One of the more common themes I notice when I read sites of people training for tri's or IM's is the benefits of the physical changes - the metamorphosis, if you will, of the body from mushy love handles to streamlined abs, from cottage cheese thighs to fueled-up steel pistons. Heck, if I had to get real honest, the outward physical changes were most certainly one of the more attractive selling points of signing up for such an endurance event. Well, that and the excuse to blow off progression into an otherwise adult-life by selfishly pouring my money, time and energy into bikes instead of relationships, but never you mind the details.
And I don't know what you all use to gauge physical progress - for some, its a number on a scale, for others a measured inch around a waist.
For me, its underwear.
Yep, good old-fashioned underwear - alternately my best friend and my most dreaded foe.
A good pair of bloomers will let you know if you lost those five pounds (perhaps fitting a little baggy or just right - no unsightly bulge beyond the panty line) or gained the five pounds back plus a few of their friends (thus fitting too snug to the point that your butt actually eats them right up!)
Yes, the panties are my gauge. And here is where the Ironman comes in.
See, just before my back injury (have I told you about that? I wasn't sure if I mentioned it - let me know if you need the details...), five weeks shy of IM AZ, I bought....get ready....wait for it...
My first pair of size Small underwear.
That's right. Size Small. Don't hate.
I knew I had arrived. I put them on (after washing them of course), those little pink boy-shorts with the lace edges. Awesome. Like a glove, they fit. Second skin, really. No bulging, and in fact, quite flattering. Many a day I was late for work admiring my new panta-loons.
Then the back thing, the six week hiatus from training, 10 too many bags of gummy cherries, a couple tubs of movie popcorn and 16 bags of (the big ones) pretzels later, my size Small undies have been placed back into the lingerie drawer (single tear).
Each morning, I open this drawer up, the sun shining its hopeful rays through the window of the bedroom, illuminating the treasures that lie within this tiny cabinet. And there they are, all different colors, staring back at me, wondering if I will ever love them again, confused about what they did wrong to be banished back to the dark corner of the drawer. How I wish I could tell them it wasn't their fault - oh contrary! - It was I who was unfaithful, cheating on our new relationship with the evils of sugar and bad carbs.
I know one day I will be able to liberate my little lovelies, but this week is not the week. Frankly, it's comforting to know that I have, at least once, reached this point, and that having it as my goal is enough to get me back in the pool. Because here's the thing - and ladies lemme hear ya - there's something about cute underwear that just kinda changes your mood, puts a pep in your step, makes ya feel a little saucy. So totally worth it. Lacy boy shorts, I'm commin' to get ya.