Saturday, December 23, 2006

the ironman card

contrary to what some people might think, being an athlete doesn't really score much points with the opposite sex.

seriously, it doesn't.

oh sure, yeah, you see football players and basketball players and some athletes from some select random sports rolling in groupies and flesh and bodies just being thrown at them in every conceivable manner of bacchanalia.

but those guys aren't getting action simply because they're just athletes. they're getting play because they're affiliated with big-time big-name big-profile programs, which means that they're benefiting from a halo of something so many people desire most: g-l-a-m-o-u-r. the sense of being around someone (or something) famous, meaning you're famous just being around that someone (or something) famous, meaning you're the epicenter of attention, meaning you're as important as your secret inner megalomaniac really desires to be.

athletes who aren't tied to big-time big-name big-profile programs are in another class. in a way, given the nature of glamour, they might as well be in another country. in some ways, it even feels like another universe...in another dimension...in another life...with nobody around.

it's funny to me, because like most other men one of the reasons i got into sport was for girls.

i'm not alone. ask any man. we all want that aura of physical superiority, that air that we're somehow different and better, that vibe that yes, we are that good and that baaaaaaad. and we want this for one main reason: girls. to impress them. to get them. to get them to like us. and if we're really lucky, to do a little more than just like us.

it's funny, because it's ended up not being the case.

it's funny, because there are no girls.

get it?

ha ha ha. quite a joke, yeah? guess who the joke's on? ha ha ha!

you see, i happen to be in a sport that gets absolutely no attention and has absolutely no profile and offers absolutely no name-brand recognition and features absolutely no publicly identifiable heroes. in fact, most people don't even know it exists. and if they do, they couldn't even identify what it involves or who is involved in it. i chose a sport called triathlon.

so guess what this means when me and the guys stroll around trolling for girls?

nothing. nada. zip. zilch. zero.

we get a lot of blank stares, quizzical looks, polite smiles. sometimes we don't even get that. sometimes we get the "i'm ignoring you...and if i ignore you long enough, you'll go away."

and you'd think that by joining the ranks of the one segment of triathlon that does have some level of name awareness--Ironman--that this might change. after all, for most people Ironman is the first thing that comes into their minds when you mention triathlon. and most athletes (and most of the people who follow athletics) know and recognize Ironman. and anybody who knows anything about sports in general concedes about the level of difficulty and hardship involved with Ironman. meaning, you'd think that as an Ironman i'd be the man. the player. just overwhelmed with the ladies.

but it's not that way. it's not what you'd think.

in fact, it's quite the opposite.

most of a triathlete's life--especially an Ironman's life--is in a near-perpetual state that is best described as ascetic. if you're training, and training seriously, and particularly if you're training seriously for competition, your life as a triathlete is one of rigid schedules, fixed times, filled hours, and austere time management. as a triathlete, each day you wake up before the sun to get your workout, you chase some time to get your meals, you obsess over training volume and intensity, you become neurotic over recovery and nutrition, you become hypersensitive to scheduling work and school and training sessions (and not in that order), you hurry to cram in a second afternoon or evening workout, and then you religiously crawl into bed as early as possible to get your required sleep, to begin it all again the very next day.

there's not much time in there for hanging out, chilling with friends, or chasing after girls and getting digits and e-mail and photos and Facebook profiles. which means there's not much action, and there's very little play.

if anything, being an Ironman is in all truth a very lonely, very quiet, very strenuous life confined by the necessity, discipline, and desire to commit to doing things most other people would not do, to sacrificing things most other people would not surrender, for a goal that most other people do not have.

and you might think that maybe by being an athlete--even an Ironman--you get to meet girls who are also athletes--and even Ironwomen. and you might think that if the guys are amazing physical specimens, then we can only imagine what the girls are like.

but that's not the case either.

because there, you see, is the fact that most triathletes, particular those involved with Ironman, are men. there just aren't that many women in the sport. you can just see it at the races. it's mostly guys. it's just not something that seems to appeal to girls.

