» Athlete Cliff

Athlete Cliff

Athlete Cliff

Hyperbole and popular rhetoric aside, the Athlete Cliff refers to the confluence of decreased training time and increased racing expenses (as a percentage of FAIL* — Fiscal Average Individual Lot). Just like the Fiscal Cliff, it’s a totally real concept that everyone should fear. See the Athlete Cliff equation for reference, where X is equal to FAIL.

Chicken & Waffle (CnW) athletes “waffle” between full blown maturity and, well, something else. It’s a balancing act that rarely nets podiums or medals, but always increases our quality of life–which makes us more mature and better capable of performing as spouses, parents, businessmen, and citizens of planet Earth. In essence, our double-sided lifestyle juggles the requirements of two very different worlds. The Athlete Cliff threatens both of these worlds.

Perhaps the biggest factor contributing to the Athlete Cliff is kiddie toys. Gone are the days when you could pick up a kiddie toy for under $20. Sure, a kid under 3 can play for hours with an empty box or an odd looking stick, but once the kid hits 4 the kiddie toy fund must surpass his or her monthly college fund contribution in order to insure domestic tranquility. As a variable, the kiddie toy fund puts a serious dent in FAIL, and it increases exponentially as a child grows. As parents, we don’t have the heart to deny them the “skateboards” that we grew up with–which today is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for PS3. We’ve got one on lay-a-way for 2018.

Another huge factor contributing to the Athlete Cliff is the spouse. Most of us would never leave our spouse for the racing culture, but “the other side” can be tempting when said spouse starts asking to remodel the master bathroom or kitchen…or put in a hot tub…or fix an air conditioner… Seriously! What’s wrong with an above ground pool?

Where was I? Oh yeah, my point here is that home improvements need to be made on a regular basis and if it wasn’t for our spouse we’d be living in a trailer, old bike frames strapped to the top. No thanks. Our spouses help us balance ourselves. Sure, they push us closer and closer to the Athlete Cliff, but they’ve also seen our dark side–the side that comes out when we haven’t worked out for 4 days straight; this is known as the Spouse Cliff! They know. We know. If you workout more than 5 times a week, then you know too.

Overall, the biggest threat for every “almost-over-the-hill”, or CnW, competitor is the Athlete Cliff. We don’t really care if we fail due to ever-decreasing FAIL. We don’t really care if our extended family finds it difficult to understand why we have to train on Thanksgiving morning. We don’t even care if we embarrass ourselves.

The fact is: CnWers are addicted to the race. We get it. Our families get it. Things probably won’t ever change. There will always be a term for us known as the Athlete Cliff but, just like the Fiscal Cliff, it’s a kind of hyperbolic illusion. It’s based on completely inaccurate and meaningless numbers.