Archive | April 2, 2020

The Laces

I picked up a pretty serious triathlon habit a couple of years ago.  I started taking it seriously, hired a coach, and started caring about racing rather than finishing.  Triathlon is a sport that consumes a lot of disposable income; race entry fees are steep and of course, the equipment is expensive.  Some people spend $10,000 on a bike to shave off a few minutes on that part of the course.  I made a serious tri bike investment myself, but not to that level.  I got the advice that it’s not the chassis – it’s the motor.  And my motor needed a lot of work.

There are some less expensive cheats though.  One of these is no-tie shoelaces on your running shoes.  Having them will prevent you wasting precious time in the bike to run transition.  They can save 30 seconds and cost $4.

And they would have been great for my father.

No-tie laces fall into the category of “why did I not think of this while he was still alive?”  He wore slippers nearly everywhere because tying his shoes was very difficult for him.

Another one that I missed is going to the drugstore and buying cheap reading glasses.  His eyes were not the best and his eyeglasses pinched his nose.  For $100 I could have solved this problem.  There were times when he sat down in his powered recliner (probably the best thing I ever helped him buy) and his reading glasses were across the room.  Getting back to them was a lot of work, so he would go without.  The same $100 would have solved this problem too.

I have a remote-controlled fan in the bedroom and another next to my basement man-cave bike that lives on the trainer.  I love them.  If he were alive, I would remote-enable everything.

I bought an $89 Nespresso machine for my ever-expanding basement man-cave.  Espresso is my incentive for crawling out of bed for 5:45am workouts.  It just works.  But now that we have a puppy who sleeps 20 feet from my kitchen espresso maker, I had to supplement it with a unit that would deliver the caffeine I need without waking up Ollie.  My dad would have loved one of these things.  It’s so easy even he could have used it.

I think I did pretty well with his equipment; enabling him to live as independently as possible as was a good for him, and truth be told, probably just as important for my brother and me.  It was sheer self-preservation.  For years, keeping my sanity meant avoiding “emergency” phone calls.  I get it though.  You and I might take performing basic function– tying our shoes, cooling ourselves with a fan, making coffee – for granted.  Our elderly parents sometimes cannot.  It’s a loss of control and dignity, and when feel like you are running out of days, that’s an emergency.

I don’t watch my phone with that kind of bated breath anymore.  Every now and then though, I am reminded of those days, sometimes by something I have for a totally unrelated purpose.  It is like that.