In 2017 I qualified for the USA Triathlon National Age Group Championships for the first time. Generally you qualify by finishing in the top of your age group in an USAT sanctioned race. I found out as I got older–and fitter and lost weight–I placed higher in races as the number of competitors decreased.
The 2017 Championships were held in Omaha. Sometime between qualifying and registering for the race I decided I could use the time out of town for some Dee time. At the time, I had been going out dressed for less than a year, so the idea appealed to me.
However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. My son, who was attending Iowa as a graduate student at the time, discovered there was a contract bridge regional tournament that same weekend across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. As my wife and son are avid bridge players, and I had made hotel reservations, they decided to come along and play bridge while I did my races (60-some dad does triathlons, 20-some son plays bridge; go figure). Thus, no Dee time.
In 2018, the Championships moved to Cleveland. Once again I qualified, but no bridge events, so I would be traveling solo (my wife has never watched any of my triathlons, and I don’t blame her, because it would be boring to watch). As Cleveland is Kandi’s home, I contacted her via an internet forum where we are both members, and we made arrangements to meet.
I remember messaging with Kandi and she’s offering suggestions as to what we could do and where we could eat, along with menus. She wrote that if I didn’t like the menu we could go somewhere else; I responded that I’m going to be walking in downtown Cleveland in a dress and heels, so the menu at a restaurant was the least of my worries (short answer, the restaurant was good, as was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next day).
In 2019 Kandi and I had a repeat chance to rendezvous as the Championships returned to Cleveland. We even did a guy thing; a run and a local dining establishment, plus a day of girl stuff. Given the events of the past 18 months, those days seem long ago.
The Championships moved to Milwaukee for 2020, but there was no 2020. When August 2021 rolled around, I was ready to make up for the lost 2020.
My routine is now pretty set. Drive to destination on Wednesday, do some race stuff prep on Thursday and Friday (and some Dee stuff), longer race Saturday morning, shorter race Sunday morning, drive home Sunday afternoon. I spend several days before my Wednesday departure getting everything together–race stuff like shoes, helmets, goggles, and tri suits AND girl stuff like clothes, makeup, shoes, and wigs. Can you guess which stuff takes up more room in my suitcase?
I decided to leave early Wednesday morning to avoid rush hour traffic in transit in Chicago–and to give myself a few hours of Dee time. It was simpler to do the drive as a guy, then dress in the parking lot at my intended destination, an outlet mall in the northern Chicago suburbs. With mask orders in effect, doing makeup becomes a little easier, and I’ve have lots of practice changing in my car.
I decided on my blue sun dress with my blue wedges, and headed into the mall. The Macy’s at the mall didn’t have anything of interest, so I went to a Guess outlet store. Guess is not my brand of choice, but trying to expand my horizons these days. I even tried on some bodysuits, but find they generally don’t suit MY body.
After a couple of hours, and finding nothing to buy, I returned to my car and to boy mode, and finished the drive to Milwaukee and my hotel. When I arrived, I was happy to see it was self-park, which is a bit easier to deal with that valet parking (especially when you are retrieving your car as a boy sometimes and as a girl other times).
After checking in and dinner, and as I was within walking distance of the site of the triathlon, I decided it was time for a casual Dee outfit; my orange spaghetti top, jeans shorts, and my Red Keds. The race location was along the lakefront about a half-mile from my hotel. It was a nice night; warm in the 80’s, but not too warm. I have found that bare shoulders help offset some of the heat from a wig.
There were a fair number of people walking and biking along the lakefront, but I felt comfortable walking around. I found the USAT backdrop for a selfie, which of course I had to take. There is also a fair amount of artwork in downtown Milwaukee, including one artist’s rendition of “The Scream”. I decided that’s how I look after I finish my races.
Back at my hotel, I had one more outfit to try wearing out–my swimsuit. Earlier this year, I saw a Hannah McKnight blog post modeling and recommending this swimsuit. It’s transgender friendly and cute, so I ordered it online. My hotel had a swimming pool in the basement with a hot tub, so I decided it was the right time to give it a try.
The pool was almost empty, as it was after 9 PM. There were a couple of others in the pool area, but I decided I could deal with it. I got in the pool for a quick dip–up to my neck at least–and a short stint in the hot tub. The swimsuit was comfy, and I hope to get to wear it more often in the future.
As the pool was closing, I returned to my room, and got myself ready for day two, which will follow next Sun-dee. Stay tuned.