See Kim. See Kim run (and bike, and swim).
In college, she was a source of constant entertainment. During finals, she was always the first to crack (in a good way). She’d dress up in some wacky outfit and dance around the dorm, sometimes with a broom or stuffed animal. I have pictures. I’d scan and post them, but I value my life too much.
In 2002, months before I conceived Peanut, we met at the Jersey shore for a weekend getaway. We were looking forward to two days lounging on the beach and one wild, crazy, ridiculously drunken night out. Days before the meeting, the forecast promised to rain on our parade – literally.
“If it rains, we’re getting tattoos,” she told me.
I drove north on Sunday with fresh ink on my back. She drove off in the opposite direction with the same on hers.
In June, I came home to a message she left on my machine.
“I’ve had an epiphany,” she began. “Next year for our 40th birthdays we should go to Vegas.” There was a long pause. “After we do a triathlon.”
I literally laughed out loud. A triathlon! Plu-leaze. Who did she think I was? As I’ve written before, I’m no athlete.
But not long after her message I happened to read an article about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old swimmer who was about to compete in her fifth Olympic games, faster than ever. I thought about it.
I’m no Dara Torres, but if she could make the Olympics at 41, why couldn’t I do a triathlon next year? Not one of those crazy Ironmans with 2.5 mile swims, 112 miles bikes and a full marathon (26.2 miles) at the end. No, not one of those. But maybe a shorter one?
A little digging around revealed that Sprint Triathlons are fairly common.
So sometime next spring, my kooky, long-time friend and I will attempt to complete our first triathlon. (Notice I say first as if there may be others? Hope springs eternal.)
The exact distances are TBD, but it will be something in the range of a half- to one-mile open-water swim, 15- to 20-mile bike ride, and three to four miles of running. Yikes!
While I’ve worked out regularly for the last two-and-a-half years, taking strength training and step aerobics and kick boxing, I was doing none of the activities required to finish a triathlon with some semblance of grace and ease.
That has since changed. I’m running and biking a few times a week. Last week, I even started taking adult stroke lessons at the local Y because the doggie paddle I taught myself to do at the Fish Pond in North Adams, Massachusetts sometime in middle school probably isn’t going to cut it for a half mile (or more) in open water. I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid. Like I said, I value my life.
So those are my big goals for 2009: Finish a triathlon. Don’t die.
And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get another tattoo as well. If my kooky friend agrees to get one too.