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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the retail_therapy tag

Do you use endurance sport retail therapy?


The last time I wrote about retail therapy, was in a pre-race neurosis blog. The short of it is that one way racers use retail therapy (making multiple purchases online or at local stores) is as a means of calming pre-race nerves. Ah, but there's more!


On the Sunday group ride, one of the riders mentioned that he was having “some retail issues.” After telling me about recent purchases, stuff he doesn't need and the great stuff he already owns, he ended by saying, “Geeze, what is wrong with me?”


I replied, “Oh, you’re perfectly normal – for a cyclist or a triathlete. Do know that I’m not saying you’re an average American - but you are a normal endurance athlete.”


The more we discussed the issue the more he was able to piece it together. He understood the fine place in life for retail therapy. Here is what Joe (his pen name) had to say about some of what drives his need for retail therapy:


  1. (Over)Training in inclement weather – I have trained in really  bad weather, so I DESERVE (KEY WORD/PHRASE) some new stuff to make me (warmer, faster, better looking, cooler, etc.)
  2. That was a tough workout under extreme conditions, therefore, I DESERVE to buy some stuff….
  3. Training Plan = Go as long as you can as hard as you can for as many days as you can until you get sick; rest 3 days (beg your doctor for some antibiotics); repeat (ad nauseam).  Then during the three day recovery-try-to-get-well-so-I-can-do-it-all-over period, Joe Overcyclist has an acute lack of endorphin production, so in order to get the “fix” Joe goes online, goes to the bike shop, goes nuts, and buys stuff.
  4. Fourth overall justification, uniquely tied in with all of the above, is the “I need to buy all of the speed I can afford!” justification.  (Although the speed paid for is not always the speed delivered – it’s the legs not the bike and stuff, dummy!)

Alas, even intelligent, knowledgeable, well trained and coached cyclists often find a need for retail therapy this time of the year – only to realize later that most of the Retail Stuff ends up on a shelf in the bike-cave, having resorted back on the tried and true stuff that he resorted back to last year.  Viva Visa!!


When is the last time you used retail therapy? Was it for a reason not listed? Do share.


Please let us know what you used retail therapy for (what ailment did it cure) and what was your purchase?

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