The Tightwad Triathlete’s Christmas Shopping Guide (Part 1)

Posted: December 17, 2012 in Financial
Tags: ,

I hate shopping; particularly at this time of year.  It’s like Opening Night at the Coliseum: armed warriors in pitched battle waging war to the death for the last few remaining elderberry-scented candles, plastic wall mounted fish that sings CCR tunes, or discounted boxes of ‘After Eight’ mints with the Best Before stickers ripped off.  Entering into malls in the few remaining days before Christmas would be like entering into the seventh ring of Dante’s Inferno.  Personally, I’m not stepping foot in any of the local city-sized shopping centers without a fully fueled flame thrower.

Making matters worse, is that your typical triathlete’s Christmas list will usually contain lots of very specific requests from Santa like the latest Garmin tracking system, the newest piece of fade fitness equipment, or a bike that weights about as much as my breakfast; and all this shit comes with an equally hefty price tag attached to it (never mind entering the stores to find any of it).  Lord knows that triathlon isn’t a cheap sport by any means.  So what’s a person to do?  How does one find the perfect item for your triathlete loved one without either spending an extortionate amount of money or having fight off the throngs of holiday-crazed shoppers at the local mall?  Well, never fear, Tightwad Triathlete to the rescue!

Yes, I have learned that just everything your special triathlete could ever make use of or need, can be very easily located in the aisles of your local Dollarama.  So what might inevitably cost you an insane amount of money at any other brand name sporting store like Dicks, Sports Chek, or whatever, will only cost you pennies instead.  It’s true!  The following items are just a wee sampling of the great holiday gift ideas I found during a simple 15 minute interval through the Niagara Falls store:

Dumbbells anyone?

Dumbbells anyone?

Winter is the optimal season for strength building, so having some form of weights or resistance-type equipment on hand is always, well, ‘handy’.  But forget about purchasing expensive hand-held weights and dumbbells which can equal mega bucks, the answer lays in finding the perfect weight-bearing substitute like these durable rubber beauties.  Hey, they’re even shaped so much like little dumbbells that no one is likely to suspect any different.  You can purchase the bigger chew toys for your heavier muscle building days, or the medium to light bones for your lighter, more functional strength building days.  Heck, it even has ‘Strength’ labeled right on the package!  What more can you ask for?  And if you’re a bit puckish after your workout, then these chew toys even come made of natural healthy ingredients and gluten-free formula for post-workout nibbling.  And you know how triathletes dig their gluten-free!

If it's good enough for l'il fluffy...

If it’s good enough for l’il fluffy…

And speaking of healthy and nutritious, why spend a shitload of cash on expensive performance gels, chomps, sport beans, and the like as stocking stuffers when you can purchase entire bags of “nutritionally fortified treats”  for all those long winter training sessions.  Forget about fancy flavors like Montana Huckleberry, Double Latte, Gingerbread, or Green Apple (ack!) these energy treats come in more natural and appetizing flavors like ‘Yogurt Dips’, ‘Carrot Nibblers’, and ‘Timothy Bits’…and all for under a fiver!  Don’t they sound tasty?

Essential pilates gear.

Essential pilates gear.

Pilates body sculpting balls anybody?

Keep your supplements organized!

Keep your supplements organized!

Here’s a neat idea.  I bet your favorite triathlete probably vitamins and mineral supplements by the fistful, right? And then a few ibuprofen capsules later after a hard workout maybe?  Well, why not keep all their various pills and tablets organized with this plastic, compartmentalized, multi-purpose storage box?  Sorting and organizing all your morning vitamins has never been easier.

Be seen!  Be safe!

Be seen! Be safe!

Now that our training days are shorter, there’s more probability of nighttime workouts so it’s safety first with this cheap, high intensity water (i.e. sweat) resistant 7 LED headlamp.  Just look how happy and confident that girl on the package front looks!  I betcha she just loves her nighttime run workouts.  That’s two dollars well spent if you ask me!

A moveable feast!

A moveable feast!

Here’s a totally practical gift idea.  Forget about all the fancy, expensive water bottles, fuel belts and what have you, this baby has it all.  Have you seen how much fuel belts go for at the Running Room?  It’s ridiculous.  Why not go with the multi-purpose ‘Sippy Cup and Snack Container’ for the serious endurance athlete on the go?  Now your triathlete can feed and hydrate during their long trainer sessions or out on the road with the same cheap, handheld vessel.  They’re going to be a literal moveable feast with this handy-dandy gift idea!  And conveniently enough, it comes in both blue for boys and pink for girls.

Tennis balls.  The cheap triathletes best friend.

Tennis balls. The cheap triathletes best friend.

Recovery is an increasingly important discipline in triathlon lately, particularly while we’re reestablishing our base again in the off season, so how about a package of tennis balls?  Tennis balls you ask?  Hey, tennis balls can be substituted for those fancy self-massage balls to relieve back and sciatic pain, or for rolling out those common plantar fasciitis aches and pains in your feet.  You’d be surprised what you can do with a package of cheap ass tennis balls and if the LIVESTRONG foundation has an entire page dedicated to it, you just know there’s some merit to it. Are you going to argue with Lance Armstrong?  No, I didn’t think so.

Crocks my ass!

Crocks my ass!

And while we’re on the subject of ‘recovery’, how about a pair of fluffy, ‘Ultra Plush’ slippers to lounge around in after a particularly grueling workout?  They’re even ‘Skid Resistant’.  How can you go wrong with that for $3 a pair?  Shit, buy two pairs!


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