so again, we're left out by ourselves.

i'm afraid the truth of the matter is that girls tend to view us as an oddity. you might even use the word curiousity. you can definitely use the word weird. but then beyond this they'll just stop, and just move on to someone else. and even if they do come around to being with us, they'll eventually leave because they just can't believe how consuming our lives really are.

a buddy of mine who used to be on the swim team and is now a world-class Ironman tells me i have it all wrong. he says the word isn't "oddity," but rather "studly." it's not "curiousity" but "awe-inspiring." it's not "weird" but "overwhelming." he insists that the girls are just intimidated by us and are therefore scared into hanging out with us. he says i'm presenting us all wrong. he says i need to use "the card."

ah yes, the card.

evidently, on the swim team they have something called "the swimmer's card." basically, all that a swimmer has to do to impress a girl is to casually bring up in conversation that they're on the swim team and they'll suddenly find themselves magically elevated to an exalted status of a god. need to make yourself stand out from a group of schmoes glomming onto a potential hottie? tell her you're a swimmer. need to make break that layer of ice and soften things up for conversation? tell her you're a swimmer. need to get yourself a date and moving beyond just this awkward moment of silence? tell her you're a swimmer.

my buddy tells me it's because girls know a swimmer is a very, very, very special physical specimen. they're lean. they're ripped. they can last all night in bed. they're smooth-shaven to the point of kinky. they have a body that looks great in speedos. they are, in short, hot. it doesn't matter how ugly a swimmer is, or how lame their jokes are, or how ugly their face is. if all a girl knows is that a guy's a swimmer, then he's automatically better than anything else she's going to meet tonight, next weekend, or the rest of her life.

the swimmer's card. bring it out for a hook-up near you.

my buddy, who has also become an Ironman, extends this logic to make "the Ironman card."

he tells me that if girls are doing this anytime they know a guy's a swimmer, then imagine what they'll do if they know he's an Ironman. i mean, an Ironman does oodles and oodles more swimming than a typical swimmer, and he does it in conjunction with oodles and oodles more of cycling and running too. and an Ironman is even more lean, and even more ripped. and if a swimmer can go all night, then an Ironman can go all night, all day, through tomorrow, and until the end of the week. and (somehow) an Ironman is even more smooth-shaven, and (somehow) looks better in a whole lot less than speedos. all of which means we're beyond hot. we're freakin' on fire (or, since he's mexican, we're freakin' en fuego).

all we need to do is just to bring out the Ironman card. casually. with aplomb. right in front of her eyes. and then just stand back and let the fireworks begin.

of course, this is about the time i tell my buddy that the reason the swimmer's card works so well at our school is because our university has a world-class swim program, and is world-famous for consistently producing professional and Olympic-caliber swimmers on a yearly basis. it is, in other words, famous. meaning it has g-l-a-m-o-u-r. which goes back to what i said at the start of this post (reference: the start of this post). meaning that girls aren't loving him because of the swimmer's card, they're loving him because he's affiliated with a program that's big-time, big-name, big-profile, and therefore they're bound to be just as big being next to someone like him (reference: the start of this post).

my buddy usually responds to this with a quizzical look, a moment of silence, a little bit of thinking, and then a few muttered words of frustration. after some head-scratching, he'll frown, look down on the ground, hunch over, and then wander away.

alone.

because you see, he lost his NCAA eligibility, and is now no longer on the swim team. he's no longer big. now he's just an Ironman. with his Ironman card.

and no girls.

and that's when i shrug, run after him, pat him on the back, and join him as we saunter on down the sidewalk.

it's okay, dude, i always say. there's gots to be some hot chicks around here somewhere. and sooner or later, some of them are actually going to check us out and give us the time of their day.

and yeah, it sucks, don't it?

because you see, contrary to what some people might think, being an Ironman really doesn't score much points with the opposite sex.

1 comment:

Tavox said...

woww!!, beautiful woman