So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Still not an Ironman

Every year I spectate the local Ironman.  I usually know a handful of people participating.

Every year I  find it to be an interesting phenomenon how people cheer on the Ironman and think to themselves, “This is something I want to do.”

Maybe it looks like fun for the first few hours.  The energy and excitement at an Ironman start is surreal.  But, it is also cold and crowded.  I was happy that I was warm and dry and running instead.

By the middle of the day, people are starting the marathon and seem sincerely happy to be off their bikes (after 5-7 hours of cycling, who wouldn’t be happy?)  For the third year in a row, we trekked around in the jogging stroller, clapping our hands.  The kids were finally capable of saying things like, "Good job!" "Way to Go!"
It’s tricky to cheer with the stroller because I feel like we can only run against the crowd – even during an Ironman, people don’t like to be passed by a woman pushing a double stroller.

We did the same loop as last year, stopping repeatedly for some recovery.

After awhile, Brenna finished her lollipop.  Yes, yes...we moved on from cheerios to candy.  BUT, it was a dum-dum, which is almost too small to even be considered a real lollipop.  Right?
And shortly after, with a little help, Hayden finished his.

After that, I let them loose to play at the park with my Dad.

At this point, there is no "maybe" - the race does not look fun.  It looks miserable.  And tormenting.

People are limping and hobbling.  I can practically see the lactic acid pulsing through their legs.  Imagine that you are lost and walking through the desert: thirsty yet bloated, hungry yet nauseous, tired yet unable to sit down, sleepy yet unable to sleep.

You want to run up and hug them.
I watched one of my friends stagger through a water station during her last loop of the run.  She tripped but caught herself, stood in a daze for a few seconds, grabbed a water cup from the aid station and poured it on her head. (My better instinct told me she did not want a hug).  Now, if that was me, I probably would have sat and cried.  Or called a cab.  But instead, she looked up and continued to run.

I guess that is the difference between me and an Ironman.

Although, I will never say never.
At one point, I was sure I would never like coffee.
At one point, I was sure I would never be watching MTV shows when I was 30 years old.
At one point, I was sure I would never bribe my kids with free cookies at the grocery store.
So sure, I can say I will never be crazy enough to put myself through such a grueling chain of events - but who knows, maybe one day I will get bored and decide I want a new red tattoo.

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