Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Learning Journey

By not committing to racing, I now have a lot of time on my hands now. Well, that's not really the case. I seem to fill my free time as soon as I get it; but I'm diversifying my activities.

For instance, for the past few weeks I've been watching T-E-L-E-V-I-S-I-O-N. It's a rectangular box (panel) in my living room that emits images and sounds. One particular show (later made in to a movie) is called Avatar (The Last Airbender). I'm hooked on people's ability to "bend" water, fire, earth, and air. More fascinating, though, is Appa - the Flying Bison. I want one.

On the exercise front, things are changing too. I can't tell you the last time I rode my bicycle. It's so strange but liberating to not be consumed with a training plan, heart rate zones, and power zones. Instead, I've been jogging--quite a bit.

During my weekly visits to my grandparents' house, I run a 5-mile loop through Amish country. I don't understand how clothes get dry while hanging on a clothes line under cloudy skies in 17 degrees. Also, I learned that Amish people/businesses order a LOT of stuff as I was passed by the same UPS truck 7 times as it delivered to houses along the path I was taking. Granted, I grew up there; perhaps I didn't notice this stuff before? Nevertheless, the Amish community is getting into Solar energy; I think we could learn much from the way they harness and utilize the sun's rays.

Last week I started a swim class and overcame my fear of submerging my head and successfully performed controlled exhales underwater. While I could get around the water for a number of years, I have the most ungraceful way of kicking and moving my arms to generate movement--all with my head out of the water. I have a feeling I'm going to be a SWIMMER!!!! And I'm probably the only one in the world that likes indoor pools; the sunburns I got as a kid kept me away from many outdoor pools.

So, this series of events can mean only one thing: XTERRA. My new goal for this year. I'm going to try an off-road triathlon. There are two opportunities in Indiana, and I already know the mountain bike courses as they are on the racing series I've done the past 4 years. The layout is about a .5 mile swim, 10-13 mile mountain bike, and 4-5 mile trail run. Of course biking is my biggest strength; I'll have to really work in the pool to get ready. I'm STOKED about this new adventure!

Last year was an incredibly successfuly year for me racing. While I didn't win many races, I did win confidence, knowledge, and fitness. I learned so much about myself and what I can do. My only regret is taking 35 years to figure it out. May my next 35 be as fruitful!

And lastly, I have to mention the new car. I bought a 2011 Subaru Outback and love it. I hope we get many miles together through many adventures. I thought a pic of it in my driveway would be boring, so here are a couple from the World Wide Web.

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