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In support of the MAMIL

I’m probably about 2 years late on this blog subject, but it cropped up recently when it was suggested that my choice of vehicle(s) represented something of a crisis. As it happens, I like cars – a lot – and it isn’t a ‘crisis’, just to clear that up!

… Defensive? Me?

Furthermore, whilst being slightly sports obsessive, I actually don’t fall into the MAMIL (middle-aged men in lycra) crisis category either, but as I am discovering, this is a crisis that is still seeing rapid growth since its incarnation in 2010.

People often enquire about who buys some of the Ironman-specific products that we stock here at CB Towers. The truth is, it’s no longer just the elite athlete calling for advice on shaving 0.2 seconds off their PB. Nor is it only the physio from a premier league club, looking for help with a player stuck in rehab with quads that have shrunk to the size of a 14-year-old’s.

It is in fact the married, wannabe Bradley Wiggins, middle-aged businessman who has replaced his red (obviously) sports car with a bike that costs nearly as much. The creaking limbs once severely tested from bending down to get inside the cockpit of his Porsche, has been replaced with saddle soreness from the 100 mile trek that he has just completed in full Team SKY replica kit.

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Mocked for his sudden move from Armani shirts tucked into high-waisted trousers, the MAMIL has embraced Lycra of all colours. On a Saturday night he (I am reliably informed) has also replaced a night out with his Wife (and two other couples presumably) with an early evening carb-load, plenty of fluids, and half of Holland and Barratt’s buy one get one free supplement bonanza. Suddenly, the wife is faced with the question: which crisis does she prefer, as her man hits that inevitable cross-roads in his life?

I actually support the mid-life crisis. I think it makes some reasonable sense; a review of the 40 odd years that have gone by, an acceptance that one may have missed a few bits out and may want to catch up somehow. Perhaps a realisation that 20+ years of work and earning that hasn’t actually provided the complete happiness that he was after. Maybe even some clarity that there are some aspects of life that are far more rewarding.

Sometimes those joys are the most simple, the cheapest and already available, right on the MAMIL’s doorstep. Let’s be honest, cycling, swimming, running and all aspects of fitness fall into this category, and for me, as long as the lycra part is postponed until said middle-aged individual actually resembles an Olympic athlete, this seems a pretty healthy crisis to have.

I’ve noticed, of course, that sales of our products have grown steadily as this phenomenon shows no signs of disappearing. You won’t see the bike shop owner complaining either, as he ships out another pro bike to a ‘weekend road warrior’. Sports car for a bicycle. No affair, just an entry to an overseas triathlon or 2. Botox and hair transplant held off for a kitchen full of Protein powders. I could go on, but this has got me thinking a little – what about when a female reaches a similar life stage. What is their midlife crisis called?….Anyone?

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