At the emotional, nostalgic, hopeful turn of the new year, with my mother in the hospital on Christmas Eve and my 49th birthday following six days later, I had a brilliant idea: to complete a sprint triathlon before my 50th birthday.
Having finished 8 weeks of training, having learned about nanotechnology from Matthew Hull of NanoSafe, Inc., a Member Company of VT KnowledgeWorks, and having learned that nano as a prefix means "one billionth," which I translate as really, really small, I have devised a Nano Wish List for triathlon-related fitness gear.
For the swim:
Nano-Level Adjusting Swim Goggles
What’s the deal on swim goggles? Some days they keep the water out of my eyes, some days I thrash mid-lane at the Blacksburg Aquatic Center, much to the annoyance of the real swimmers, to rip the goggles from my face and knuckle my stinging eyes. It’s the same pair of goggles.
Nano-Level Adjusting Swim Goggles would sense the apparent daily ten to the negative ninth fluctuation in the puffiness or non-puffiness of the sagging flesh around my eyes. The goggles would magically and nano-ly alter their little plastic sides to protect my near-sightedness from high levels of chlorine (for which, in-this-day-and-age-and-things-weren’t-like-this-when-I-was-a-kid, I am extremely grateful).
For the bike:
Nano-Powered Helmet-Resistant Hairspray
I’m all about green but I’m not into flat hair. I’ll dutifully ride my bike from Kroger’s all the way down Glade Road (a.k.a. Mt. Everest) to Whitethorne and back (a "so-so" 20-mile ride according to local cyclists. Can I just say sometimes cyclists can be smug?), but when I take my helmet off, my hair better spring back to the carefully coiffed style I gave it that morning. If Nano-Powered Helmet-Resistant Hairspray is lifting my locks, okay. Otherwise, I’m not going.
For the run:
Nano Fitness Fabric
Modern "wicking" fabric? "Wick away moisture"? Ha! I define "wicking fabric" as "that which increases one’s current temperature state." If I’m cold and am wearing wicking fabric, I get colder. If I’m running my very first 5K, sponsored by RunAbout Sports, in a cute pink wicking tank top, even if I’m almost last, which I am, I feel as roasted as a turkey cooking in a Reynolds oven bag.
Working on the nano level, Nano Fitness Fabric–also coming in a flattering pink–would adjust its porosity so that when I run my next 5K, instead of dragging in like a basted Thanksgiving bird, I will trot in with a sheen like a New River Valley morning mist.
And for all three triathlon sports:
Nano Sports Beverage
Instead of having to worry about carrying a sports beverage bottle–or about how to address the natural results of drinking sports beverages–a single drop on the tongue of Nano Sports Beverage would hydrate the entire body for 2 hours and 15 minutes. (That’s the usual cut-off time for a sprint triathlon. I’m hoping I can finish by then.)
These ideas may seem brilliant, but that’s probably not the reason nanotechnologists may already be hard at work on them. Fitness gear sells. I’ve bought equipment for three, count ’em, three sports.
I’ve got a hybrid bike. Maybe if I got a new bike, a road bike, I could go faster on Glade Road. Maybe if it had some nanotechnology…
[Added 3/5/08: From The Roanoke Times, 3/4/08: Future of cellphones may belong to nanotechnology]