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Triathlon Base Ride

Last week, I rode and ran my triathlon loop to get a base line.

Here’s the scoop:

SWIM – My swim is what it is. 2013, the goal was to just learn how to swim and finish without putting my feet down. In 2015, I finally reached that goal. I swam the entire length without stopping and finished smiling. This year, the goal is to do that again, with more strength. Simple as that. I just swim, and transition smiling.

BIKE – My bike is going to be fast, damn fast. I’m going to push through flats like wind whipping around the corners of my house. I’m going to use the hills to my advantage. I’m going to learn to work the gears and cadence.

RUN – The run has been eating me alive. Although I began my triathlon journey the least worried about my ability to run, it has become the thing that has me jiggling in my seat. Everyone else is so unbelievably fast. They fly…I lope. So I persevere. I run and run and run. I sprint and sprint and run again. My knees ache. My asthma kicks in. I keep running. It’s painful. But my run, like my bike, need to be fast. I’m going to make it fast.

Here’s my beautiful graph that my partner/coach helped me put together. I was very discouraged by my baseline performance until I had the chance to see how much I have improved since 2013.  The final point on the graph includes my swim time and transitions from the previous year, assuming they won’t change much. I took off twenty-minutes! Woohoo!

Graph of Tri Race Times


Only twenty more to go and then I have a shot at placing in my age group…

Google, where’d your creative spark go?

Dear Google,

I’ve heard stories of your lunch time basketball games, your employee perks, and your creative encouragement. Your Google Doodle has taken on a life of it’s own; I keep going back to Google Drive like a pregnant woman to her ice cream bowl; and you just keep making that search engine more and more responsive to my secret wishes.

So why does Google Analytics have to be so boring?

I just slogged my way through lesson 1. Actually, I might only be part way through. I had to pause and do something vaguely creative. The videos are like telecast freshman biology lectures and the quizzes are worse than a kindergartner’s standardized test.

I like data. I like numbers. But getting through the next few hours of learning how to use Google Analytics might just require more caffeine than my body can handle. In your next iteration, can you please add a few bonus rounds filled with some really inspired writing, maybe some whimsical info-graphs, or interactive buttons that by clicking will help me learn?

I’m pretty damned determined to use all the resources I can find to drive traffic to our website that result in enough “conversions” that I can actually have a reliable income again. So, I will slog through your lessons. But, while I’m slogging, can you please consider my requests?

I’d really like that; that would be nice.



grin and bear it.

We are daily, hourly, weekly faced with challenges.

Some are inconsequential.

Some are thrown at us.

Some suck.

Some are thrilling.

Some we choose.

I want to know, as soon as I am faced with a challenge, which it’s going to be. But I can’t always figure it out. I can’t always know if I need to push through, or step back. If I should keep forging ahead knowing there will be a payoff in the end, or if I should change directions, take a new path. And if the answer is to pick a new path, I want to know when I should start forging that path. I rarely know.

In fact, maybe I never know.

It is the challenges that we choose that fascinate me. I am faced with challenges that I choose all the time. In the thick of those choices, when things get really hard, I can think to myself “self, just sit down and give up for a while. No one will know but you.” But I don’t. Because what about all the people faced with challenges that they don’t choose? Faced with the world and life being thrust upon them? They can’t sit down and give up. They have to keep going. And if they can keep going in a situation they didn’t choose, I can keep going in a situation I placed myself in.

Let’s be real. Have I faced challenges I didn’t choose? Life altering moments that really really sucked? Moments where I thought life might be better if I wasn’t in it? Absolutely. I hope I never face moments like that again.

But, at this moment in time, I choose my challenges. I take ownership over where I’m taking my life.

Since I have been gifted this privilege, I better tuck my chin in, power up my glutes, and do it with a smile.

be the hero you wish would save you. from

I found a path covered in brambles. And then I lost it.

For 8 weeks.

I found a path.

It was covered in brambles.

I followed it anyways. My own art. My own challenge.

I made the time to charge through those brambles, get stuck with thorns, step through mud, and scramble up rocks.   Time that I did not have but I made anyways.

For 8 weeks.

I rehearsed for Much Ado About Nothing.  For those same 8 weeks I trained for my first Sprint Distance Triathlon.

For 8 weeks, I made myself eat enough, sleep enough, be enough.

I did not clean the house. I barely did dishes. I barely saw my child. I had just enough time to get through my day. When I felt sick, I swam anyways. When I felt tired or injured, I rehearsed anyways.

I thought it was too much.

I thought I was over-committed.

I cried and regretted and my child punished me with torrents of tears at every departure.  

A man I love told me it was okay to give up: it was okay to admit I was over-committed and to drop something.  To know I tried and couldn’t.  And it’s okay to try and then…know it’s enough.  I wept and felt relieved.  Then I woke up in the morning to realize that I could not ‘give up.’  No, no, that would be failure.  But I could be okay with doing my best.  Not the best of another.  Just my best.

So I kept on down that path and made friends with the thorns.  Their stings warning me to dance higher out of their way.  The slips on rocks reminding me to look closer and step lighter.  The caked mud simply something to put up with, or sling in delight at an unwary partner.

Then, on that one weekend, eight weeks later, I opened my show and completed my triathlon in one big rush.

And I loved it.

I looked back at those 8 weeks and I loved those too.  The tears were so minor; the fear so small.

I recovered from the race and closed my show with an impish grin, a rock hard stomach, and dreams of future triumphs.

It all ended.

And I got horribly sad.

So I stopped eating good food and started eating chocolate and drinking too much coffee.  I stopped sleeping right and found myself up at 1am for no reason other than that I couldn’t sleep.

There must be a middle.  Not a balance.  Not that damn word: balance.  But a middle.  A middle somewhere.  A path.

To find the time to create art, create physical triumph…to have time to put my child to bed and live in a tidy home.  To put it all together and not slump down in sadness when it is all over.  

When the goal has diminished to a past accomplishment: to set the new goal all over again.  The new goal that feels no greater than the last but will be even more important.

How do I do this?

Do not answer.  I do not want to hear it.  Because I know the answers.  I just do not know how to put them into practice.  My brain moves too quickly; my body moves too slowly; my heart moves in tides.

I am bowled over by paperwork; I am lost amongst the ants invading my kitchen counters; I am grown over by the weeds in my backyard; I am snowed in by bills I cannot pay.

But when I expand my back ribs in the deep inhalation of a voice about to be, when I tuck my chin and watch the line in the pool race by, when the burning of my quads forces me to engage, when I sink into the eyes of another artist, there is nothing but my body in motion.  There are no papers, no dishes, no late fees.  There is just me moving through space.

My mind is at ease.

My heart the hero you wish would save you. from

My spirit soars.

There is a path…somewhere there is a path that I will make and I will not so easily lose it this time.