June 23, 2008

The Siren Means I Have a Sweet Ass

The only physical education "unit" at which I excelled was stretching. There were other sports I played but I was aces at stretching. For instance, I played basketball. But if being picked last by your best friend in a game of pick-up is any indication- I wasn't very good.

Taking the natural high I got from putting my foot behind my head, I tried out for volleyball in the 9th grade. I didn't make the team because I couldn't run faster than the girl with asthma. Not one to take a hint, in the spring of that year I decided I was great at soccer. I didn't even make it to the second day of try-outs. The humiliation of facing my Geometry teacher, the soccer coach, the day after not showing up was enough for me to just accept my fate as a theatre nerd.

Then I got fat in college.

I lost weight from eating better and doing yoga and some light cardio but I gained again when I moved to Albany. I needed something to get myself back. Just as luck would have it I got an email from my YMCA about a Halloween 5k. I asked Mike if he thought I could go from not really running at all to a 5k in a month. He said absolutely! I got mad at him. Didn't he know I was slower than a girl with compromised lung capacity!? He told me I was being ridiculous, I got over it and I signed up and started to train.

The day of the race was disgusting- gloomy and wet. The only people who showed up were actual RUNNERS. I came in second to last with the trailing police car 30 feet behind me. My running has gotten better but let's just say I'm not winning races anytime soon.

So it is surprising to no one more than myself that I am training for a sprint triathlon. A 325 yard swim, a 11.5 mile bike and a 3.25 mile run. I love training and the challenge it brings me every day. It is shockingly satisfying to complete a workout and see that I am capable of something I never dreamed I could be. I am even looking at another with a longer swim and bike. Hey Ma- look at me!

Sometimes during training I think of my first 5k. No, not the fact that a guy in a full-on Spiderman costume beat me by 20 minutes, but the fact that Mike was waiting at the finish line. He was one of five people. In the driving rain. Cheering me on. He knew I could do it before I crossed the finsh line. This time, I've known all along. Even if a police car is 15 feet behind and I'm dead last, I will have accomplished something amazing. Besides, the best way to end a race is with a stretch.

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