Monday, July 23, 2007

prince of tides

About a billion years ago, I was heavily involved in triathlon training. The running and the cycling always seemed to be the easiest things in the world to find time for. The swimming was always weak. I usually started to panic two weeks before the season started, and then suddenly bought a membership to the pool. I never made it there more than two or three times for the early morning group swim...and then never was able to swim more than four lengths without stopping for 5 minutes. When it came to race day, I was usually one of the last out of the water.

Like I said...that was about a billion years ago. The tides have now turned. Swimming has become almost as natural as breathing, and the running and the cycling have all but ceased.

I was asked the other week if I would be interested in filling in a vacant spot in the swimming portion of a triathlon relay. This is a triathlon I had done all on my own oh so very long ago. But now all I had to do was swim...sounds too good to be true. "I'll do it. I'd love to."

I couldn't believe how anxious I became after I said yes. I was glad that it was really short notice, because I couldn't sleep, and I was driving my wife crazy. The night before was crazy...tossing, turning...more turning.

I was worried about lake swimming. All my training had been done in a pool. Very simple format...back and forth in an easy to negotiate lane, perhaps with one other person sharing the space.

The lake is unfamiliar. The lake is cold. I would be wearing an untested wetsuit, and there were about a hundred others attacking the space at the same time. The waiver I signed mentioned something about possible dangers in the swim portion: kicking, pushing, punching, scratching, drowning... How nice.

The race is now behind me and the t-shirt and finisher's medal are in hand. My time was only about 2 minutes slower than it would have been in a pool, so I am actually quite pleased.

There is something that tends to happen to a fella, though, at an event such as this. It's called inspiration. I have a feeling that the tides could be turning once again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

quit measuring already

Some people choose to fritter their time away with Facebook, and others, like me and a few million others worldwide, have chosen to waste countless nighttime hours roleplaying on World of Warcraft. Mine is the make-believe life of Sammus, named after my youngest boy Sammy. Sammus is outfitted here with his Acrobatic Staff of Frozen Wrath, capable of inflicting serious damage...for a fancy stick anyway.

In the real world, this is Sammy on a sunny July Wednesday afternoon out on a fishing trip with the family, including grandma and grandpa. He is equipped here with the Zebco Staff of Water Wasteland, capable of inflicting SERIOUS damage to unsuspecting weedmonsters within 20 metres.