Friday, July 11, 2014

Hot Wax and TT Bikes (This May/May Not Be What You Think)

My back isn't (wasn't) very hirsute. It's just that the hairs tend toward long and unsightly, especially when wet. Since I'm in the swimming pool year around, I decided to do something about it. So, I had it waxed. I did this for the sake of the others. That, and for when I flex and point in front of the mirror at home.

Anyway, I know that this material has been covered in movies/TV shows before, but still I would like to confirm to you that there is a price to pay for getting waxed. The price is pain, and the pain is for real. Now, the shoulders and upper back are not an issue. You can wax up there all day long, no problemo. But the patches above the kidneys? I just had a visceral reaction recalling it. And, how about the small of the back?


With surprisingly little resistance from my wife, I found myself getting prepped for the "treatment" at the Dundee Waxing Room. Small talk accompanied shop owner Lindsey as she began applying a warm, soothing balm to open the pores on my back. The room had a pleasant floral fragrance. The talk, and warm soothing goodness put me at ease.

"So, do you have any vacation plans this summer?" Lindsey asks.

She applies another swath of warm balm over my lower back. It smells delightfully of orchids. I could fall asleep it's so nice.

"Well, my wife and I just returned from Colorado, but nothing else planned this summer."

"Colorado? What did you there?"

Reassuringly, she places the palm of her hand gently on my back. It was starting to feel like a Swedish Massage. I'm enjoying every part of this very much. So much that I was regretting that the treatment would soon follow. I guessed I had at least five more minutes before the real fun began.

"We visited family and went for a hike in the mounta --"

-- Riiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaappppppppppp!!!!!

A searing flash of pain instantly electrifies my spinal column, seizing several muscles en route to exploding in an array of complicated emotions in my brain.

"Did that sting a little?" Lindsey asks, mostly out of courtesy.

 "Yah!" was the best I could muster.

"I'm sorry, but I've found that the element of surprise works best for my clients. Believe me, I've tried doing the countdown. But each time, the client says that anticipating only makes it --

-- Riiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaappppppppppp!!!!!

"... worse."

"Well, perhaps for me you could give the countdown another --"

-- Riiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaappppppppppp!!!!!

" -- try."

And so on and so forth until the agony was over. I will tell you this: I didn't cry. Well not very much at least.

In hindsight, I will agree with Lindsey's professional assessment that the countdown would never work. What did work was changing my perspective. Instead of anticipating pain some of the time, I switched gears to expecting pain all of the time. That way, when I did get the hair yanked out of my back, it was kind of like a mini-vacation from the other pain.

I accomplished this feat by imagining racing my TT bike while Jordan and Spence were my +/- 30 second men. It was beautiful. I was suddenly in complete agony 100% of the time. That made all the difference.


A big toothy grin transforms the agony to joy on my face. A moment later I'm back on my TT bike, HR red-lining, lactic acid boiling in my blood. My clenched teeth are being mashed to pulp. Fighting like hell to not let Spence catch me, sweat stinging my eyes as I'm pushing the big ring up a hill at over 500 watts ---


A big toothy grin transforms the agony to joy on my face. A moment later I'm back on my TT bike, repeat etc...


I'm glad we covered this on my blog today. You're welcome.

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading.


  1. I see this as nothing but win-win for you. When you're legs are screaming for you to ease up during your next TT, you will be able to continue by fleeing from the Evil Waxing Lady.

  2. True. But a better solution a-la Rafal: Don't swim, Don't TT. Win-Win. Bah.