Aidan did his first triathlon today. He's been wanting to do one for quite a while, and there was one conveniently in our town and of a length that I thought would challenge him, but not be so hard that he'd fail. It was a 275yd swim (snicker snicker - the swim is NEVER a long portion of any tri), 13mi bike, and a 5k run. All in all, I figured it would take him about an hour and forty minutes to complete. His swim workouts are 2 hours long, so this seemed achieveable.
The first leg of the tri is the swim. For this particular tri, the swimmers start one at a time. They assign your number based on your estimated swim time. Since I'd estimated Aidan's swim time at a full 30 seconds faster than anyone completed it last year (and I entered a slow time so as not to appear too cocky), I figured Aidan would be first in the water. He was #25. We thought maybe 24 people lied about their estimated swim time. Turns out, that wasn't the case, there were 24 students from SMU who the race organizers agreed to keep together, and decided the best way to do this was to put them first. Big mistake. Huge.
I thought Ray and I were going to fall over laughing. Aidan hit the water with 24 slow-pokes ahead of him. He proceeded to pick seventeen of them off one by one (or in some cases in clumps of 3) by either swimming right over the top of them or dolphin-kicking underwater off the turn walls beneath them.
Out of the water he heads, the skinny kid in his Speedo, to the cheers of those lining the pool exit area. He was among only about a half dozen kids in this race of 650 athletes.
Then reality hit. Time to do the events that he doesn't train for every day - like biking. There goes the scrappy kid on the big clunky mountain bike. We knew we didn't have to worry about whether or not he'd find his way on the route as we were pretty sure he'd get passed by plenty of people right away. It was a windy morning and he pushed himself hard.
He came in from the bike leg huffing and puffing, but had a big smile on his face. I hollered to him, "Way to go buddy! You having fun?"
"Yes!" he yelled back. Awesome. On to the run. In a pair of old basketball shoes.
He definitely earned back some places on the run as he probably passed more people than passed him from what I could see. But it was a confusing course w/ one part that had to be done twice, and one only once and we think he may have run that part twice as well. So, maybe he ran about 4 miles instead of 3.
He finished the race in just over an hour and a half. Probably somewhere in the middle of the pack which is awesome for a kid his age, for a first triathlon, for just about anybody. We're so proud of him!
When he finished, he said "I've come to the realization that I love swimming. I love biking. I hate running!"
"Yes, but would you do it again?" I asked. "Oh yeah!" he said.
An engineering term meaning the angle at which dirt and pebbles stop rolling and come to rest.
The other title I'd considered for this blog is a country western song: I love this crazy tragic sometimes almost magic awful beautiful life.
Contrary ideas, those. No matter. Life is full of contradictions, juxtapositions, conflicts and compromises. Meeting these gracefully, to find one's own angle of repose is a way of acheiving balance, sanity, gratification.