Next Stop... The Hall of Fame?

Michael Phelps recently said that he wants to be "out of the water" by the time he's 30.  The Tennis world is currently debating whether the dominating career of Roger Federer, who just turned 27, is nearing its end.  The great running back, Jim Brown, walked away from the NFL at the ripe old age of 29...  What do the stories of these and countless other athletes teach us? That turning 30 means it's time to retire those dreams of playing in the pros.

This is not to say that a professional athletic career can't continue beyond the age of 3o.  Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan both un-retired in their 30s, a 38 year-old won gold in the 2008 Women's Olympic Marathon, and there are seemingly legions of baseball players who play past 30, no matter how un-athletic they seem.  HOWEVER, this is to say that if one is not a world-class athlete before becoming a Triple Decker, turning 30 is not the time to start.

This is an important distinction to make, because a young-man of 29 years, 364 days may still watch the NFL draft and think "I could do that. Maybe I should go out for the local JC team? I've still got all my eligibility..." Yet the day 30 comes, those thoughts no longer have a place in any Triple Decker's head, no matter what any film starring Dennis Quad or Mark Wahlberg says.

The silver lining to this dark athletic cloud is that many sports offer "senior" or "masters" events that Triple Deckers can still look forward to competing in, and athletic glory can still be reached in rec leagues all over the world.  What Triple Decker needs to be Super Bowl MVP when they can be carried off the softball field on their teammates' shoulders after hitting that game-winning infield single? Just because a 30 year-old can't look forward to their own Lou Gherig farewell speech, doesn't they can't be remembered as the gutsy competitor who laid it all on the line when they blew out their ACL in that co-ed YMCA pick-up game. 

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn...

When one turns 30 a commitment (often subconsciously) is made to a higher standard of overnight accomidations when away from home.  Though some gifted individuals may make this transition at an earlier age, there is no more powerful catalyst than the chronological clock striking 30.

There are a multitude of factors that contribute to the decision that sleeping in youth hostels, in cars, or on floors are no longer acceptable forms of lodging for a 30 year-old.*  Every Triple Decker knows well that to properly recover from even a single night on an unforgiving floor or couch, hours must be added to the next morning's stretching routine.  And heaven forbid a Triple Decker set foot in a youth hostel!  They know they will be the instant object of scrutiny and will most likely be referred to as "that weird 30 year-old in the 16-bunk room" or be accused of being a degenerate serial killer who preys on young hostel dwellers

Many Triple Deckers make it a point of personal pride to treat themselves well as they travel. This is especially true for those who are financially fit, or who at least have some sort of business expense account they can make use of (whether justified or not).  If a Triple Decker is a proud home owner, there is a near-zero chance that they will settle for anything less than full comfort while away from home; "I'm a home-owner! I deserve a bed of my own!," is the mantra of such Triple Deckers.

This sea change in sleeping arrangements explains why so many at or near 30 are well-versed in travel websites, collect travel coupons, and have multiple rewards club memberships; so they may experience the greatest amount of comfort while traveling.  They also are careful to stock their own dwellings with air mattresses, sleeper sofas, guest rooms, or some combination thereof so that they may pay it forward when other 30 year-olds come to visit them.

* Exceptions to this rule are granted for extreme financial hardship or inebriation.