Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wild Dog Moon Barking

--and bark at the moon like the wild dog you are." I love those words spoken by the late Jon Blais. Wild dog, barking at the moon pretty well tells the story. That's what is inside. Sure it is covered in the trappings of civility, but wild dog moon barking always connects me and quickens my pulse. Today I talked to a friend whose elder father had recently passed away. The father was an independent soul; a wild dog type. When the father's disabilities became too great, they had to put him in a nursing home. He only lived about two more months. He died the caged animal, homesick for freedom. I would be no different. I am too long in the tooth to become truly civilized or normal now. Recovering from this injury has this wild dog pacing across the front of his cage. I am looking for, thinking about, that next event, that better way to train. I am beginning to remember who I was and want to be poured out again. Last night I went outside, listened to the moonlit quiet, and reveled in feeling of the fresh spring winds on my face. It is time. Open the cage. There is some wild dog moon barking to be done. "One cannot consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar." Helen Keller

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Try-Just One More Day

Very close to pulling the plug on my ironman event. There is so much wrong going on in my body I don't even take inventory of it anymore. And, in tired times, the wrongs overrun the spirit. Why do this? Then there are days like this after a good night of sleep, good food yesterday, and an awesomely beautiful, practically windless day. And the humbled spirit raises its bloodied head to catch the sunbeams of hope; a deep breath, a small smile: just one more day. I don't have to do the ironman event. That is a couple months off. But, I just have to do justice to this one wonderful day; give more breath to this great feeling inside me. Try - just one more day. One more day: Bless me Lord in it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Where Do Old Triathletes Go

Whatever madness made me sign up for an ironman? I’ll never make it. It is apparent from my sad spectacle of a long run today, that I am suffering from a bad case of I O M H (in over my head). To finish the ironman run (26.2 miles) before the time cut-off, the race director would have to grant me special immunity from cut-off times. Even then, God would have to grant me another lifetime so I would have time to finish. Yeah, I’m really slow. It wasn’t comforting that buzzards circled me all day, probably thinking I was going so slow that soon I would fall over and be road kill. Pigeons tried to land on me all day; I suppose they thought I was a statue or something. It doesn’t look good for the home team here. I’ll never make it like this. Guess it is about time to find out what old men do when they are put out to pasture by the facts of life. Where do old triathletes go when their time is up, and their best days are far gone? Where do they go? What do they make of themselves? Who do they become? Perhaps some get wheelchairs and scooters or a big cushy recliner. Maybe some take up less physically demanding activities. But then again, there are some that go on. The elder age groups are not that populated, but there are still some who have their names s on the results pages. Some go on. They take what they have left and are thankful for it; use it, and go on. Ability may have diminished. Goals and expectations may change but their passion for life doesn’t. The embers still glow giving light of who they were and who they still are.----------------------------------------------- I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Finding My Way

How do I get through this? This was my thought as I began my swim. Yesterday, was a pretty good workout for me. And, I could feel some overall residual fatigue from it. On my last twenty miles of a sixty mile bike, a friend of mine, my age, a better biker, found me on the course. My plans were just to slack on through this last twenty miles and do a two mile brick run; slow and steady. But, that didn’t work out. My friend and I set a good pace and held it. Thank God, I was able to keep up with him. Oh, but I dreaded that two mile brick run. Surprisingly, it went really well. The fatigue beginning the swim had me a little concerned. This was the day I was to attempt my longest ever swim: three miles. Just didn’t feel up for this at all. But, I had travelled sixty plus miles to get to the pool. Sheer economics, fuel costs and such, told me this was something I have invested in; something I need to do. I felt like a water-plow the first few laps and thought that maybe I should save myself and this effort for another day. My will and want to must have stayed at home today. The early laps involved some serious self-talk. When I had a few laps behind me, I figured the percentage of the total swim done to find the level of which I was vested in this swim. Vested enough, I figured , would be like closing the back door and minimizing my chances of quitting. I was trying to drive myself into a corner where the only choice left was to finish. And, I prayed for strength. There was always enough for one more lap. One more lap, one more lap and I became seriously vested in this. There reached a point at around a mile and half when I was for certain I was not going to quit. That sort of freed me to start enjoying this somewhat. My shoulder – the one I had rotator cuff surgery on – hurt some. I got cramps in my left foot. My neck muscles hurt some but , lap after lap brought me closer to the goal. Other swimmers came and went, others came, others went, I still plodded on, lap after lap. The last few laps were not as difficult as I would have imagined. I was not as spent as I would have imagined. And, I had swam farther than I ever imagined I ever could. Thanks God. And perhaps, the most important training I got today was not the fitness or endurance from the long swim, but personal training in finding a way even when things are not working so well, and I don’t really feel all that great.