Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cold Ride...

It was low 40s today but sunny, so I decided to take the bike out of its proverbial mothballs, inflate the tires and go for a loooooooong overdue ride. I am not a bundle-up kind of guy, more of a layers kind of guy, so I put on leg and arm warmers, then a baselayer, shirt and vest. I figured with leg warmers and ear warmers I would be fine, and normally I would have been.

What I failed to account for was the wind. make no mistake about it: low 40s is cold. Especially on a bike. But, when you throw in 35+ mph wind gusts, it becomes something else entirely. The other thing I failed to account for is just how sheltered the first part of my ride was. Read as: very sheltered. And the wind was at my back for most of it.

All that to say, I was well on my way when I realized it was colder than I had anticipated. Still, I decided to make the most of it, and ended up having a beautiful ride through Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg and along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg. The last 4 miles were into one of the worst, coldest headwinds I have ever ridden into. At one point I hit a downhill and started to coast, until I realized the wind was actually slowing me down.

I got home, fixed myself a very hot cup of tea and a hot tub. Sylvia Plath once wrote that there is very little that can go wrong in the world that cannot be cured by a hot bath. This is not to say that I am going to be seeking advice on life from Sylvia, only that she was absolutely correct.

I had two great moments with Little Fish today. First, as an Easter present, I got my daughter a baseball glove. A real one, so we can play catch. She doesn't want to play baseball (yet) but she has been asking for a glove to throw with dad. Easter seemed a decent time to do it, so we went out together and picked out our gloves. Today we went out and just threw in the front yard, and I absolutely loved it, as did she. And, she has some decent fundamental skills. I told her about how to field a ground ball, and when she asked why, I told her the story of Bill Buckner. As a Boston Red Sox fan, she got it immediately, and now gets down and blocks the ball. Good girl.

Later, Little Fish and I were cleaning off the porch, getting ready for Spring. She got her finger stuck in a folding chair and started yelling. I was there quickly, but had to assess the situation before I made any move, because I didn't want to tighten the chair down further on her finger. We freed her, quickly, but it still hurt immensely, and I just held her. It occurred to me, as I was holding her sobbing Little Fish self, just how blessed I am to have these moments. No, it wasn't a fun time, but it was one more time when I was there when it mattered, and I got to totally love up my daughter until the pain went away. I am a blessed man.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What I Learned

I went for a run today, which in and of itself is not unusual. Except when you consider it's March 22nd, the first day of Spring and it's snowing here in Pennsylvania. And that this was only my third run this month. Which is quite pathetic, but my new job is biting me in the ass. HARD!

So I was running, and I realized about one mile in that, while cereal and two oranges might be a good breakfast, wisdom consists of waiting more than twenty minutes between finishing that and beginning my run. I felt a little quesy, especially since I went out a little quick. About a mile and a half in, I REALLY felt like quitting. Just hanging it up and walking home. I feel like this a lot when it's been a while since my last run. Like today.

So I started thinking about things that might get me to the next turn, the next block or even the next step. Hopefully without throwing up. I thought a lot about Easter. It's kind of hard to think about quitting when you're thinking about Easter. I prayed for the strength to just keep putting my feet down, one in front of the other. Running is, at it's core, simply leaning like you're falling down, then moving your feet forward to keep from toppling to the ground. The farther forward you lean, the faster you have to move your feet to remain upright. I just asked for the strength to move my feet fast enough to keep from eating an asphalt sammich.

I also thought about other triathletes, and what they were doing. Some are sleeping in, and that made me feel better. Some are out and working hard, and that made me not want to quit. Some are training for their ultimate season, or race, and it made me want to start today. Seriously. And starting today does not start with quitting.

At one of my lowest points (sounds funny for a run as short as 3.3 miles) my first robin came and landed right in fron of me, right in the middle of the road. he looked at me, then alighted just as quickly. Spring is here. Easter is here. Time for rebirth. Time for energizing. Time to get strong again. i can do this. Just put one foot in front of the other, to keep from falling down.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12: 1-3

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Next Great Movie?

Thought this was funny...