Austin is in Texas

A few weeks ago I was thinking out loud at the dinner table, “Maybe I should drive to Austin from Oklahoma.” My sister unintentionally quoted Tom Green from the movie Road Trip, “Massachusetts is probably a 20 or 30 our drive from Oklahoma, why not just fly?” I did what any bratty little brother would do and enunciated my correction that AUSTIN is in TEXAS. At the time I had no idea the depth of that statement.

I’ve always heard that Austin is different from the rest of the GIANT state of Texas. People are in excellent physical condition, there are lots of young people, the music scene is awesome, there’s plenty of outdoor activities and groups and it’s easy to meet people. So far, I can’t contradict any of these notions. What has surprise me is the SUPERSIZED aspect of Austin, which I had noticed in Dallas and San Antonio (the only other towns in Texas I’ve been to) as well. The roads here are big, the cars are big, the freeways are HUGE, the stores are big, and the restaurant serving sizes are big too (with the exception of the servings at the Whole Foods flagship store, which had moderate servings – too big for the ladies at the table, but not big enough for the triathlete).

Most notably, however, is the Texas attitude. I wasn’t thinking too much about fashion when I packed for this trip, and when I threw in my Splish training suit I didn’t think about the fact that I would be wearing a baby blue and pink swim brief, which is about two sizes too small at a Life Time Fitness gym with the type of people who find no humor in unicorns. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed that my ASS (anti-social suit) can be a barrier to conversation with other people in the pool, but here I feel a whole new level of ostracizing energy. At least in Hawaii people would talk to me if I initiated. And last week in Oklahoma the lifeguards actually stopped to ask me about me suit, and said they thought it was hilarious (it is). Here, when I try to make eye contact or say “hello” people turn their heads as if to pretend they weren’t just staring at my crotch to find out if there was really a horn on the top of that pink horse’s head.

My home stay is comfortable. I’m with a single guy, who obviously doesn’t spend much time at home. He says he owns an internet marketing company, as well as a regular day job. Aside from the ride from the airport, I’ve actually only seen him for a 60 minute spin we did around the neighborhood. (This is actually my fault, my good friends Trish and Rory who I met through the Volcano Triathlon Team when I first moved to Hawaii are both in town, so I’ve had dinner with them the past two nights.)

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. If people don’t like your suit it is because you are swimming at the wrong places. Go to Barton Springs! You’re in Austin! If you must have a measured pool for workouts, go to Deep Eddy. Cold, spring-fed, 33 yards, …

  2. I think the motto is ‘Keep Austin Weird’ not bring your weird swim suit to Austin. I can appreciate it because inside you’re about 8 years old. The unicorn frightens me, but not as much as if it had a clown on it.

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