On Sunday night, I had dinner in Redwood City with my Dead Runner friends Ian and Jane & Don.
Friends Karl, Kathy and Kaleigh were supposed to be there too, but there was some mixup as to times. Turns out that it’s a bad thing that they weren’t there, because, had they BEEN there, the conversation would not have been the same, which means that different things might have happened. The whole “butterfly flaps its wings and palm trees gro in Nova Scotia” effect thingy.
Because Ian is a Silver-Tongued Devil. And he has a way of talking me into doing things that I simply wouldn’t do otherwise – yet when *he* suggests them, they suddenly make sense!
“Lemme ‘splain. No – is too much. Lemme sum up.” — Inigo Montoya
When I got to Pleasanton, I spent the first four days commuting by bike, as my co-workers in Salt Lake have a bike locked up here at the home office. It was actually fun commuting by bike, but I have to go to meetings, after dark, much, MUCH further away from the office and hotel than my colleagues ever rode. At night. After doing that a few times, I realized that it simply wasn’t safe for me to keep doing that, so I got a car.
But I actually enjoyed the bit of bike commuting that I was doing (when I wasn’t in danger of merging with the sidewalk) and so I spent a little time on the exerbike at the gym, as well, after turning the bike in.
I also was feeling pretty depleted; I’m here, umpteen-hundred miles away from Ethel, and Bso I tended to either be working, going to meetings, or at the gym. So I’m feeling a bit beat up – thus, I decided to do a bit of swimming as well, at which I am no good whatsoever, but tends to have a rejuvenative effect on me.
When Ian heard that I’d been doing this, he said, out of nowhere and apropos of nothing : “Oh, so then you ought to do the St. George Half Ironman next May.”
Now, see, Ian didn’t say “Hey, you’ve been riding a bike? Cool!…oh, you’ve done some swimming? That’s interesting. Gee, have you considered doing a triathlon? No? Perhaps you should consider it. Maybe signing up for a short sprint or even Olympic distance some time. Thing about it.”
No, that’s not what Ian did. He hit my frontal lobes with a conceptual brickbat, in such a way that I couldn’t formulate a “No!” response fast enough, and the next thing I knew, I was saying “….okay…”.
When I sobered up the next day (I think that they had booze in the guacamole – it HAD to be booze in the guacamole) the aforementioned Karl asked “Why go straight for a Half Ironman? Why not do shorter distances and work your way up? Why….why…..why….?”
And the only answer that I could give was what Cool Hand Luke said when they asked him why he ate fifty boiled eggs…”Aw, hell – it’s just sumpthin’ to do…”
So Douglas, in Ireland, likened that sort of decision-making to “Let’s invade…Poland!”
And I can’t say that I disagree with him : )
Now I’m facing 10-12 hours of triathlon training per week, plus the expense of a swim coach or joining a masters’ swimming group, and – of course – a spendy bicycle. And Half Ironmans (Iron*men*?) are not cheap events to participate in – St George is gonna cost a bundle.
But….”let’s do….a Half Ironman!” …Yeah, sounds good : )