Patrick Fellows is a 5 time Ironman, TEDx giving, 32 miles swimming, endurance coaching, healthy cooking, entrepreneur and musician.  Born in Dearborn, MI, raised in Mississippi and a Louisianian for 30 years, 

The Art of the Shavedown

Back in 2003, I was known to go on a tirade or two on the Baton Rouge Triathlon Forum.  It was my first foray into blogging etc.  I did three posts which I will repost here.  Just to warn you, I was much less reserved back then... DearClub Kids, I have been meaning to write about this for quite a long time now and thought with the lack of smack going on right now I would open up a topic that needs to be addressed as I feel it could cause many problems for our club down the road.  It is a topic not touched by most as no one seems to be able to delve into the topics complex web.  I thought I would take it upon myself to expound a bit into the reasons, methods, and unspoken rules of shaving. THE REASONS: Unlike most folks in our fold I do not try to make up contrived reasons to shave down.  As a swimmer most 12-14 year old boys want nothing more than for their leg hair to grow out long enough so they can shave it off for the big meet of the year.  "Shaving down," as it is called in the swimming world is a rite of passage, it means your are fast enough to think the tenths of a second that is saved by having no hair on your legs, arms, back etc. will make a difference in the race.  This is true as some races are decided by hundredths of seconds.  I once had a friend shave his eyebrows which grew back as an eybrow and a little crooked.  Also, Friday nights at State meet were always marked by shave down parties at the hotel at which you were staying.  This was your opportunity to get shaved by girls from your team as well as other out of town teams.  What a way to break the ice with a lady.  Put on a speedo and have her shave your legs up to your crotch.  In a word AWESOME. As I joined the triathlete world I was thrown back to the shaving world.  This time it was masked by the idea that IF you wreck on your bike, you will be happy because it makes it easier to pick stones out of you road rash.  All this info was espoused to me as we walked out of the Spinning room at the YMCA where noboby  was getting a rash of the road variety, but maybe the too large of a bike seat rash.  I have wrecked and had some road rash and all I did was not shave around it.  Maybe I need to wreck better and get some more gravel stuck in me, but so far this argument is kinda lame. THE TRUTH IS THAT WE ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE NON TRIATHLETES WE KNOW.  WHAT BETTER WAY TO FURTHER FREAK OUT THE REST OF THE WORLD THAN BY SHAVING SOME OR ALL OF OUR BODIES.  The other truth of the matter, at least for me, is that shaving down makes you feel fast.  Every time you hit the water you feel fast.  Ladies to test this theory don't shave for a week or two and swim, go home and shave and swim the next day.  You'll feel fast as a mackerel.  The last secret truth as that no matter what the argument you get from a guy, THE LAST TRUTH IS THAT I JUST PLAIN LIKE IT!!!!. Triathlon is just their crutch.

THE METHODS For those new to the triathlon world here are a few do's and don'ts for the unintiated. 1.  Find you some lube.  Shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, and even shaving cream will make your work go a lot more smoothly.  Also use a new razor.  Dispoable is fine, just make sure it is new and change it out appropriately. 2.  For guys, get a trimmer of some sort to take off the first layer.  You will save in blade cost and it won't take two hours to shave your legs.  You can get a cheap one at the Wal Mart for like $10. 3.  Nair and other chemical removal systems.  Best stay away from these.  A friend of mine used some sort of liquid hair remover and his scrote got scortched.  Kentucky Fried Chicken Skin anyone? 4.  Stay away from all gimic like lotions, salves, hair pullers etc.  They are more likely to do more damage than good. THE RULES 1.  How much are you supposed to shave?  How high are you supposed to go?  Do you shave your arms, chest back etc.?  If you follow my logic, you are ultimately shaving down to go faster so what good is it to shave your legs and not shave your arms, chest and the sweater off your back.   SHAVE IT ALL!! I go with the skinless cat look most of the time.  I may not shave the whole body all year long but usually go with the grow it all or shave it all approach.  I also use the race ware measurin system.  Put on your training /raceware of choice and shave around it.  Don't be afraid to pull back the elastic and color outside the lines.  No point in shaving arms legs back and chest only to have a 70's disco bush spillin out over the sides.  Those clippers in the above list  have a guard for trimmin.  For god's sake use it.  THIS APPLIES TO BOTH SEXES! 2.  For ease of shaving keep at it all year long as it hones the skills and keeps you from taking 1 hour showers to mow the lawn a couple of times a year. 3.  Always tell people that ask that you are in some sort of strange club or sex cult as it will make you more freaklike to your work peers.  Or answer those questions from your gun totin, golf playin, mans man types that yes indeed you are "gay" and that the wife and kids are just a front for your secret double life.  What is it with the huntin types that equate shaved legs with man on man luv?  Follow this up with an offer to let them shave your back if they'd like.  They won't ask again. 4.  Please feel free to reply to this post with other rules and methods as we can always learn more, and this forum is the place to inform after all isn't it? I hope this cleared up any questions you may have had about shaving.  It should also clear up any doubts about me...Whatever those doubts may have been.

yours in hairless joy



Little Rock-aka BTR North?