But reversing this process completely changes this game. The motivation is no longer to hunt people down, but to be the hunted. It's too much pressure. I don't perform well under pressure.
My second reservation was the pool. Supposedly, a few years ago, someone almost drowned during a reverse triathlon. So now, they all take place in a pool. That way, if you get tired, you simply get out of the pool instead of drown in the lake. It makes sense. But, there are lane lines and I am not good at serpentine swims.
But I found myself itching to do something and since it's 110+ degrees outside, there are not a lot of options.
However, I surprised myself by really enjoying the reverse order. Starting with the run was a larger advantage than I anticipated because I was able to run to my full ability! Normally, I am tired, hot, thirsty and filled with gut-eating lake bacteria by the time I finally start my run. Starting fresh meant starting fast. And fast is always fun.
The run was supposed to be 4 miles but I returned to the transition at only 3.5. "That way, That way!" someone shouted. They were pointing to the back to the transition. I thought maybe you had to keep running and then u-turn, to make it 4 miles. So....I kept running.
That was wrong.
The course was short.
Even though I lost a minute or so, I still had the lead going onto the bike.
The bike course was easy, four straight loops. I averaged 22mph.
And the cold water felt good. As much as I do not like the serpentine, it was nice to be able to see my hands, the feet in front of me and not worry about sighting. The swim went quickly and I was the first woman out of the water. This was nice because I was able to watch the rest of the race, including my friends battle it out for second and third place. I was relieved to not involved in that tight of a race. Just like I don't like the pressure of being chased, I don't like the pressure of a photo-finish. Even at awards they were still battling it out.
Everyone has been telling me that I need to regain control of my princess. One constant thing that I always ask of Brenna is to pull her hair in a ponytail. Or braid. Or half ponytail. Or bun. Or ANYTHING to keep it out of her face. When her hair is in her face, it is a magnet for food and dirt.
Brenna's constant response to this request is always been "No." If I dared to pull it back anyway, she simply pulled it out.
In a bold move to make a point that I have control, I threatened Brenna:
"Let me pull it back in a ponytail or I will cut it off."
FYI, I said this while looking at her beautiful, original curls of baby hair.
Of course I did not want to cut it off.
And I knew that girly-Brenna would not want to cut it off, either.
Maybe it would sting - but maybe that is what we needed.
However, Brenna was not about to lose control of her hair by just an idle threat. In an unexpected act, she looked me in the eye and said, "Cut it."
I couldn't back down - so we went to Great Clips. There was a 15-minute wait.
We sat down.
I took a magazine and found a young girl with very short hair. I showed it to Brenna.
I quizzed her: "Are you sure you want your hair to look like that?"
She held the magazine in her lap and studied it for many minutes.
I patiently waited for her to say no.
Instead, she sat there until a stylist called her name. And, without any prompting, she walked up to the stylist, handed her the magazine, and said with decisiveness, "I want that."
The stylist was very impressed and shocked to learn that this was her first haircut.
I was shocked that my daughter was really about get her first haircut.
It was a hard face to read. Maybe one day she will play poker.
When the cut was complete, we stood in front of the mirror. "I like it." I said. "Do you?"
She explored her new hair with her hands. "Yes," she answered.
I forced a smile. She forced a smile.
And her beautiful hair was placed in a sandwich bag.
But her hair has been effortlessly out of her face ever since.
And at the end of day, there are no longer clumps of amalgamated cereal milk, apple sauce, sand and snot.
So although a battle - and although it's questionable - I am claiming the win.