Perhaps you've noticed there are no Brigade photos of either me or Brian in our Bruliam t-shirts. "Show me the love," you cry. "Represent!" Still, I promise this egregious omission does not reflect beleaguered passion or wishy-washy commitment. And so I confess, I secretly harbor a wish to emblazon the Bruliam logo on my personal sportswear. My first crush was a custom swim cap. My mind adrift during a grind in the pool, I'd mentally Photoshop badass, Michael Phelps inspired pictures of me sporting reflective swim goggles and a Bruliam cap, mid stroke butterfly. Never mind Olympic athletes complete the 100m fly in roughly 1/3 the time of my best, dog-pant, wheeze-inducing PR. Even if I couldn't convince Brian to play photographer at 6 am at our local, high school pool, at least I'd have a custom cap for my impending triathlon debut. I'd hoped to wow readers with sagas of finishing first - as-in the first person out of the water after the 1599th competitor. But sadly, my sporting event provides mandatory, color-coated caps (mine grey and red- for old and slowed to a stop?). Undaunted, I've discovered the internet advertises custom caps for as low as $3.30 per cap- if you're buying 100 of them. So any swimmers out there please drop me a line. I can handle 5 or 6 caps on my own; I just need 94 more pool pals. Next I sought to cajole our Bruliam t-shirt provider into printing our logo onto my well-worn, favorite running t. What's the harm in decorating a disintegrating, Road Runner clearance rack shirt, if they've already got our logo via pixelated JPEG? I even offered to overnight ship the fraying frock so I'd have it in time for my race. Well apparently conflicts in quality control preclude their printing on anything other than garb pedaled by their distributors. Sure they have tech shirts available for purchase, but I have immutable standards of cheapness when it comes to buying gym duds. I sweat in them, then wash and dry and sweat some more, so I limit my running purchases to the bargain basement. Parsimony aside, it's already too late to order a custom top for race day.
But a tri comprises 3 expensive sports, so opportunities for customization abound. For in the heart of all sports heroes, tenacity precludes abject defeat. Nonetheless, I think my generous spin teacher (and Ironman competitor and Brigade member "M.S.") would flip if tried to spray paint the front of her bike helmet with a gargantuan "Bu," even if I promised to turpentine and return the borrowed helmet in the condition it was loaned. A huge Bruliam logo sewn to my chest on the front of my wetsuit would be sensational; I am all for being a human billboard. Unfortunately, the wetsuit is borrowed from our Saturday night babysitter (and triathlete and Brigade member "M.D."), and I can't risk the future of my meager social life for business, despite a perverse temptation to channel Superman. And so I am reduced to adorning my bike - a very fancy, shockingly expensive loaner bike from a once professionally -sponsored triathlete neighbor and friend. She's not yet a Brigade member but suspect she'll never enroll if I crash her bike because my vision was obscured by the giant Bruliam poster I'd affix to the aero bars. But I still have 6 days until raceday. So does anyone know a person who knows someone who's befriended the cousin-once-removed who once sat next to Lance Armstrong's personal hairdresser?