The advice column for people in a relationship with an endurance athlete.
“Abby” is married to a professional triathlete and therefore lives with bonkers on a daily basis. If you want your burning questions answered, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I knew I was going to see my douche ex-boyfriend triathlete at a race the other day. The night before I was mentally visualizing my own race, and just threw in an image of him flipping over his handle bars on his bike and getting a DNF while I sped past to PR and podium in my age group. During the race, I heard he crashed while I went on to podium. Now I feel strangely guilty and yet elated. Am I a terrible person? -Seduced by Karma in Jersey City.
Dear Seduced by Karma,
Far from it, you’ve got special powers, girl! In fact when you find the time, would you mind taking 5 minutes to pre-cog my neighbor’s yapping dog get maimed by his Prius (the irony makes it even more satisfyingly spiteful)? I suggest you start taking orders for retribution therapy immediately. Perhaps start with visualizing a Benny Hill scene in which Jeff Edwards chases Ray Botelho to get his #IMLP7th check. You, my friend, have just been served Jesus-on-toast. Wise must your choices be.
Why do all my friends tell me I need to be gluten free? They tell me I will be faster if I have less inflammation. I have been eating gluten my whole life and I do not feel inflamed. Is this a ploy for my friends to deal with their weight issues and they are transferring their problems to me? -Gluten Crusher, Virginia Beach.
Dear Gluten Crusher,
Really? All your friends tell you this? Hmm. I suspect you are in fact experiencing some inflammation. Of the truth. Unless you live in a Celiac colony, I doubt that even the hardiest glutengelicals are that pushy. I’m also assuming your friends do not have Celiac disease (which is neither funny or voluntary). Listen, if a non-celiac athlete wants to go gluten-free and they report feeling better because of it, what do you care? Try it, you might like it. We all do things under the power of belief and expectation. Calf compression when racing, that entry fees are high because of “insurance,” or that your canister of PitStop will actually work when you need it to. If the grainy truth be known, there’s far more to this phenomenon than meets the eye. First, non-celiac gluten sensitivity was a thing and now it’s not a thing. It may be a thing again soon. Who knows. The latest science points to ‘nocebo’ effects (err, expectations) and poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates (called ‘FODMAPS’). Regardless, the gluten-free market in the US is now worth almost $16 billion and so the bandwagoning ain’t gonna let up any time soon. This may be why 30% of the US population suddenly want to cut down on gluten without really knowing why. But here’s why I suggest you cut the gluten-cleansing clan some slack: many DO actually feel better on a gluten-free diet – whether it’s because of belief and expectation, inadvertently cutting out a ton of FODMAPs, or for some glutonic reason that science hasn’t yet discovered. Science moves likes molasses and often uncovers the unexpected. After all, who’da thought that meds intended for blood pressure would give you a boner harder than Chinese arithmetic? So go easy on the judgment and rejoice that your friends’ feel better without gluten. That said, if the proselytizing gets too unbearable, tell them to Google your old Scandinavian pal, Nocebo Fodmap and tell them to shut the F up.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any relationship diseases. In fact, following this advice may, at best, exacerbate your problems or, at worst, introduce new issues you were previously unaware of. Crucially, the opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of LAVA magazine, it’s editors, publishers or it’s subsidiaries. In fact we all wash our hands of this silly nonsense. Well, except Alice in Accounts, but she’s already two stops south of nuts.