Monday, October 17, 2011

Being a cheap ass (yet awesome!) triathlete


So there are all these articles and blog posts about how triathlon is an expensive sport BUT that there are cheap ways of doing it. This is not one of those posts. I'm not super rich, I'm a student, I got some scholarships throughout my studentship (and spent a couple thou of that money buying a new bike), but in general I've had to slowly amass all the awesome stuff that comes with being a triathlete, including but not limited to:
- Sweet, awesome kits with superb quality chamois (that shit ain't cheap!)
- My 310xt
- Power meter
- Frickin' bikes, mate! 
- Run shoes: minimalist shoes to strengthen the feet and legs, trail running shoes, road shoes, race shoes
- Regular and aero helmet
- Fees to gym, pool, etc

Anyway, this blog post is not about doing triathlon on the cheap. I want all that awesome stuff, so how do I get it while not living on the streets?
Here's how I have lived my life, and how I plan on living my life for the next couple years:
- Live in the summer months in a tent, or couch surfing, or sleeping at friends places while I travel -- love this!! If traveling to a race, please god don't spend money on hotels! That could add up to 1/5-1/3 of the cost of a bike! See if there is an online group for that race, they might have locals doing the race offering up a free place to stay for the race (see iamtri.com). OR, go camping at a primitive campsite (NOT a motor camp, that's big $$$), and shower after you swim at the local pool. 
- Don't spend money going out to restaurants often, I also don't drink alcohol so that helps
- This is a big one but DON'T buy clothes brand new! There are secondhand shops with absolutely amazing clothing that someone has either never worn or worn once or twice. There are extravagant people out there with clothes in excessive amounts; I'm taking advantage of their ridiculous spending habits! 
- Back up and calm down with your need for technology, I have an ipod, a laptop, a shock/waterproof camera, and a crappy cellphone that can txt and call people. Boom, done for the next couple years. 
- Whatever else you buy, evaluate... there IS a better way of acquiring what you want without buying it new. 
- When traveling, readjust your need for souvenirs by doing it small (e.g. I'm a sticker fiend!! 2$ stickers on my laptop or journal are far more memorable than crappy holiday shirts one would wear once)
- Buy fruits and veggies in season, and if your fruit is going bad, freeze that shit and use it in a smoothie!

I know it's not a lifestyle for everyone, but I'm someone that isn't loaded but still wants to have AWESOME TRI SHIT, so here's how I've managed it. My days spent with friends/family are not money oriented (shopping, visits to bars or clubs or restaurants), but rather adventure oriented (training, outdoor exploration, making awesome food and then eating it). 

A couple awesome photos:
Cheeky buggers


Photo editing using TiltShiftMaker.com, does anyone know
of another free photo editing/effects website?

God, I love my home -- is anyone out there signed up for Challenge Wanaka or Lake Wanaka half-iron? I'd love to hear from you -- there will definitely be posts in the weeks leading up to the event giving you the scoop on the race and the town if you're coming into Wanaka from afar to race. 

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