Free Verse Friday: Lament of the Tri-Dork

05.3.2013 | 8:15 am

A Note from Fatty: It has been far, far too long since I have posted an installment of Free Verse Friday. I am pleased — oh, so very, pleased — to rectify that now. 

IMG 6337

Here I stand
In front of a mirror
Peering, wondering
Who is this person?
How did he get here?
And why,
On Earth,
Am I wearing this ridiculous outfit?
Some things are better
Left unasked

Was I not born for greatness?
No, I suppose I was not.
And yet
Surely I was not born to fret
Over such trivialities
As the time it takes
To put on socks
When one has just
Exited the water

(And while
I am at it
Would someone please
Tell me
I am getting in such frigid water
At all?

How can it be 
That I am losing sleep
Over whether I should carry
Four gels or five
While I ride 56 miles
Should I not rather
Be contemplating
The nature of the picnic lunch
I am packing?

But no

Tomorrow I will arise
And board a bus
And stand around for three hours
And be unable
To talk or listen
Or anything really
Because my anxiety
Is soaring
To unheard-of heights

(Shall I poop once more
Before the race begins?) 

I shall swim
And be kicked in the face
In frigid waters 

I will ride my bike
which has been specially designed
To force me to look
Straight down at the road
And not at
The grand splendor
Which is all around me 

I will run
And betimes walk
In this pair of shoes
And no socks
Or the other pair of shoes
And socks
Such are the worries
That confound me

And still
I must confess
I am excited
And anxious
And  completely cool
With the fact
That stares me
In the face: 

I have become
That which I mock.


PS: My race number is 2261. The Hammer’s is 2076. If you’d like to track our progress tomorrow, I suspect (but do not know for sure) that the Ironman Live Coverage site would be a good place to do it. The Hammer’s wave starts at 7:48am MT; my wave starts at 7:54 MT. The very soonest either of us will cross the finish line will be five hours later, and may more like six.


  1. Comment by Isaac | 05.3.2013 | 8:24 am

    This cannot be
    A proper Free Verse Friday poem
    Ends with “Thank You”

    Thank You.

    Laments are a special case and may finish with “Dissonance.” – FC

  2. Comment by Brian in VA | 05.3.2013 | 8:29 am

    Free verse Friday is back
    And my heart sings
    Because today, I commuted to work
    On my bike, for the first time

    And I’m smiling
    Because it’s National Bike Month
    With many more rides to come
    Oh, the sheer joy

    Fatty and The Hammer
    Duke it out this weekend
    For familial bragging rights
    And joyous competition

    May you both exceed
    The goal for which you strive!

    Thank You.

  3. Comment by wharton_crew | 05.3.2013 | 8:33 am

    At 7:26 in the morning, I was unprepared to see that picture. My Friday is ruined, at least until I take a swig of water to wash down that bit-o-vomit that I just experienced upon seeing the combination of longer-sleeved body suit and an aero helmet. A few thoughts that were instantly seared into my brain:

    1. Your quads are each bigger than your waist now.
    2. That aero helmet makes you look like Alien and Fancy Nancy photoshopped together.
    3. Why did I say I had a ‘few’ thoughts when I really only had a couple, thereby forcing me to create this random ‘filler’ thought?
    4. Oh cool, another thought, courtesy of Seinfeld: shrinkage!!

    Good Luck!


  4. Comment by UpTheGrade SR,CA | 05.3.2013 | 8:34 am

    I’ve read Pigmalian,
    but never thought Fatty
    could be transformed
    from funny mamalian
    to spacey Tri-Alien

  5. Comment by Jenny | 05.3.2013 | 8:55 am

    Have fun – and – really – wear socks on the run! I have some nice tri shoes that constantly lead me to let hope triumph over experience – even a couple miles inevitably leads to a heel blister – you will not be sorry to have put on the socks…

  6. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 05.3.2013 | 9:11 am

    Good luck to both you and Lisa….

  7. Comment by Turn The Damn Cranks | 05.3.2013 | 9:19 am

    So little verse, free or otherwise
    Thank you

  8. Comment by UpTheGrade SR,CA | 05.3.2013 | 9:24 am

    The weather’s suddenly hot,
    My legs still hurt from April Alpina,
    And I have a 200k tomorrow,
    But when I’m out on the road,
    spinning the wheels at speed,
    Its sheer joy!

  9. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 05.3.2013 | 9:27 am

    Its been so long
    without free verse
    the rules.

    the pose
    standing tall(?)
    for battle

    The Hammer
    and support

    the battle
    will be won
    by he who has
    the most fun.

    Thank you!

    Go Hammer!

  10. Comment by Cindy | 05.3.2013 | 9:32 am

    Deserving Isaac is duly awarded
    5000 entirely useless
    bonus points
    for ponting out
    your glaring omission.

    Thank you
    and thank you.


