Thursday, September 28, 2006

Written for the USC Triathlon Newsletter 09-28-06:

Written for the USC Triathlon Newsletter 09-28-06:

Compare this to:

Bikes. Ah yes. Bikes. That perpetual thorn that so often bedevils every newbie entering the sport of triathlon. What to buy? Where to buy? How to buy? Why to buy? The true paragon of existentialist crisis.

Make a mistake, and you'll be forced to live with it in every excruciating detail on the hill at mile 13. Make a wise choice, and you'll find yourself attaining enlightenment in a bliss of supreme nirvana. Regardless, you're going to be out some cash...and smooth-shaven scab-encrusted skin...and lots and lots and lots (...did I mention lots?) of lost free time formerly spent snoozing in on early Sunday mornings munching on scones and coffee in your cozy warm deliciously decadent bourgeois-proud bed. You'll never...never...NEVER see it again.

What can we say? It's not a science. It's an art. And it's as much a mating game as any singles scene in your favorite local alienated plasticized city (the name of which has been omitted to protect the innocent).

Let's just say this: bikes are a lot like people.There's the super-powered, super-polished, super-sexy road rockets screaming their names into the wind, glorious in their supple curves and lean frames angling in aerodynamic perfection towards unknown horizons awaiting your discovery. These bikes promise excitement. They promise speed. They promise passion. They promise fun. And you'll feel every fiber of your soul yearning to take them out for a ride.

But you'll find that these kinds of promises are lies. And even if true, they'll still lead to the same result: reality. Because the rockets sure may deliver on fun, and they sure may give you speed, but by their nature will be the most volatile, temperamental, high-maintenance beasts you will ever have the misfortune to meet. They'll slide out from under you in the rain, break a chain climbing a hill, slip a gear taking a curve, and somehow someway somewhere will always *always* get a flat tire. For all their beauty, they're ultimately pure agony. And that's not what life is supposed to be about.

On the other hand, there's the ordinary-looking, conventional roadies. You know, the ones that come along quietly into your life. That show up with no promises or demands or expectations or predictions, and do nothing more than greet you in the morning and invite you out for a ride. The ones that take an early morning and make it a peaceful day on the asphalt traveling along unknown paths and experiencing things however they may Every time. And they'll go with you wherever you want to go. And it will always be a good time.

And the roadies don't slide out in the rain, and they don't break chains on a hill, and they never slip gears in a curve, and they never...never...NEVER get a flat. Ever. And they are still pretty enough to get the envious attention of the other riders passing alongside you. And they are pure, unpretentious, unassuming, world-wise fun. And that's what life is supposed to be about.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Written for the USC Triathlon Newsletter 09-19-06

On a lighter note, we want everyone to take notice that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (reference:! Avast, ye scurvy dogs!

Arrrr, matey! We be the pirate scourge of the sportin' world! Sneak in our practices between the swimmers and the track & field team, we do! Be on the hunt for sportin' booty, we be! Live in the water and revel on the land, we can! Do great deeds for nothin' more than glory and thrills, we know! And freedom, for freedom to roam we always seek! A pirate's life for thee!

Ah yes, pirates of the sporting world we are. Fear and love us people do. You know...that sense of outrage when we violate their swimming lane, take their road space, blaze down their track lane. That fear when they feel us catch their feet, and then roll by them hell-for-leather like mindless unconscious fiends seeking speed. That wonder when they see our lean, hungry, sun-grilled bodies wrapped in terminator glasses locked like super-charged nitrous-fed over-revved machines. That moment when they ask themselves in utter bewilderment and say "Oh my God, who *are* these people?!?!"

And oooohhh...their heart races, their blood rises, their face flushes, their skin tingles...kind of scary, huh? Kinda exciting, huh? Kinda different, kinda out-of-the-world, kinda new? But kinda like it, huh? Kinda of a thrill, huh? Want some more, huh? Oh yeah...they know they do...

And that's when they realize it. When the fear turns to admiration. When outrage turns to envy. When the confusion turns to obsession. That's when they wish they could be with us. That's when they want to follow us. That's when they know all they want, all they desire, is to

And that's what we are. And that's what we'll be. Kinda different. Kinda new. Kinda a little adventure. Kinda a taste of freedom. To be outside in the open air, in the elements, with the wind and water and earth and sun, beneath the wonder of wind and sky. Outside, to know the world we live in, and to know the world within us. To know that we are ultimately, truly, completely alive.

Aaarrrrrrr, matey! A pirate's life for thee! Shiver me timbers! Freedom it be!

And oh yeah...this might help:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Written for the USC Triathlon Newsletter 09-12-06

Worship with me now: O Mighty Gods of Troy, accept these souls as your new acolytes to the great gospel that is the word and message of our holy sport--the trinity most divine. Do with them as you have done for all those who have come before: make their bodies lean, and strong, and of great lung capacity and glycogen absorption and VO2 max and supreme oxygen-processing efficiency!!! Make them a people who can swim all day and bike all night and rise again to run in the morn, and still work a full day and bring home the bacon and light the fires and kick the tires of a raging weekend party scene that is the envy of the USC student community!!! Make them bodies that just keep going...and going...and going...and going...Make them USC TRIATHLON!!!

Say it with me now: 2...1...3...babeeeeeee!!!

Can I get an amen? A-MEN! Preachin' to the choir, baby!!! Hallelujah, my brothers and sisters!!!

As for the rest of you...there is still time to receive the word...

I said, can I get an amen? A-MEN!!!

Remember: we love the smell of sunscreen in the morning--it smells like...VICTORY!!!