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The Lent Project: Day 14

Because that's why we all got into the sport, right? Triathlon is about wearing skintight, high tech, aerodynamic clothing? Dad in a wetsuit...not a pretty picture. Sadly, there will probably be photos. Hopefully you won't recognize me with the goggles, bike helmet, or swim cap. 

But here I am, trying to figure out what I want to do about that essential piece of gear--the wetsuit. 

The water temperature of the lake for my race is generally in the low-70's making it "wetsuit legal" (there are rules for these things) yet not necessary. Scanning the past photos of race day and asking veterans, it's a mix of wetsuit, no wetsuit, and even a mix about types of wetsuit. There are full sleeves. No sleeves. 

Wetsuits are expensive gear, too. And given that I only have 2 triathlons on the horizon it seems silly to buy one for a few hundred dollars to only wear it twice. So renting seems like a better option. I could go to a store around here and try a few on. But that seems tedious. So I think I'm going to go with an online company who claims they have a 97% fit rate the first time...plus free exchange if they happen to get it wrong. 

I'm opting to go for the wetsuit for several reasons. First, the help with buoyancy. But, related, the second reason is practice. Sure, I could probably get away without and save myself the trouble, but wetsuits are almost universal at Ironman Wisconsin. The lake there has the potential to be in the 60's and I'm probably smart not showing up for a 2.4 mile swim race having never worn one before. Hence why I'm also going full sleeve for my Olympic. 

So there you go. It should make me faster, warmer, more buoyant, use less energy. With my goggles on and a race cap I may just feel like a real triathlete. 

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The new Mommy Wars is an interesting piece today from Joanne Bamberger of McNews...I mean USA Today. About the new women CEOs, their attitudes toward working moms, what working mothers want, etc.. 

Many of you who are longtime readers know that I've covered the work/family balance before and perhaps come down a little hard on the back-and-forth about "having it all." 

But to step back from that closeup for a second, the issue is really about dads, too. The War on Moms (or even War on Women) is also about the men in the lives of the children involved. Somebody is home...or not able to be home...because of our poor policies about time off, schedules, salary. I often complain--somewhat fed-up that we pay a lot of lip service to "family values" in this country but are anything but family friendly. 

Too frequently, we fail to setup families for success by allowing them maximum time together, a living wage for the income parent so kids can have a parent caregiver, daycare prices are sky high, daycare isn't in the workplace, etc.. And don't even get me started on the lack of paid parental (yes, dads too) leave when a child is born or adopted. 

I would say it isn't a war on moms so much as a war on families. A war on parents. Part of the reason the birth rate has fallen, perhaps? We need to make it easier to be good moms and dads, not harder. In the work/family balance debate, work is winning...because it has to. And until the odds are stacked more evenly in favor of being able to raise the next generation, we're going to simply repeat the cycle. It's at the root of our social and cultural problems. 

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