i’m still a triathlete

I’m sure I’ve had lots of labels in my life, but one that I’m most fond and proud of is triathlete. So proud, I had it tattooed on my left shoulder a few years back. Yesterday, I did my first triathlon in over 18 months and let me tell ya, I still have the flame! I actually placed second in my category. This time I entered in the “Athena” group since I weigh more than 150 pounds.

When I got pregnant last year, I decided not to push myself and do a triathlon, and then I started to doubt that I could keep my triathlete label. So, when the spring rolled around and I missed my annual swim in the 60 degree lake, I knew I had to choose a goal race and compete. I’m so glad I did.

The race I did yesterday was a new one and it’s actually one of my favorites so far. It was great to get to drive and not have to spend the night out of town. It was wonderful to have my son and husband there, too. My first tri as a mom. My sister made my son the neatest little onesie that said “Team Nester” – she’s so creative and thoughtful. My dad even came out to watch  me race (or to play with his grandson…or maybe both).

It’s odd how I still get nervous and my stomach hurts before a race. I don’t know if I though the water would be cold or if it’s just the competitive soul within me, but I did get nervous. We were running late and I was so afraid that something was going to go wrong and I wouldn’t get to compete, but it all worked out really well.

The start of the swim is always a mess – hands and feet everywhere. No matter how often you swim in a pool in a lane all by yourself, you’re never quite prepared for the splashing of that many bodies in the limited amount of cubic feet of water. Once you finally get out to about the first buoy, things work out and you get your groove. Or, that’s how it goes for me.

Being on the bike is challenging and rewarding at the same time. I loved the rolling hills and the breeze. It was also great to see all of the other cyclists passing me. It honestly didn’t bother me at all this time. Maybe I’m slightly less competitive than I was in years past.

This run was a trail run and it was very intimidating for me because I hardly ever trail run. I thought I would hate it, but after I got past the first hills full of roots, it was fantastic running through the woods. I guess I should say “jog/walking” through the forest because I honestly wasn’t going fast enough to be considered running.

If you’ve never done a triathlon but have contemplated, please do it! The sense of accomplishment after you’ve finished is amazing. I don’t get in a hurry to wash off my body markings. I wear my temporary tattoos with pride that I just did something most people won’t do in their lifetime. Or won’t do as many times as I have in the past 8 years or so.

At the end of the day, I’ll wear many labels – mom, wife, sister, daughter, Christian, employee, friend…all of those are great, but the one that will set me apart is “triathlete”.

Cheesin’ it up before the swim.

i barfed on the bus

Back to school time reminds me of when I barfed on the bus. Well, not only when I barfed on the bus, but today that memory came flooding back just like it does when I see the poor girl I puked on.

It was elementary school and mom had made one of my favorite breakfasts that day – homemade biscuits drenched in fresh strawberries and juice. Who knows how many I ate because I had the same over indulgence problem then that I do now.

I honestly don’t remember when I started feeling bad, but I clearly remember pulling up in front of the elementary school that I used to go to where we changed buses. It had closed and several buses met there and exchanged students. Anyway, I’m standing there and here rolls up the other bus I’m supposed to get on. Everyone piles into the aisle of the packed bus and I start thinking, “I’m gonna puke.”

When I was that young, I was a very shy introvert, unlike my present self. I knew I was going to hurl, but I just couldn’t work up the courage to tell folks to get the hell out of my way! So, I just stood there feeling worse and worse, all the while praying that the bus door would open like the pearly gates and release all of the kids in front of me.

But, it didn’t and the bile ran up my throat along with the strawberries and biscuits (gross, huh?).

The little girl standing in front of me was about a foot shorter than I was and she was wearing a neon pink hat. The ironic part of this story is that she ended up marrying a preacher’s son, so I guess the good Lord was looking out for her that day. If she wouldn’t have been wearing the hat, she would have been showered with strawberry biscuit vomit.

Thank goodness she was wearing a hat similar to this one

After the downpour of puke, she gracefully placed her dripping cap on the bus seat and walked out the door. I honestly can’t remember if I cried or what, but the bus driver ended up taking me back home. She was even nice enough to buy me a coke at the store on the way home to help settle my stomach.

That day, I was supposed to do the May Pole dance at school, so mom ended up taking me on later. I didn’t get to do the dance, but that was probably best. It was embarrassing enough spewing on the bus, much less while going around in circles weaving ribbons.

what makes people “lawless”?

My husband and I saw the movie “Lawless” today. In his opinion, it was fantastic. In my eyes, it was disturbing. I mean, it was a good movie, but I’m a romance/comedy type of gal – this movie wasn’t either of those. There was one romantic scene and a couple of laughs in there, but overall, it was violent.

I guess a movie is pretty good if you blog about it…

It’s strange when you become a mom (or a parent, I guess) how you start looking at things differently. I think I actually started noticing and becoming more sensitive to different aspects of life when I was pregnant.

While I was watching the movie, all I could think of is my 7 month old son. On the way home, I asked my husband something along the lines of “How can we all start out as innocent as our son and then some of us end up so wicked and mean?” I’m sure there are a thousand different viewpoints on this topic, and Freud would have a ball with my question. But, isn’t it disturbing to think about how some folks end up so terrible even though the were happy, smiling babies at one point? Maybe I just have an abnormally happy baby, but it’s hard to wrap my  head around it.

The movie was set not too far from where I live and it’s hard to believe there was a time when life was like that. At the same time, I know there are similar things happening in the world today that we just don’t know about or acknowledge.

OK, enough gloom and doom on this rainy Labor Day! How about reading this article about Labor Day? The interesting part is the “workingmen’s holiday”. Guess the women got involved and changed that up, huh?