Humor for Triathletes

Living on the Gulf Coast of Florida, as I do, has loads of perks for triathletes (which is probably why so many of them head this way this time of year). Here, you can run, bike, and – if you’re really determined – swim outside all year round.

You know, other than on days when there’s a hurricane. That is not a headwind you want to take on.

Hurricane Bike

Our year-round sun and beautiful beaches aren’t only alluring to triathletes living north of the Mason-Dixon who want to remember what it feels like to do some training outdoors (without wearing eight layers for their run). No, this area also draws in members of the college spring breaker crowd – a fact I was reminded of the other day when I was stuck in traffic behind a white pickup truck with a bed packed with eight young women, two unicorn pool floats, and one poor fella hurling over the tailgate at every stop as his friends pointed, laughed, and took video.

Sigh. My darlings, please don’t be this guy. 

Spring break

Pukey McSpewerson might’ve, ahem, thrown off my dinner plans for that night (the curry cauliflower stew I’d been planning to make sort of lost its appeal), but he and his fellow spring breakers did get me thinking about how the traditional college spring break (WOO!) experience differs from what we look for in a spring vacation as triathletes.

And then, it hit me – these two packs of travelers have a lot more in common than you’d think.

Taking Good, Bad, and “Oh, For the LOVE, Please Don’t Post That” Pictures

Whether your trip involves racing toward a finish line or racing down to the pool to throw your towel on the one chair that has both a table and an umbrella, you’re likely to end up with a variety of photos. Both trips inevitably involve some where you look bright-eyed and happy, often taken early – before you begin your race or your day-long books n’ beer binge by the pool. They’ll also involve some from later, when you think you look great, but … well, is that the face you really meant to make? Sometimes, a few miles (or daiquiris) in, smiling normally gets tough. And then, of course, there are the pictures that you didn’t even realize were being taken until it’s too late. All you can do is make sure you’ve got your “approve all tags” setting turned on in your social media feeds and hope your friends make good choices. (Spoiler: They won’t, no matter which group you’re a part of.)

Getting Gawked at on Grocery Runs

Both groups are going to go overboard – like, seriously overboard – on snacks, candy (which is a whole different category of snacks, as we all know), coffee, carbs, and, sports drinks. Some of the carts I’m seeing in my local supermarket right now look like they could belong to doomsdayers prepping the bunker … if doomsdayers wore tank tops saying, “Let’s Get Spring Broke!” The biggest difference here is likely to be a proliferation of bananas for the triathletes – well, that and a tendency toward craft beer and calming tea vs. Natty Light and Red Bull.

Triathlete Grocery Cart

Obsessively Checking Swim Conditions

That Vitamin Sea fix is a major draw for triathletes and spring breakers alike – especially the ones making their way down from the Frigid North. Sure, triathletes are generally most interested in whether the conditions are conducive to a long, open water swim and what the wetsuit legality might be, while spring breakers are probably more fixated on whether or not it’s too choppy to launch the giant unicorn float they just spent the entire morning taking turns blowing up … but either way, swim conditions are something we all care about.

Getting New Ink (or, at Least, “Ink”)

Who else here has a permanent reminder of their spring break adventures on their skin? (Hey, it’s only a poor decision if you actually regret it, and personally, I’m just thankful I opted for a single flower rather than my second choice: a detailed rendering of The Mystery Machine with Scooby and the gang going across my back.) For triathletes, most of the tattoos are probably of the race number variety, and we can rub ‘em right off post-race with a bit of baby oil, but let’s be real – it’s not exactly unheard of to get a little post-race ink to commemorate a special race.

Chug! Chug! Chug!

Fine, it’s mainly the spring breakers who are pounding Mountain Dew, doing shots of cheap vodka, and taking turns with the beer bong (and they are more than welcome to allll of that, say I), but the number of gels I’ve tossed back and bottles full of artificially flavored fruity drink hydration I’ve guzzled on a long training day? I mean, I don’t know that my choices are that much more appetizing. 

Packing the Perfect Swimsuit

The swimwear we choose might be serving vastly different functions – a triathlete is definitely making sure the suits and kits they stash in their bags are going to hold up to the physical challenges of a long training day or a race, while a spring breaker is probably more invested in what kind of tan lines their suit leaves – or, of course, how cute it’ll look on Instagram. But in both cases, the spandex we select is crucial.

Hitting the Club

For spring breakers, choosing the right club might involve factors like location, type of dance music played, or, unless things have changed drastically in the last 20 years, how closely the bouncers check IDs. (Closely, for any underage readers here! They all check them very carefully so don’t even try it. Stay in with a hot cup of cocoa and make your Auntie K proud.) Triathletes … well, we’re typically looking for another type of club. A local triathlon club, or a swimming, biking, or running club that holds group workouts – they’re all good options. We might not be looking for love, or a dance partner (or, hey, maybe you are – I don’t know your life!), but we’re pretty much always on the hunt for some friendly competition and a good workout.

Collective Beat Triathlon Club

Speaking of great groups. Check out The Collective Beat

You know, it’s funny. I see spring breakers being silly and fight the urge (with varied success rates) to pull a face, but if I really think about it, I see that same look on some of the bystanders I pass when I’m racing. Apparently, the, “Oh jeez, what is she doing to herself – and why is she making that face?” response is another thing many of us have in common, huh?

 About the Author

Our guest writer Kristen Seymour is a busy (and very funny) woman. She's a writer, a certified triathlon coach, a pet lover and she runs Fit Bottomed Girls which is a site dedicated to empowering women to live a healthy lifestyle.

Kristen Seymour



Reginald Holden