Friday, April 1, 2011

Triathletes Against TBTS

Since today was a record-setting temperature day in the great state of Arizona, I thought I'd bring back one of my first posts from my old blog.  It's an issue that is very close to my heart, so please read on...

Well, things are starting to heat up outside, so I thought I'd take a moment to write about something very near and dear to my heart. This is something that I personally have suffered from, on a couple of different occasions. And so I want to raise awareness for this phenomena in hopes that we all can do whatever it takes to prevent it. What I'm talking about is what I call TBTS, or "Tri Bike Tramp Stamp".

Now, I know what your thinking. "What the heck is that?" Well I'm about to tell you, through a short, personal story. I was just starting out in the triathlon world and had decided to take my bike out for a 3 hour ride. I was in preparation for a race, so I was sporting my race attire. I didn't realize it until I got home, but every time I went into my aero position, my lower back was exposed to the deadly Arizona sun. This left me with quite a sunburn, since I had neglected to put any sunscreen on that part of my body. For the rest of the summer, it was a little embarrassing to take my shirt off, because I was very self conscious of my new tramp stamp. Sadly, it lasted quite a while.  But, it has since gone away, thankfully.

Now, there's two different types of TBTS, in my mind. There is the TBTS suffered on a training ride, which is basically inexcusable. We all should really take the time to put some sunscreen on our lower backs to avoid this tragedy because in training, you're not trying to save seconds in a transition area. Then there is TBTS suffered during a race. This can be bittersweet. To me, it means that you were in such a hurry that you were willing to risk future ridicule and humiliation by those who don't understand triathlons, all for the name of trying to achieve a PR. I think this type of TBTS is acceptable. Either way, they can both be hard to explain, and make you an easy target for comical comments.

So let's all do what we can to save each other from this horrible event. Carry some extra sunscreen with you on your long bike rides, and if you see another triathlete out there who has an exposed lower back, just go ahead and throw the sunscreen at them and let them know that you are trying to save their life!

(note: This is not meant to offend anyone. It is merely a lighthearted approach to the odd sunburns triathletes get at some point in their triathlon life.)

This was my back after a race, so it is deemed acceptable

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