I am very excited thinking about the many possibilities for some unconventional, fun, and ultra-safe events in a lo-fi way.
I have been thinking about events that would allow everyman to complete in a safe, controlled environment without a lot of regiment and free of taxing rules for some time. That is why I bought the domain lo-fitri.com back in 2004 as a pipe-dream to allow anyone to compete in triathlons and get through the swim in a safe, enjoyable manner. Of course this would mean that you would be ranked much differently than someone who did not use fins, snorkels or other personal floatation devices.
I had the idea of an event with only one rule – TO HAVE FUN!
Doing a couple of Wisconsin Tough Mudder's got me re-thinking this scenario. I noticed many baby-boomer (born 1946 – 1964) like myself who didn’t really seem to mind that they were not timed or forced to complete every obstacle. I seemed to notice the camaraderie among the masses in just being together doing fun things. Not everyone was obsessed about their competiveness or finish time.
Obviously, this is not to say there weren’t many serious competitors, only the top five percent were awarded and given the chance to go on to the championship tiers. I did notice the slower and less fit always yielding to speed. That seems to be common in any endurance event … as it should be. Anyway, back to the matter at hand.
The two draw backs I have always run into when thinking about races without so many restrictive rules were - access to clean, calm, easily controlled/patrolled water and ample parking.
In my opinion going with a non-profit event initially is a good idea so you can fine tune the processes and when comfortable with the flow, perhaps pursue for-profit events and address niches like the baby-boomers who want to check Triathlon off their (beaten to death cliché) Bucket List without having a chance of dying in a competitive open water swim environment. I will go into my thoughts on why so many boomers (and others) are perishing during the swim portion of a tri in later articles.
I have always thought the bike path along 151 or The Wild Goose Trail (Fond du Lac) would be great to incorporate into a Half/Full Marathon – The FONDY 13.1 - 26.2. I also thought it may be neat to have a marathon where people on rollerblades were given a ten minute head start over the runners and walkers.
My ultimate goal is to open lo-fi Fitness as a warehouse type gym, catering to aging baby-boomers, not so much to get them fit, but to keep them from pre-mature dependent care (assisted living, nursing homes … etc.).
Since I have used the term “lo-fi” several times; please let explain my reasoning with the “lo-fi” label. I have taken some liberty with definition of the term “lo-fi”, which generally refers to music, without slick production and characterized by a rough or unpolished sound quality.
My interpretation of “lo-fi” in relation to fitness and activity is this – simple to understand, uncomplicated, not over-produced, easily recognized and to the point, no filler just what you need to accomplish your goals. Most importantly my “lo-fi” system does not require the need for a huge financial or technological output on your part. You can always add more complex, complicated stuff later on if you wish.
Using the model of making sure you can get down to ground and back up again - which brings me to another one of my other sites – forgetfitjustgetnornmal.com . I feel it is normal for people my age (born 1957) to be able to use stairs, get down to the ground and back up again. And not depend on a steady diet of pharmaceuticals to function normally.