We here at The Mediocre Triathlete aim to keep our readers well-informed of any dramatic medical developments that may affect you, your health, your training, or your relentless pursuit of mediocrity. Of course by “we” I mean “me”, and by “our readers” I mean the seven of you.
I don’t really know what this image means. The Picture Google found it for me. For our purposes, I am that person in the middle who is, by my powers of mental telepathy, receiving medical information from Dr. Google and then passing it along to dress wearing people. I personally don’t wear dresses very often, so this pic works for me.
Recently, I witnessed the symptoms of a syndrome that affects some of our fellow triathletes. I was so horrified by its gruesome manifestations that I came home and researched it extensively, mostly because I was worried that I could catch it. What is this insidious disease? It’s called EXTREME TESTOSTERONE TOXICITY.
The first two documented cases of E-ttox
DO NOT PANIC. Extreme testosterone toxicity, or E-TTOX (pronounced EEEEEE-tox; one of the t’s is silent), is not contagious. So you can breathe a sigh of relief. But let me tell you, this is not a pretty disease. The symptoms are just awful. Let me share.
My friend Snarky G. and I signed up for an organized ride on Memorial Day Weekend Saturday from Philadelphia to Stone Harbor, NJ. The ride raised over $26,000 for the Cristo Rey High School, (a new, small Catholic school on North Broad Street-please click on the school’s name to learn more about this amazing place). After riding 20 miles into the city from home, we met a group of 100 riders behind the Art Museum. The ride took us through Philadelphia, over the Ben Franklin Bridge, through Camden, and then followed back roads the shore. Snarky and I had two male friends who decided to join us. At the start, they connected with some acquaintances, who were all very strong cyclists. Our plan was to hang onto a fast wheel for as long as we could. But all did not go to plan. You probably suspected that. That’s because you’re so smart.
Long story short. After racing recklessly down the Ben Franklin Parkway, we lost the first group of guys (including our two friends) just north of Broad Street. It was a 78 mile ride. We lost them about 77.5 miles before the finish.
Here are some of the stories that we heard at the reception party from that “front group” after our small Catholic school charity ride:
- It splintered. No, that’s not right. It exploded.
- After the explosion, the first group got really lost. They added 12 miles onto the 78 mile ride.
- The second group got a just little lost. They added 5 miles. Some riders in this group would not stop to look at the map, because they had to catch the first group.
- One guy was dropped for a flat tire.
- One guy was dropped because he couldn’t keep up due to severe knee pain.
- One guy was dropped and rode 40 miles by himself.
- The first group only stopped to eat and drink after 80 miles.
Only in your head, fellas.
When I heard these stories, my first impulse was to laugh and throw out the old “what a bunch of douchebags” comment. But then I had a paralyzing thought. Maybe I was being callous and insensitive. What if it wasn’t just a bunch of guys who decided to turn a really cool charity ride into a pissing contest, but rather cyclists who really should be patients? What if they suffered from some affliction that required medical attention? An affliction so serious that you would destroy yourself with punishing pain for hours rather than say, “You know what, fellas? I’m think I’m gonna stop and eat a Clif bar.”
Passed 11 Wawas. Didn’t stop once.
I immediately felt sympathy toward these men. More like pity, really. To suffer from such an awful disorder without knowing it, but everyone else can plainly see it, well it just made me so sad. But then I quickly became glad, because Dr. Google told me that I had natural E-ttox immunity from birth.
It should be made clear that not all men suffer from E-ttox. After crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Snarkster and I caught up to three really nice guys who are members of the Main Line Tri Club. All good riders, all E-ttox free. The five of us had a fabulous ride. We rode hard, shared the work, even pace-lined for about an hour. But we also stopped for food and to look at the map, waited while one of us changed a flat tire, and got ice cream cones at the Custard Ranch in Woodbine.
With jimmies. Always with jimmies.
E-ttox can be a debilitating, destructive and just downright stupid disease. In addition to those described above, symptoms of E-ttox can also include the following:
- swimming without a wetsuit in 55 degree water because “it’s really not that bad”,
- skipping a group workout or race because faster people will be there,
- walking around shirtless anywhere but on the beach or in your bedroom,
- participating in CrossFit.
What should you do if you think you suffer from E-ttox? How the hell should I know? I’m a chick. Ask Dr. Google.