So I turned 44 this past Thursday. A few days before that happened, I told my wife, Amy, that I wanted to talk to her about something. We found a quiet spot in the back of the house, and I laid it all out for her.
"I'm going to have a midlife crisis," I said. "I'm not buying a sports car, and I don't want a girlfriend. I want to do a triathlon." Being the type of supportive wife that she is, she was supportive of the idea. I, on the other hand, suspect I have no idea what I'm getting myself into.
I found the entry form at the local indoor swimming facility. I had lunch back around Christmas time with an old friend from grade school, Chuck Mickey, who competes in those "Strongest Man" competitions that you sometimes see on ESPN at odd hours. We talked about a lot of things, but he planted an idea in my head about staying in shape in our forties: "You gotta compete, man."
I found out in November of 2010 that I ate myself into Type II Diabetes. That first year was all about eating healthy and exercising. I dropped from 265 to 205 in nine months. For the past year, I've been backsliding here and there, and I've crept back up to 225. Just managing my diabetes isn't going to be enough motivation for me. So I'm gonna compete.
I'm going to use this blog for the next two months to keep a running diary of my training progress. The triathlon is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 at Lake Wappapello, about half an hour from where I live. I found a great website, www.trinewbies.com that has all kinds of great training information. I also have a friend at church, Tom Pierce, who's a fitness fanatic. I don't know if he inspires me or scares the hell out of me. It's probably a little bit of both.
It's a "sprint triathlon," which means 400 yards swimming, 15 miles bicycling, and 5 kilometers running. My goal is to finish without dropping dead during or shortly after. The training program I'm using is an 11-week program, but with the event approaching, I'm jumping right in at the end of the second week of training.
So what have I done so far? I swam 600 yards Friday afternoon. The swimming is a piece of cake for me. I'll just need to train to build my endurance, but the swimming is definitely my strong suit. I haven't been on a bicycle in a couple of years, so that's going to be interesting. I'm scheduled to ride six miles tomorrow. Today I ran/walked (that's the training plan) two miles in twenty minutes. I'm tired!
I hope those of you who follow "The Sandlot" will follow along with me on this little journey. I don't mind turning 44. I like the maturity that forty-plus years affords. But I'm planning on working through my late sixties before I retire. When that happens, I want to be fit and healthy enough to enjoy a few of those golden years. So I'm gonna compete.
And I'm gonna finish.