Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Pros and Non-Pros of Triathlons

PRO: Two of my sisters called about a month ago to invite me to do the Lake Powell triathlon with them. I light-heartedly said that sure I would if it happened to be on the exact weekend that Corey had vacation to watch the kids. I thought the chances were slimmer than slim. It was the exact weekend. Maybe it was meant to be. It could happen!
UN-PRO: But this would also mean that I would abandon Corey on his birthday. Maybe I should reconsider. I take birthdays pretty seriously.
PRO: I think this would be really really good for me. Sometimes the groundhog days of motherhood can be unbearable, especially as winter starts to poke her icy fingers in my eyes every morning. My list of "creative ways to break the monotony" gets hopelessly buried somewhere under my layers of warm blankets. I really should go.
UN-PRO: Oh, snap. I am a great dog paddler, but not great at actually getting somewhere while swimming. I am going to have to work. Plus I was informed that people kick and claw you in the water. Maybe I can find a way out of this.
PRO: Again the whining about being a stay-at-home mom......I know that I am so fortunate and would not have it any other way, is such an intangible and unquantifiable position. Sometimes when Corey comes home from work and cheerfully inquires, "what did you do today?" , I want to hide in my scary messy closet and sob because I really don't have anything to show for my day. I feed the kids and they just get hungry again. I wash the clothes, and somehow I have to wash the same thing the next week. Motherhood is a job in which I believe there is a natural tendency to feel like a failure. A tangible goal with a finish would be such a refreshing change. I would come home a better mother.
UN-PRO: I will also come home a bit downtrodden when I am reminded that Corey's housekeeping skills are far superior to mine.
PRO: It will be a lesson in humility

My sister Carrie (right) was the 1st woman and 4th human to finish. No wonder she kicked my butt in our swim practice the day before.

PRO: I worked out a lot before the race and felt confident that I would at least finish
UN-PRO: I read way too many articles written by PROfessional triathletes. These articles trained me to be a an extremely effective worrier about the race. I wanted to put balloons on my bike just to prove that I wasn't taking it as seriously as any of those self-involved Energy Gel Dopers. Maybe I will write an article on be UN-PROfessional when doing a Triathlon.
PRO: It was so much more fun than I had previously expected. I soon realized that many of the people were there to have fun. The swim was tough and the sun was blinding the course they set out. I only got kicked a few times, kicked a few people, and found myself laughing at how silly we all looked. The biking was my favorite and I could have gone faster if I would have kept my eyes on the road instead of stealing glances at the incredible scenery. The run....well, my body hates running, but my spirit loves it. They cooperated without any vomiting. It felt great and I didn't come in last....4th in my age group.

PRO: I got to spend quality time with some of my nieces and nephews. They give me so much more attention when my kids aren't around hogging it all. I love being called "Yessa." Maybe I am called this because it is close to my name or it is possibly because I can say "Yessa" to whatever they want without suffering any of the consequences of spoiling them.

UN-PRO I missed my kids and know that the nieces and nephews would have been happier playing with them. The 11th commandment should be "Thou shalt not listen to the Veggie Tales Soundtrack while driving in God's Country".

My sister Julia wanted to get her money's worth and did the Olympic course which was twice as far as mine. I think she is twice as crazy as me (just kidding, Julia. I'll be with you next year.....if the stars align again. Who am I kidding? You are too busy being fit to even read this blog)

PRO: Now that the race was over, we were ready to have some fun. When previously visiting Lake Powell, I could never unmerge myself out of the water to do much sightseeing elsewhere. I was short-sighted and missed Antelope of the slot canyons of the southwest. The above photo is what it looks like from above. The entrance is a narrow curved slit in the cliffs only a few feet wide. Once inside, you are in an entirely new world. The ambient sunlight filters down the curved sandstone walls and makes mystical, constantly changing patterns and shadows. Narrow sketchy staircases take you deeper into the labyrinth. I mentioned in an earlier post how much I love red rock. Being completely engulfed in red rock sent giddy chills down my spine.
UN-PRO: If I know that I am going to be having a lot of fun, I leave my camera at home. A nice camera limits your physical activity. I wanted to have a lot of active fun on this trip and so I brought our old ancient digital camera that I felt compelled many times to sacrifice to the desert slot canyon gods. It belongs among the dinosaur fossils. I don't know if I wanted to cry because I was so happy being there or if I was just sad that I didn't have my "real" camera. However, the many people waiting with tripods and light meters trying to compose the perfect shot, grumbling when we walked in front of their two minute exposure, made me happy to just be experiencing the moment.

This picture isn't so bad, is it?

My sister Camille with nephews Ethan and Jacob. This was better than Disneyland.

We play with the shadows

The next morning I walked down to the lake to watch the dawn and sunrise.
Again, I missed my CANON REBEL. I am not a morning person. I loved watching the sunrise. I think if I was able to watch the sun rise like this every day, I could easily learn to love the morning.

PRO: A stop in Zion National Park is worth a year of therapy sessions.
UN-PRO: I need at least two years of therapy.

PRO: Having the opportunity to bike through Zion
UN-PRO: spending less than a day in Zion is a little like taking a bite of your favorite chocolate cheesecake and spitting it out before you can swallow it.

PRO: My early morning flight looked like this. Yes, I did stretch out on all three seats and sleep.

UN-PRO: I missed the beverage and peanut cart.


Anonymous said...

WOW!! What a way to spend 4 days. Your photos were great. . . who needs an expensive camera when you can get photos like these with the antique!

Anonymous said...

WOW!! What a way to spend 4 days. Your photos were great. . . who needs an expensive camera when you can get photos like these with the antique!

Elisa said...

I'm so impressed Vanessa! That looked like so much fun! I relate to your motherhood pros and unpros, you're definitely not alone there! Say hi to Corey and the kids from us!

Lucy said...

I am beyond impressed! Wow. Double wow. You are...incredible. Congratulations on a goal completed and on achieving such a difficult thing. Your pictures are beautiful and I love the entire set up of this post. I have Corey had a great birthday in your absence.

Dean said...

Congrats on the triathlon finish. We concluded that we likewise love/hate short vacations to wonderful places like most of redrock country.

Christensen family said...

That looked so fun. Those pictures are amazing. I am so impressed. Way to go on getting 4th in your age group. I loved reading your pros and non-pros. Very well stated!

Joal said...

So, yeah, this trip looks more exciting than a whole field full of goats whose udders are dripping with milk.

amy said...

You always amaze me. I love your post with the pros and cons. Congrats on the race.

Thrash Metash said...

Very inspiring Vanessa! I think I'll try to join you guys next year if I can get over the fact the my sisters can kick my butt in endurance sports.