  11. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.3.2013 | 9:38 am

    Sunny day
    Bike month – May!
    At work – Boo!
    But, no car here, bike – Yay!
    Ride home, afternoon, long
    Fun ahead!

    I mock thee Fatty Tri-Dork,
    My fun is will be without dorkhood
    much, anyway

    Thank you

  12. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.3.2013 | 9:41 am


    please, please pose in your tri-dork kit just like the alien in the picture provided by @UpTheGrade SR,CA

    you will need a tail – just improvise – perhaps a bike pump coming out of your butt?

  13. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.3.2013 | 9:41 am

    and remove your lips for the photo as well, please

  14. Comment by Travis | 05.3.2013 | 9:42 am

    To poop
    to sock
    to enter water too cold for survival
    to ride straight and true
    ridiculous helmet
    to walk
    to sock

    Thank You

  15. Comment by Wife#1 | 05.3.2013 | 9:52 am

    The challenge awaits!
    Possible pooping?
    Blister pus.
    Online tracking!

    What could be finer in this world?
    All else pales to compare.
    What mere mortal could resist the urge spend 5-6 hours following such greatness from afar?

    The mother.
    The mother cycling a metric century with two children of the corn: 9 and 12.
    The mother who will wake them at zero dark early to be starting right when the course open at 6am.
    Not to win.
    Indeed no.
    Because it is likely,
    nay certain,
    that the lowly 65 miles,
    and gently hilled they are,
    will take far longer to complete than a half marathon.
    9 hours perhaps?

    The mother will experience
    more laughing
    even more laughing
    and ultimately….
    followed by

    She awaits tomorrow nervously,
    uncertain if success is at hand.
    Hoping with every fiber of her being,
    that the Hoo Ha Ride Glide arrives today.

    Thank you.

    And good luck to everyone doing something that seriously challenges you in some way this weekend!

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 05.3.2013 | 10:03 am

    shouldn’t the photographer
    forced to take
    this picture
    be credited?
    or was that the

    Thank you.
    (i hope it wasn’t a child)

  17. Comment by off-roadie | 05.3.2013 | 11:50 am

    I once did a ‘cross race
    In which a section of the course had flooded
    With knee deep water
    The night before
    The weather was warm
    So the race directors left it in.
    The combination of riding
    And something very near swimming
    Caused me to loose significant sleep.
    I feared I might be labeled
    I can only imagine how you must feel

    Thank you (and I’m sorry)

  18. Comment by Tom in Albany | 05.3.2013 | 11:54 am

    Fatty sucked in
    his gut
    for the picture.
    My son
    “Daddy, will you drive
    to work tomorrow so
    you have energy left
    in your legs to jump on the
    trampoline with me when
    you get
    I rode at lunchtime.

    Thank you.
    Thank you
    very much.

  19. Comment by ClydeinKS | 05.3.2013 | 11:55 am

    Would like to add
    to Free Verse Friday
    yet all I can see and say is
    May 3rd, SNOW ?!?!

    Seriously affecting the family weekend run and ride plans!!

    Forget the wetsuit Fatty, Polar Bear Plunge!!

  20. Comment by Skye | 05.3.2013 | 12:19 pm

    You complain of water
    frigid, perhaps
    but still WATER!
    My water is still
    and more snow falls as I type.
    A dreadful lament,
    I close with


  21. Comment by Elizabeth | 05.3.2013 | 12:33 pm

    Others expoits sound
    So exciting for
    This weekend.

    My expoits will be
    in the kitchen.
    Where I will prepare
    a Mexican dinner for my
    aged in-laws.

    I categorically refuse
    to watch them eat tacos.
    It will be enchilada casserole.
    2 pitchers of Margaritas are
    not enough.
    Do I have to share?

    I will dream of riding my bike.
    Perhaps on Sunday.

    Thank you.

  22. Comment by Brian | 05.3.2013 | 12:37 pm

    Here’s my own free verse Friday with a little haiku

    Nice package Fatty
    You massive tri-dork toolbag
    Kick butt Saturday

  23. Comment by Saso | 05.3.2013 | 12:42 pm

    Good luck
    on your quest
    to achieve

    Have a good one!

  24. Comment by Jacob | 05.3.2013 | 12:48 pm

    There is no way to look cool in a time trial helmet when you’re not on a time trial bike. At least you have the sweet bike to go with it. I’d look ridiculous on my regular road bike wearing that even during a triathlon.

  25. Comment by Jacob | 05.3.2013 | 12:51 pm

    Wait. You’re going to put on socks for your bike shoes and then take them off to put on the running shoes? Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of not wearing socks on the run?

  26. Comment by Ellen | 05.3.2013 | 1:31 pm

    That was

    Thank you

  27. Comment by randy | 05.3.2013 | 1:52 pm

    And you may ask yourself

    Self …?

    How did I get here?
    This is not my beautiful hat
    These are not my beautiful tights

    Where does that highway go to?
    Am I right?…Am I wrong?

