You may have heard of the acronym FTW before, which of course means For The Win, not Fuck The World. Generally this term is used in competition, as in you are going “for the win,” or to say something is the best. Like “BlackBerry Messenger FTW.” The corollary to FTW is FTL (For The Loss). Obviously no one actually goes “for the loss” in competition, so this one is more often associated with things that suck (e.g. “Storm FTL”). Several other versions have been made up, including FTC (For The Chubs).
I can’t take credit for FTC. First person I heard it from was Michael Cybulski, who has been known to come up with a good line or two. Like many of the figures of speech my Simi Valley friends come up with, I shared FTC with the Flagstaff crew. At first it was fairly funny, as it started to come up after cross country season was over when several of us were putting on a few (9 lb in a week for yours truly). But then something strange happened: some of us began to embrace it — especially Tim Freriks, Andrew Belus and myself.
Just so we are clear, we aren’t just letting loose and eating cheeseburgers all day. It is really a realization, which I came to accept a while ago, that I’m a little bigger than a lot of my competitors. Look at the very best distance runners in the world and most are pretty thin. Now there are a few exceptions, and they are the ones that give us hope. Leading the charge is Chris Solinsky. The guy broke 27:00 and 13:00 last year, giving hope to white FTC guys like me. When we saw him run 3:54 at University of Washington a couple weeks ago, the three of us couldn’t help but shout “FTC!” every now and again. Chris, if you’re listening, don’t take it the wrong way. It is a sign of respect.
Tonight and tomorrow the FTC crew will be setting fire to Idaho State’s wooden track at the Big Sky Conference Championships. We will be running 120 laps between the three of us, as we are all doubling in the 5k and 3k. I like to think of the FTC crew as work horses for the team. . . outlasting our competition with our slow-burning fat stores.
So if you are in attendance, shout “FTC” to us. We won’t be offended, we know exactly what it means.