Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The garden

Do you ever find yourself doing something so ridiculous that if you were a fly on the garden wall, you would fall about laughing whilst watching yourself do it? I'm not sure flies laugh so much as buzz like the hideous World Cup horn things (I am deliberately not learning the proper name of them as they are actually sooo annoying and consequently don't deserve to be part of my vocabulary) but you get the picture. The particular activity I am thinking about here is Transition practice.

I assume all triathletes practice the transitions (don't they?) as it seems like a fairly easy area to make up some time. Certainly OH takes it rather seriously. His past experience shows that a few seconds can be the difference between the podium and the rather crappy plastic medal that all the entrants get awarded. So. We set up a practice transition area in our garden. I honestly don't know what the neighbours make of us - I suspect they are waiting for the right time to have us sectioned. (Having said that, maybe they prefer this more silent activity to our more vocal late night karaoke sessions).

The bike is propped up against the wall, shoes and helmet carefully arranged in their pre-ordained positions, towel on the ground to remove any stray pebbles between the toes. I have the stop watch at the ready. I can imagine that you believe this up to now, based on the histories I have shared with you thus far. But will he really get his wet suit on just to practice a transition? Surely not. But yes, he does. In fact, he gets it on and off three times just to make sure. And believe me this is no mean feat - it normally takes him a good 15 minutes just to get it on. He even found an instructional video on YouTube for me to watch so that I knew how to zip him up properly. Truly. This is a very serious business.

So the giant rubber man (complete with frog-eyed goggles and swimming hat) stands hands on hips in the middle of the lawn. A short sighted nosy neighbour might think that some kind of fetishist superhero had popped round. But all the potential embarrassment is worth it because I then get the hose and soak him. We are simulating the real-life situation of having just evacuated the lake. I know. It's hilarious. The Oxford graduate is reduced to standing statue-still whilst his rather gleeful girlfriend has complete license to drown him with icy cold water. I especially like the bit when he holds the front of the wetsuit open and gets me to direct the nozzle down his neck and onto his bare chest. One of my favourite triathlon moments, actually. As my deep belly laughter drowns out his screams I think that all the early mornings are worth it just for this.

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