Thursday, 7 May 2015

Living With A MAMIL - Middle Aged Men In Lycra

I want to know if anyone else is in the same situation as me - do you live with a MAMIL?

mamil, men on bikes, lycra boys,

You see, once upon a time my husband, Steve, shared the sofa with me at night as we sat chomping on biscuits with a mug of tea. But over the last five years, things have changed and there is no let up in how committed my husband is to his love of the Brownlee brothers, lycra, expensive bikes and his ruddy protein shakes.

I am certainly pleased he is dedicated to his health, he has lost a lot of weight, looks super fit and inspires me every day with his enthusiasm and dedication. But sometimes I am wondering if this is becoming obsessive and whether any of you peeps are witnessing the same behaviour with your other halves.

Firstly, you will have heard of these - Tough Mudder, Wolf Runs, Rat Race, Survival of The Fittest, Man Versus Mountain let alone the half-marathons, Iron Man competitions they also enter. It's an expensive hobby!

man vs mountain
Apologies for poor phone pic. Steve (Lycra Boy) is on the right

Your husband will have spent a fortune on not one bike but maybe three or four. One of which will be at least £2000 yet still he is craving a £10,000 Pinarello Dogma but he knows he won't be able to get you to accept that crazy purchase. He will also have a turbo trainer (so they can ride their bikes indoors during bad weather), more than three pairs of trainers for different terrains, three different types of gloves, at least two cycling helmets, countless number of race tops you could clothe the entire population of Africa.

And don't get me started on washing all of the clothes - the socks, shorts, lycra outfits, etc none of which can go on a normal wash cycle, no fabric conditioner can be used and none can be dried in the tumble dryer! And god forbid if you accidentally turn the white sections on his fancy red tri-suit a nice shade of pink! Frequently your washing machine will have grass and bits of stone in it because they've washed their trainers - again!

You go to your kitchen cupboards and they've been re-arranged to make way for the gigantic tubs of protein powder, protein shakers, oversized sports bottles (why does he need to own more than 2 of these?), energy gels, protein bars and vitamin aids. My husband has taken over three kitchen cupboards already! Not to mention I have his training programs pinned all over the noticeboard hiding dentist appointment cards and the family calendar. There are numerous eating plans and recipes stuck to the inside of kitchen doors.

Then there is the obligatory Nutri-bullet for him to mix his healthy concoctions - green smoothies which look like algae. However, don't ever make the mistake I made by placing the attachments in the dishwasher. Steve was not best pleased I nearly damaged his favourite machine which takes pride of place on the kitchen worktop next to another super-duper blender and packets of flaxseed, jar of coconut oil and organic health supplements.

No doubt your husband will take over what is made for dinner every evening, his culinary delights will only consist of chicken, broccoli, quinoa, kale and egg whites. Your tastebuds are now redundant. But worry not, because your nose will go into an overdrive of repulsion what with all the protein shakes your husband consumes causing him horrid flatulence which makes your eyes burn.

sträva route, sträva miles, sträva bike course, kudos sträva,

Then there's the sharing of routes, courses and events with you. They show you maps of the route they have cycled; giving you in-depth detail of every mile. All the time you have to pretend you are ever so interested. They like others to know about every Strava achievement (they love it when they get Kudos from fellow lycra friends) and see photographs from the latest race they have participated in. All of these achievements are always shared on Facebook/Twitter along with the obligatory picture of their bike resting up against a hedge/garage/door/wall/fence/bush....

scott bike against hedge

storck bike against gate

But the one pic they keep to themselves is the one you took back in January of him in his boxer shorts. You then have to take pics every month so they can see if there is much change in their physique.

You would think outside of their training and Facebook updates of latest achievements they would give it a rest. No. Never. They will either have their head in the latest Triathlete magazine, reading the Brownlee brothers biography or shopping online. All of which will be done as they lie next to you in bed with their Garmin watch bleeping on the bedside table.

And the days of having a lie-in on a Saturday and Sunday morning are long gone. You are awake at 5:30am because they are off for a bike ride at 6am. You open your eyes and you see a blurred vision of a man in his lycra outfit walking awkwardly in his SPDs. It really is a sight for sore eyes. The night before their bike, helmet, giant sports bottles and energy gels will be left in the hallway ready for their early training session so you have to take your time navigating your way in case you scratch his beloved bike.

storck bike in house

The shopping habits of a MAMIL is very secretive let alone expensive.There are many occasions where he will be wearing something new and he comes out with the classic line "This?! No, I bought it a year ago." He seems to forget I look at the bank statements and can see the purchases to Wiggle for many hundreds of pounds. Their training gear is not cheap, a pair of very lightweight fingerless gloves cost £26, apparently he needs these for training during the summer months. What's wrong with wearing no gloves at all?

Only two days ago when looking at the photos from the sprint triathlon he took part in on Sunday he was wearing a new cycling helmet....

leicester sprint triathlon 2015

Apparently, he needed this helmet because the sunglasses are fixed to the helmet which saves seconds during transition period of a triathlon. And yes, you guessed it, he bought the helmet last year although I have never seen it before, ever! Along with the sparkling white trainers he was wearing for the run too!

No MAMIL buys their running trainers straight off the shelf, no no no.....they have to travel across the country to see a running specialist. They get their running gait filmed whilst jogging on a treadmill and assessed for the correct running shoes to support their precious feet. And you can bet your life those £150 Mizunos were the only pair suitable.

Only yesterday my husband told me how he and his training partner Paul gave their new training friend Royston lessons in how to convince his partner to let him buy another new £2000 bike. They are of course the experts because myself and Paul's wife Kerrie have certainly been made a mockery of over the years. I have become aware of one trick they use:

Steve will say something is being delivered to our house because Paul is out all day. The parcel will arrive with Paul's name on it, but I'm not stupid, it's Steve's really. They use each others online accounts to make their secret purchases. He doesn't realise I can hear him hiding it in the garage.

The sports gear also transfers into clothes for their everyday wardrobe. The days of Superdry hoodies are long gone, they are now replaced with Bonk triathlon 'Live to Train' hoodies. The only time you will see them in a shirt is if they are attending a wedding or funeral. Your bathroom shelves now have tubs of protection creams for them to lubricate delicate areas of skin; in other words their private parts. Your water bill has increased because they take at least two showers a day after cycling, running and/or swimming.

And the biggest problem for us ladies?

They want us to start running, cycling and swimming too. Thankfully I am unable to due to my spinal problems but three years prior to that injury I was subjected to endless 'encouragement' to join him on a Wolf Run. Something I had no interest in whatsoever. I have always enjoyed running and cycling but I was not impressed when he bought me a road bike without asking me first. Needless to say, that purchase was soon removed from the garage and sold on.

I do have some fun though......if I go to watch him in a race I tend to shout "I can see your willy!" as he runs past in his lycra.

Teresa xx