Begins Tomorrow: The Everyman's Guide to IRONFIT Swimming, Cycling & Running.
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