A few months ago, my wonderful husband Craig started making some noise about goals. He's always been active, and we spend a lot of time doing stuff that is likely to wear out our kids, but this was different. Finally, one day, he came right out and said it: "I want to do a triathlon."
Well, okay. Sounds great. But I am the CFO of our family, so of course, my first question was, "How much is this gonna cost?"
"Oh, not much. I already have a mountain bike, so I'll just switch out the knobby tires for some skinny ones, and that should do it."
I was really supportive of this $40 investment (thank you, Craigslist).
Then he told me he needed to improve his swim time. (Since the last time he did anything in the water other than A. toss around children or B. water ski was, like, in high school, I would assert he had a bit more to do than just "improve" his time.) So we joined a local fitness center with a pool, and he started training a la Michael Phelps (minus the weed) immediately.
After that first swim, Craig came home and said, "I need some good goggles. And if I really want to be competitive, I need to get triathlon trunks so I can go from the water to the bike without having to change."
So he ordered his little triathlon suit. Turns out, the triathlon suit is not recommended for use in chlorinated water. So then he had to order a Speedo (feel free to laugh . . . I do every time it puts it on) to wear in the pool.
And then he decided his mountain bike was just not going to cut it. After a long ride one Saturday, Craig came inside and said, "My mountain bike weighs, like, 35 pounds. I could go so much faster on a road bike!"
Okay, I said. See what you can find on Craigslist.
Have you seen my husband? All 6'5" of him? Let's just say there aren't a whole lot of second-hand bikes around made for giants. He gave it his best effort, but to no avail.
So he bought a new one. We call it the White Beast. I need a step ladder to sit on it.
And then he had to have a jersey that wouldn't show his . . . crack while he was riding. And then he had to have zip ties for his running shoes to "improve transition time", plus pedals he can clip into, and the special shoes that go with them. Did I mention the speedometer for the bike, and a new helmet, and the little nasty gel things he eats while he's biking?
Finally, one night we were out to dinner with my sister, Jenny, and her husband Josh (who also competed in the triathlon with Craig). We were talking about all the gear required and suddenly, it dawned on me: I have given the mouse a cookie. As well as some milk to go with it.
When all was said and done, Craig lost 25 pounds and finished his first triathlon with a more than respectable time. He plans to do another one in the spring. And he only has to do 47 more before I'll be satisfied he's gotten his money's worth out of all of that gear.