Posted by: forgingahead | April 29, 2010


After the icy swim in Folsom Lake a couple of weeks ago I made purchasing a wetsuit a top priority. My next race is May 16th in the UVAS Reservoir in Morgan Hill and I looked at the pics from the race last year. The athletes are all wearing wetsuits. Wanting to fit in (and not be cold) I’d clearly need a wetsuit too.

I started my search on craigslist and perused the handful of tri-suits on offer. Some were too big. Most were too small. One was just right.

I was looking for something on the not-so-fancy end of the spectrum. A suit that would fit but that I also wouldn’t feel bad about replacing when I get better at triathlon and need a racier version.

I called the number in the ad and Caroline answered the phone. She was leaving town in a few days to start nursing school back East. And she wouldn’t be needing her wetsuit because she was sort of done with swimming in the ocean. Too scary. There would only be lake-based triathlons in her future.

Here’s the kismet part – she’s my height, my weight and works 2 blocks away. She brought the suit to work the next day and we made the swap in about 4 minutes flat. I love craigslist.

Kismet is the Turkish word for fate. I looked up the definition because when I was talking to Caroline about how cool it was that she had something to let go and I needed that thing I called it kismet. “What’s kismet,” she asked. Sadly I didn’t have this tidy explanation on hand. But I did look it up later and now I’m sharing it with you.

It’s your lucky day.

Mine too – as now I won’t freeze on this triathlon adventure. Plus the other racers will think I’m some wily veteran because the suit is years old and has patch marks. This was my competitive advantage with my used bike too and you can see how the field fears me on the bike.

All of this assumes the suit fits. I’ve yet to try it on. Have you tried putting on a wetsuit? It’s so not fun.



  1. Plastic shopping bags are your friends. Put them on your feet when you pull on the legs of the wetsuit, then use some on your hands when you put your arms through. I know a lot of folks swear by bodyglide or PAM, but IME, that just leaves you greasy on the bike and run, which isn’t conducive to sunscreen sticking when you need it most.

  2. Ha ha ha. Be careful with the wetsuit fitting. All that hopping around on one foot with a leg stuck half in… or maybe that was just me. I hope it fits perfectly. And kismet is Turkish? I always thought it was Hebrew. Cool!

  3. Yep, it sounds like kismet to me too! Congrats on that lucky, fortunate exchange. Good things happen to you! Do you need to practice taking it off and putting it on quickly?! I think I would need A LOT of practice with that! 🙂

  4. What a great story. Love the word kismet too. That wet suit was meant for you. I’m convinced that Craigslist is a major catalyst for kismet of all kinds.

  5. Perfect! Just got ride of my bike that way…the girl lived down the street…took one look at it and handed over $95. Yeah!

  6. Well done! Kismet would be a great name for a horse!

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