My Spandex (lycra, skinsuit, speedsuit, compression, wrestling singlet, cycling/tri kit etc..) Theory!
My story about overcoming society's challenges with the support and openness of the cycling and weight lifting community.
|Lifting Fall 2019|
I’m a big guy trying to live in a world that is not really meant for big people. I have learned quickly that big guys are not accepted and should generally not be doing or wearing certain things. Being big I was shunned by many people because of my size. I was looked down upon, called names, and often found myself as the butt of jokes. Big guys are literally forced to cover themselves up, wear shirts at the beach, no shorts… just big jeans to cover up and be ashamed.
|Shedd Park Cyclocross in Lowell MA Nov 2013|
When I decided to get into cycling back in April of 2010, weighing 570 pounds, I got some big baggy cycling shorts, naturally. Heaven forbid I wear spandex (lycra); what if anyone saw me! So I got them and started riding. I HATED them. Boils, and an infection. It got so bad that I even needed medication to stop the infection. So, after doing some talking, and a willingness to “take on societal norms” I got a pair of spandex bib shorts, from a company called Aerotech design. They make bib shorts up to 5XL. The first ride with them I fell in love.
|MIT Lycra/Spandex Party 2011 and Birthday Party|
I rode only on a stationary bike trainer until September, 2010. I wanted to take my bike outside, but was scared to wear spandex in public. So again, I did some talking, talked to my doctor who suggested I find a cyclist or two to wear the spandex with me, accept me for who I am… and ride. I did that and have never looked back!
Wearing spandex when I ride gives me the freedom to be me. I am not ashamed, not scared and I am not going to run and hide After gaining the confidence to wear what is comfortable while doing something that I love, that is helping me lose weight, I STOPPED HIDING.
|Providence Cyclocross 2013|
While wearing spandex on my bike, I started to love myself and fix my self. It also helps me deal with my depression because spandex is honest. It makes me honest with myself and with others. This is why I think the cycling world is so open; when people can accept themselves for who they are they can also accept others and help them to be their self. You can’t help others if you can’t accept and help your self. You make the spandex what it is, not the other way around.
Now its 2015 and its been a little while since I did a posting... So I decided to update the theory that put me on the map... To date I have raced in 16 plus cyclocross races, I'm a USA cycling Cat 4 cyclocross racer and Cat 5 road racer. I have put over 8000 plus miles on my bike since I started recording rides on Strava, and lost over 260 pounds in weight. I have a following of 21,000 plus amazing people on Facebook, and 5000 plus people following me on Twitter, Strava, and Instagram. I have been on 4 cycling teams and belong to 2 currently, (Comp Racing, and Outdoor Tech). But most of all, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of amazing racers and cyclists of all types, abilities and level and made some really great friendships along the way. Its truly amazing where I am today, from where I started a few years ago when I put my first pair of spandex/lycra bib shorts on.. They gave me the life I only could dream about years back..
that I inspire so many. You know my grandfather told me once; "you get a true perspective on life NOT by showing people how tough you are, or by winning every race, or seeing how much you can lift or endure, or by how much money you make.. BUT by how many people you inspire, motivate, touch, change and help in their lives by what you do.
Thanks for reading, and ALWAYS be proud to ride your bike and to rock your cycling kits/uniforms , IE cycling jeseys and bib shorts/cycling shorts, your skinsuits and speedsuits, tights etc! KEEP IT TIGHT!