A few days ago I read about a man, Klaus Obermeyer, who is 95 and still skiing and generally being awesome. He swims about a mile every day and says it helps him stretch out and stay young. And I thought “Yeah! Swimming! I could do that!”
Then, yesterday, someone great said in a chipper voice, ‘Hey, I’m doing a half IRON race in July. You could do a sprint triathlon the day before!’ and I thought “Okay!”
Never mind that each of the three times I’ve tried to swim, you know, like a real swimmer where my face actually gets wet, I’ve hyperventilated within half a lap. And those squeezy rubber caps make my head hurt. And goggles do too. And I panic if I think water will get in my ears. And I never, never swim in lakes because things might touch my legs. Things. I haven’t run consistently with the exception of six weeks of training for a Color Run a couple years ago in 20 years. More than half my life. And there is a biking component too. 18 miles. I could bike that, right? With my 20-year-old bike with 20-year-old mountain bike tires?
Anyway, I signed up. For a triathlon in July.
It is a 1/4 mile swim, an 18 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run. They call this set the “sprint” of triathlons. Oho! So sassy!
I started training today. By which I mean that I bought a biking jersey, some running shorts, two t-shirts and a swim cover-up on clearance. Ooh, and I signed up for a free intro spin class on Sunday morning.
Then I thought about my first goal for the year, how my family needs and deserves the full weight of my attention right now.
I asked my husband if he was worried about the “diminishing slice of pie” now that I signed up for a triathlon.
“Pie? What pie?”
“The pie of my attention.”
“Um. No. I wasn’t.”
You know what? I have worried about that (needlessly, apparently) for years. Maybe I should just say stuff out loud more often.
First doubt, hurdled.
Then, my mind turned to MS, as it does often these days. I’m asymptomatic right now. Well, sort of. I get tired sometimes and sometimes my body hurts and only now do I realize that that fatigue might not just be me or the result of “unsleeping” for seven years. Also, I can last only about 30 minutes of boot camp right now before my hands start shooting off sparks. It used to just irritate me that my grip would go, but lately my fingertips feel like I’ve run an iron over them when I get too hot. The burning sensation goes away after a while. It’s never permanent. But, but…how do I run or bike or swim? If it makes me tired? If it makes my hands hurt? Blah, blah.
So my second doubts about this, are easily dealt with too: I do what I can. Right now.
Time to live it up and take these (beginner) workouts outside in the cool Wisconsin air. Well, not the swimming. Not yet anyway.