I try really hard to practice lifestyle deflation, which is the opposite of lifestyle inflation. This means carefully considering every purchase and certainly not paying for things that I don’t absolutely need. Every once in a while, a non-necessary expense comes up that makes me throw that thought out the window. This 4th of July, I’m paying $70 for something I could have for free.
Physical fitness is one of my top priorities. We only have so much time, and I want to give myself the best shot at being healthy during the amount of time I get. I use plenty of low cost ways to exercise, including running, biking, hiking, or using P90x at home. I love to do 5k or 10k races but have really cut those out due to expense and/or travel time. However, every 4th of July for the past six years, I’ve signed up for the Cortez Burst Triathlon. This year, I’m taking my daughter with me!
Yep, we paid $50 for me and $20 for her to run, swim, and bike around our home town. Running and biking are absolutely free, and the pool fee is only $2. Why on earth are we so nutty?
A Challenge is Good
I am in pretty good shape, but doing a triathlon is challenging. The neat thing is that last year, at age 40, I had my fastest time ever and was barely beaten out of 3rd place by a 16 year old local track star. (It’s a good thing she’s a slow swimmer!) I don’t know what this year’s results will bring, but I’ve been working my butt off to try and improve so I can be done before the kid’s triathlon starts.
As for my eight year old, it was 100% her idea to sign up, but let’s just say training has not been a piece of cake. Physically, she is more than capable, but young kids and their attitudes can shift on a dime. Some of our runs have been like herding cats, but challenge is good for kids too. I’m not sure I would have had to guts to sign up for any competitive athletic event when I was eight, and there is no way my Mom or Dad could or would have helped me train.
Money Means Results
At the beginning of the summer, if we’d said, “Let’s be able to swim, bike, and run, all on the same day,” we might have gotten around to it. More likely, it would have been pushed to the back burner because we’ve been busy. Just like my friend John who lost 100 pounds after shelling out cash for a meal program, paying money means results in our household. I’m not about to pay $70 and have us forfeit because we didn’t work hard enough.
It’s Fun To Be Around Like Minded People
Just like I am uplifted by the personal finance community when I have a money issue to discuss, the triathlon community is the kind I like to hang out with. Most people in my real world life think I’m nuts for getting up before five to work out almost every day. Triathlon people understand and encourage me to work even harder.
Recently, a fellow athlete offered me the use of a wet suit to practice open water swimming, and the lady I work out with in the mornings will surely text me if I over sleep. There will be some hard core athletes there this weekend, but the majority of the local people are there to get a good work out and cheer each other on. It’s a great support system.
So this Saturday, think of me and the kiddo. We’ll be finishing up about the time many people are getting out of bed. At least I can wear my “free” t-shirt after the race and feel like I’ve earned my 4th of July barbecue and dessert!
What are your plans for the 4th?