Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Triathlon and balance

 Travel gear for ONE month for STEVE's trip.
I've been reading a ton (I go in spurts.. I'll be a voracious reader on a particular topic and then I won't read for a long time.. it's like taking a drink from the fire hose then suffering through a drought.) about simplicity and minimalism ("Minimalism isn’t about being cool or hip (though some might think so). It’s about re-examining our lives. It’s bucking against the trend of over-consumption, of consumption as the fundamental act of our lives. It’s a critique of the status quo of owning too much, of mindless buying of gadgets and big cars and clothes and other luxury items." quoted from mnmlist.com). While minimalism can be quite extreme it appeals to me. I'm not in a position to delve so far so to have only a knapsack of belongings and travel through Europe with no source of income, but the idea of owning less and ending my consumerist style of living has great appeal. We've started to downsize quite a bit and I will say it's both freed up my time and seems to be starting to free up my mind while introducing me to a new way of thinking.

I'm thinking about how we are spending our money a great deal lately. We are by no means over spenders (and by we I'm mostly talking about myself bc Tom barely spends any money at all), but I know we (okay.. I'll just start saying I) spend money on things we don't 'need'. I want to work on 'needing' less. I want our family to live our life to it's fullest. I want to DO things together that are both fun and enriching.. not spend all our money on things, but on experiences. Anyway. I could go on and on and on... but I have no concrete answers to it all that I'm ready to share.

Hmm. This ONE RACE worth of stuff looks similar to Steve's ONE MONTH of stuff.
The other day as I'm driving along and thinking about all of this this pops into my head, "Can I be a 'minimalist' and an athlete.. specifically a TRIATHLETE!?" We aren't exactly known for SIMPLICITY or MINIMALISM. How much gear does it take to complete a triathlon not to mention the bottles and clothes we go through in any given week. I mean seriously. And don't even get me started on the shear quantity of food we can throw down!

In the end... yes, I think there is a way to find balance in it all. I have gone through my workout clothes and gotten rid of the non-essentials. You know those jerseys/shirts/shorts that are always rolling around in the back of the drawer. The ones you pick up, look at and then see you 'favored' and choose that one instead and the race shirts that are so ugly but you earned them, but you hang on to the extras for the days that you are behind on laundry and your favorites aren't available. The beauty of it is by getting rid of non-essential things in my life it's a rarity for me to get so far behind on the laundry that I NEED the 'extra' clothes. So away they went and I haven't missed them. A lot of the plastic bottles have found their way to good will or the recycling as well. Not a problem what so ever. Might need to wash a bottle pre-ride when the training volume gets longer and 'exhaustinger', but I'm cool w/ that to have some space in my life.

When it comes down to it part of the LIVING piece of the puzzle includes triathlon for me so it will always be worked into the program. I'll be talking about how to get it done... as I figure it out! Hmm wonder how Tom would feel about starting w/ the 11 bikes and 6 frames we have rolling around the garage! Probably not going to be 'downsizing' any of those. We could fill a small house w all of our bike stuff. I did get him to get rid of all his old extra helmets. Really, you have only ONE head why 6 helmets? Next up the 7 pairs of bike shoes. I get it.. you need road and mountain, but beyond that?????

How much GEAR do you have rolling around and how much of it is redundant and EXTRA!? Why do you keep it?


  1. I'll be interested to read about your quest for simplicity. I think finishing an Ironman is less daunting than trying to minimize the clutter, both tangible and mental. It's definitely on my To Do List though, and while I know that getting rid of much of the Stuff would make me much more productive & relaxed (less "put your STUFF away!" orders and scoldings directed at the kids, or "where the hell is the lid/dressing/file...?!) - it's a monumental task that easily gets procrastinated. Eager to read your tips :)

  2. The bit of simplifying I've already done has made a huge impact! :) If you haven't used it in 3 - 6 months GET RID OF IT! It's that simple! :) haha That's the physical part of it anyway. I cleaned my email inbox down to only 6 messages today. That's pretty awesome too! :)

  3. Anonymous7:50 PM

    I love the idea of minimalist when it comes to triathlon. It's something I've been thinking about during my rest time. Hubby and I each own 3 bikes! Eek! I almost own 3 wetsuits - REALLY?! I think it's also important when it comes to training - what is important and essential and what is just junk miles? I can't wait to hear more about your thoughts!

  4. Oh yes.. the junk miles vs quality training. That's a GREAT Minimalist triathlete topic. I'll have to do some research and thinking on that one. As a mom.. I can only do what I gotta do. Ain't no room for junk!

    Donate or sell your TWO extra wetsuits. Bikes are tough.. we have WAY too many of them... but I KNOW hubs won't be parting w/ them. And while I love to race my tri bike.. it's really nice to ride a road bike in the 'off' or 'low' season.. to mix it up.

  5. such a good post. in the tri word (as well as the rest of life these days) it's so easy to accumulate so much STUFF as we constantly upgrade from one thing to the next. i've been trying to pay it forward a bit - give away some stuff that i've replaced. i'm with you. my goal for the rest of the year is to make all of our (my) big purchases plane tickets. gotta stock up on some more experiences and travel a bit lighter...

  6. I think that it's good investment and if your happy when you have it. Thanks.