extreme triathlon

Eidfjord, Norway

An athlete trains in the Hardangerfjord before the Isklar Norseman extreme triathlon on Sunday

Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images for Isklar Norseman

Sandra had practically been born on a boat. Her dad was a fisherman, her mother ran a small seafood restaurant just off the beach. Swimming, surfing, sailing - these things were encoded deep in her genes. She could tie a boat onto a cleat on the dock practically before she could tie her shoes. It was no surprise to anyone when she started taking up some more extreme activities. Adventure sailing. Triathlons. Long-distance solo rowing. 

It was after one such event - who could keep them straight, after awhile - that she met Ian. He was young, well-built, the kind of guy who looked like he was never more than a mile from the coast. They talked for a while - she was a stronger swimmer than he was, while he was more knowledgeable about sailing - and they swapped some tips. Ian let her borrow a few DVDs about training for distance sailing, and told her he thought they might help her out. She took them, grateful. Sandra wasn’t much of a competitor - she was less interested in winning any particular event than she was with just the idea of challenging herself, pushing herself to accomplish something new - but even still, there would be useful information, and she could use them to improve herself.

She watched the first part of the series that evening. It was a bit over her head - it assumed a level of technical ability that she, being mostly self-taught, didn’t really have. She watched it again to try and better understand it. Then again, and again.

The second part was even more confusing. After the first viewing Sandra felt even less knowledgeable than she had at the start. She grabbed a notebook and a pen, determined to make some sense of this.

Three viewings later, and she was no closer. The guy who demonstrated the techniques was so distracting! He had this shaggy, sort of curly blond hair, and his forearms were all tan and muscular. He’d reach over, doing some complicated knot, and she’d totally tune out the voiceover explaining what he was doing.

Eventually she decided to just skip ahead to number three. This one was even worse. The guy had his shirt off half the time! And there were all these gorgeous girls on the deck, sunbathing. They looked like models. They were absolutely stunning. Expensive jewelry, designer bikinis, hair and nails all done perfectly… they were the absolute picture of rich trophy wives. The sort of women Sandra ignored or sneered at when she saw them sashaying around the marina. Now, though, she couldn’t take her eyes off of them.

If video four had a voiceover, Sandra didn’t notice it. All she saw were long, lingering shots of those women. Closeups on their hair, their clothes, their heels. She studied the way they walked, how they carried themselves. The way they moved. How they just radiated sexuality and beauty and calm, confident grace. She’d never seen anything like them. They were the epitome of femininity. She wanted to be just like them.

Months later, Sandra sometimes still saw Ian around the marina. She didn’t pay him that much mind. He seemed angry at first - when she returned his DVDs, he seemed to think she’d want to go out with him, but she turned him down. He wasn’t what she was looking for.

She sold her boat soon after that, and used the money to finance a complete overhaul. Makeup, spa treatments, makeovers, new wardrobe… a new her. She spent her days sunbathing on the beach near the marina. Before long, she caught Garret’s eye.

He was a multimillionaire. She didn’t know what it was he did for a living, and didn’t much care. He could provide her the kind of life she now knew she deserved. He was married, but was happy to keep her dressed in the finest clothes and take her out on her yacht for the occasional day of debauchery.

As she walked from the yacht to the new car Garret had bought her, she smiled to herself. Her only regret was not becoming a rich man’s trophy mistress sooner. It really was the perfect life for her.

(Somebody asked for stories where the guy doing the brainwashing doesn’t get the girl in the end. Hope this worked for you!)


Isklar Norseman 2013 - Blowing in the Wind (by nxtri)