Most articles and blog posts on the interwebs are about the experiences and points of view of triathletes. What about the other people that live with triathletes? What’s their experience? I can confidently say I am an expert in that field. Here I’ll share with you some insights on the life of a triathlete wife, with some tips on how to make your life with a triathlete A LOT easier. Most of these can apply to husbands of lady triathletes, too!
1. Be prepared to spend all your monies on food. My husband shovels food in like the world is ending in the next 5 minutes. Tri-wife tip: ALWAYS have snacks with you. ALWAYS. A hangry triathlete = the longest damn day of your life.
2. So you have some missing razors, hey? You may think there are little gremlins hiding in the dark corners of your bathroom, waiting until lights out to steal your expensive, lathering, lady razors. Think again, friends- that razor stealing “gremlin” is actually your triathlete husband. Tri-wife tip: Hide your razors like I do.
3. What is this “guestroom” or “second bedroom” that you speak of? Oh, do you mean a triathlon storage facility? Tri-wife tip: If you are house-hunting, make sure to get one more bedroom than you actually need for people in order to safely store the multitudes of tri gear.
4. The number of bikes your husband “needs” to own is n+1, where n is the number of bikes he currently owns. Even if you aren’t good at math, you will quickly realize this equation will be your (and your bank account’s) least favourite of all. Tri-wife tip: If you and your husband find yourself near a bike shop, distract your husband by suggesting that you go for a treat. Remember, he is always hungry (see #1). This will be much less expensive than buying the shiny bike in the window.
5. I get it. You love your husband and his athletic accomplishments. I do, too. But there is a point when you will start totally zoning out when he talks “tri” to you (notice the use of “to” and not “with”). Running a sub whatever-mile or hitting this many watts or pushing off at this time and hitting this time in the pool will become a jumbled haze of confusion and eventually your thoughts will drift. Especially if your hubs is a number nerd. SO MANY NUMBERS. Curse you, Garmin. Some days, I’m pretty sure my husband could tell me he danced with wombats while playing cricket on the moon, and I would just nod and smile. Tri-wife tip: Make sure he makes triathlon friends so they can all talk “tri” for hours on end while you enjoy Pinterest.
6. Get used to him smelling like chlorine from the many hours spent in the pool. Eau de chlorine is all the rage among triathletes, don’t you know? Tri-wife tip: don’t let him take the good towels!
7. A lot of husbands wear suits or uniforms for work. Tri husbands wear spandex. Actually, all they really wear is spandex, one of the bazillion race t-shirts they have received from racing, and speedos. He will have many more shoes than you (yes, ladies, that is possible), as shoes also follow the equation found in #4. Tri-wife tip: If you are doing the laundry, make sure to use delicate soap. Don’t even think about using regular detergent, as this will irritate his delicate man parts that already get beat up from riding on the tiniest bike seat you have ever seen. Chafed man parts = grumpy husband.
8. Some people work really hard to craft their bathrooms into the ultimate relaxation, spa-like retreat. Not for you, though. Your bathroom will probably look like someone shaved a cat (from leg shaving- see #2) while also becoming the spandex drying headquarters (see #7). Tri-wife tip: If you can get him to agree, waxing his legs might be the most fun you’ve had in a while, and will avoid the dreaded hairy bathtub.
This is a small list of things that you might encounter while living with a triathlete, but don’t let it scare you away from shacking up with one. They are hard-working, dedicated, and inspiring people. Even on race days, when you have to wake up at an unnatural time and you always seem to forget how cold it is in the morning and end up wearing shorts and a t-shirt when you should probably be wearing a parka, it is an amazing feeling to see your partner-in-crime cross the finish line (especially when they win!). That definitely makes all of the above worth it.
All other photos copyright Kayle Spiller.