Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bucket lists and other cookies

"September 8.  Tawas.  You in?"

Tawas is a lovely community on Lake Huron about 90 minutes north of here.  It is a beautiful place to go boating, or have a picnic, or a beach party,  or a dinner on the lake.   However, I was not being invited to go boating, or to  a picnic, a beach party, a dinner on the lake, or anything civilized like that.

Instead I was being goaded into fulfilling one of my bucket list items-- to participate in a mini-triathlon.

I have been threatening to do this for several years.  I have made a commitment to myself to complete a mini-triathlon before my 55th birthday.  My friend Josh, a faculty member in the athletic training program, who, by the way is at least 20 years younger than me, is holding my feet to the fire, so to speak.

I really had good intentions of completing  the mini-triathlon this summer.  But I have been traveling so much.  And I have been very busy between trips. And it has been hot.  And the kids were here.  And I have been blogging.  And ....

The reality is that I have run exactly twice, and that was back in April.  I have ridden my bike a bit more, but not really all that much.  I brought my swimming gear to work with the intention of going to the university pool after work, but my office is as far as it got.

Without explicitly saying it, I clearly had given up on my promise to 'do' the triathlon this summer.  Does it really matter if I do it before my 55th birthday?  Wouldn't doing it at 55 be just as good?  I mean, it is the difference between being less than 55 and  being less than or equal to 55.  Small detail, no?

But,  then Josh told me that he plans to compete in the Tawas event in September.  

And, that made me think.

It is only a 5 K run, a 20 K bike ride and a 500 m swim.  That isn't so bad.  Right? I mean, just tonight we went for a 33 km bike ride and then took the dog for a 3.3 km walk.  With a little training, I could do a triathlon, right?  I never said I want to WIN a triathlon.  I said I wanted to COMPLETE a triathlon.  I may crawl across the finish line on all fours but....

Stopped for a cookie on the MS150.

Al and I usually do the Western Michigan MS150 bike ride in early June.  This year it conflicted with my trip to China, so we are riding in September instead.  Whenever I tell people that we ride 150 miles, they think that sounds like an insurmountable task, even when I explain it is a two day ride.  But really it isn't bad at all; in fact, it is fun.   The MS150 organizers take really good care of the riders, offering cookies, fruit, water and gator-ade at frequent intervals along the ride.  I don't think of each day as a grueling 75 mile bike ride, I prefer to think of it as 7 cookie stops separated by 10 mile bike rides.  That doesn't sound so difficult, does it?

Do you think the triathlon provides cookies?

Today I am grateful that Ellen made it back to Japan and is settling in for the rest of the summer.

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