31 December 2009

Perspiration, Inspiration

Inspiration: I went to the Y yesterday for a shoulder workout and a 5 mile run outside, but I did not feel great, and ended up doing 1000 yards in the pool with one of my old piano students, Noah. Noah swam competitively in high school (he is now in his junior year at Cornell University.) It was great picking up a few tips from him in the pool.  I felt like I was coming down with a little something yesterday—scratchy throat, runny nose—and sure enough, this morning I felt terrible. My head was pounding, and unfortunately, I had to scratch my morning run with Vanessa.  I am going to take it easy today and see if I can convalesce quickly enough to start my IM training on time.

Also, while at the Y yesterday, I spoke to a man in the pool that I have seen several times. He is a lifetime runner, and an age group triathlete that has participated in several triathlons, most recently, the Beach 2 Battleship Half. I love talking to senior athletes that are still going at it. Sometimes, you can pick up the most subtle things about training, mental attitude and perseverance from them. Dick is no exception. Talking to him in the pool yesterday, I thought he must have been in his mid-50's, perhaps early 60's. I hardly believed him when he told me he was 68 years old. The dude is in amazing shape. I looked at Noah and said, "this is what I want to look like when I am 68 years old," to which Noah replied "I want to look like him now." It is great inspiration meeting athletes who are well into their 60's, 70's and 80's who are still doing it. I believe it is a testament for keeping active.

Perspiration: It has been great being able to be home the last week with my family. I have been able to spend a lot of time with the kids. I don't know how Alaina does it. At any point throughout the day, someone is either crying, throwing a temper tantrum, or just needing attention. You would never imagine just how important a toothbrush, teddy bear, or slippers could be unless one of our kids mistakingly—or sometimes on purpose—will take, or use their siblings. The girls have the potential to cry in such a way as to threaten every single glass object in our house. I am convinced that dogs in the neighborhood are wallowing in excruciating pain waiting for the high frequency shrills to stop. Alaina and I love the girls, really. I would like to say that that after a while you become immune to the constant loudness and the craziness of five children who are so close together in age. I would like to say that, but I can't.

Whenever I fly solo, I like to do activities with the kids. We will go to the museum (we have a world-class children's museum in town.) People literally come from all over the world to visit. You need days to see all the exhibits, and much of the stuff is hands-on. We will go to the local Y, or sometimes stay home and play outside. During the winter months, it is hard though. Often, the kids get a little cabin fever. We play outside, but we can not be out there for long. It was nine degrees the other day. Nine. When the weather man does the weather, he just ought to give a "low," and the "really low." Nine is not a "high."

Alaina took the kids sledding yesterday. As she was walking back up the hill with Stella, she saw Amalia sliding down the hill on her butt. One of her boots and gloves were missing. Awesome!

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