I live with a triathlete. Every other year, he loses his mind completely and does an Ironman, which means my life is disrupted like whoa while he gets up early to swim, comes home late after having gone for a run, and spends every weekend RUINING MY LIFE with long runs and bike rides. He also stops drinking for a time and then I look like an alcoholic because I have to pick up the slack. If I don’t, Jim Koch from the Boston Beer Company will call me up on the phone and ask me what’s wrong because the stock has taken a dive.
The house is filled with things like HammerGel and HEED (the smell of which makes me gag). There is a lot of ibuprofen happening, and the sleeping, MY GOD, the sleeping. During training, Freddie can sleep on command. Not to mention the piles of stanky workout gear that hang out in the basement until I have a big enough pile to justify a wash load. On crappy weather days, the sound of old-school Mission:Impossible blares out from the dog’s room where the bike trainer is set up as he rides rides rides to nowhere. On good days, he’s out on the roads battling against the asshole drivers of suburban New Jersey and I worry.
Such is the life of an Iron Wife. I don’t complain too much because the rewards are pretty great, actually. I get to go to interesting places (Panama City Beach, FL; Lake Placid, NY; Coeur d’Alene, ID), meet interesting people, and watch people achieve things they never thought possible. I have a big voice and a cowbell, and I put them both to good use over the course of an Ironman day, cheering not only for Freddie but for everyone who goes by. Especially the folks who look like they need it.
I never really felt the urge to join them until just recently. Sure, I’ve watched the television coverage of the Ironman World Championships, and I have my favorite athletes to watch. The stories are inspiring – be it the guy who totaled his bike with nine miles to go so he WALKED IT IN and then ran a marathon or the Hoyts or John Blais or any of the other thousands of stories that get up at an ungodly hour to do amazing things on race day. Now? Now is a different story.
I will be forty years old in three and a half years. That is laughable, but there it is. Math doesn’t lie. Forty feels like way more of a milestone than thirty did. I think it’s because my generation has this prolonged adolescence thing going on and we’re not really asked to be “adults” until a lot later in life. We graduate from college later (if we ever do), we move away from home later, we get married later, we have kids later. We do everything later, because we are slackers. And that’s fine.
But… 40. Whoa.
So here’s the idea. The idea is to complete an Ironman someway, somehow, before I turn 40. I have all the tools I need. I have all the advice and coaching I might need easily available to me. I have all the support, I know WHAT to do, I know HOW to do it, I just need to… GO DO IT.
There have always been excuses. I got pregnant literally three weeks to the day after Freddie finished his first Ironman. So there was that handy excuse, then there was a baby, then we got a puppy, then I’m tired, then… then… then… more excuses. Well, I have RUN OUT OF EXCUSES. You’d think that a gifted storyteller such as myself would be able to invent ever more reasons why not, but you’d be wrong. There ARE no more reasons why not.
Oh, wait – I have shinsplints. That excuse will take me through to January 1, 2012, which is when The Plan begins. I have been doing my research and I have come up with a fairly workable plan, I think. If The Plan works (and I put in the work), then I am looking at Ironman Florida or Ironman Arizona in 2013. I think that’s an attainable goal.
Thus the title: transition. I hope that this marks the beginning of not only a new chapter in my life but a whole new goddamn book. No excuses. Just Do It. No Day But Today.