  28. Comment by Kukui | 05.3.2013 | 1:58 pm

    A St. George Half-Ironman Haiku:

    Wishing Best of Luck
    To Fatty and The Hammer
    Have fun out there, guys!

    Thank you.

    P.S. That is one of those pictures that are worth so much more than 1,000 words. Have a great race, Fatty and Lisa! =)

  29. Comment by TK | 05.3.2013 | 3:44 pm

    There are some things
    That cannot be unseen.
    A shirtless hairy man in bib shorts
    A dude in a banana hammock
    And Fatty in his Tri suit and TT helmet.

    Thank you.

  30. Comment by John Boy | 05.3.2013 | 6:49 pm

    You rock Fatty! Good luck tomorrow.

  31. Comment by Al Pastor | 05.4.2013 | 5:03 am

    I wish
    I was
    or riding
    or even maybe running
    this weekend.
    I am in Shanghai

  32. Comment by Kate | 05.4.2013 | 6:48 am

    Madness, pure and simple. It would be best to poop definately.

  33. Comment by MukRider | 05.4.2013 | 8:12 am

    For results I’ll check the live tracker
    It’s the Hammer for whom I’m a backer
    On the bike Fatty’s fast
    But I think that won’t last
    In the swim bike and run he can’t hack her.

    Thank you

    Live tracker is UP, the race is on :)

  34. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 05.4.2013 | 9:00 am


    Something’s fishy in St George
    The TriDork leads The Hammer by 3:56
    I think he was wearing the TT Helmet
    is that legal?

    Go Hammer!

  35. Comment by Heidi | 05.4.2013 | 9:06 am

    Annnnnnd they’re off!

    On another note, Fatty, perhaps you would consider putting an ad on your site linking to Susan’s book…

  36. Comment by MukRider | 05.4.2013 | 9:29 am


    I think you’re right, something is definitely FISHY!! I think The Hammer can still pull it out based on Fatty’s poor footwear choices ;)

    Go Hammer!

  37. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 05.4.2013 | 9:55 am

    First Split in the Ride.

    I think The Hammer may be channeling Tammy Wynette….. “Stand by your man

    C’mon Hammer!!!!!! We have to listen to him. You just have to live with him. Hah!

  38. Comment by Noel | 05.4.2013 | 11:58 am

    Fatty said originally he could put a half-hour into The Hammer over the swim and run legs and still lose at the line. Since he only managed to put about 23 minutes into her, I’m thinking The Hammer is gonna take the overall win.

    Go Hammer!

  39. Comment by MukRider | 05.4.2013 | 12:23 pm

    After the bike leg The Hammer is 5th in her age group! That is AMAZING for a non-triathlete!! (especially so considering her strongest sport is running)

    Go Hammer!

  40. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 05.4.2013 | 12:59 pm

    @mukrider, @noel. The Hammer is Amazing!!!!!!!

    Let’s hope for a Wide World of Sports moment where we see the thrill of victory….due to the agony of defeet.

    Go Hammer!

  41. Comment by MukRider | 05.4.2013 | 1:06 pm

    But Fatty refuses to let his feet get the best of him and looks like he’ll finish strong!

    Go FATTY!!!

  42. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 05.4.2013 | 1:55 pm


    Someone’s changing horses!

    Go hammer,,,,

  43. Comment by MukRider | 05.4.2013 | 1:58 pm

    I’ll bet on any horse as long as it’s fast! :)

    Amazing race by both of them!! Fatty goes sub 5:30 and The Hammer gets 4th in age group! Pretty dang good for a couple of try-geek rookies!!! Obviously not new to the endurance racing thing :)

  44. Comment by Bykjunkie | 05.4.2013 | 2:09 pm

    Awesome times! Congrats to fatty and Hammer!!

  45. Comment by Marsupial MattC | 05.4.2013 | 3:15 pm

    Wow…Fatty did GREAT…put time on the Hammer in the swim (wasn’t expecting THAT), then had a sensational ride…and looking at the run times the Hammer just couldn’t gain it all back…it would appear all our premonitions over the agony of ‘de-feet’ didn’t happen…Fatty did a pretty great run! And thus my prediction of the Hammer overall by 3 minutes was WAY off!

    Great day for you both…I guess Fatty likes being the underdog. I shall remember that and not do it again. I am humbled by you both (however, I need to toss this out there: does Hammer’s bike have those awesome Dura Ace C50 wheels? And does she have an aero-helmet? I think there is some equipment disparity here that MUST be addressed).


  46. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 05.4.2013 | 3:43 pm

    @mattc. The real dissonance is now there’s going to be a larger than life bronze statue of a ‘tri-dork’ in someone’s yard in Utah. Since he works from home the tri-suit might even become every day wear.

    Won’t the neighbors be impressed. (?)

  47. Comment by Walter | 05.6.2013 | 4:05 am

    Awesome results, you two!! Congratulations!!


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