Without Lauren around I find myself talking more. Often just to hear a voice. I'll talk to animals, repeat lyrics and just have no one to count on in carrying on the conversation like I do when she's here. Also, I've been participating in focus groups and interviews at school for classes. All this is to say that sometimes when you are forced to speak up and answer questions you wind up thinking things through for the first time and (especially with the focus groups) you wind up revealing things to yourself at the same time that you do to everyone around you.
The first focus group I was a part of dealt with stress at school and the second was about physical activity at Rollins. The second is the one I'm really here to talk about. In talking about my own activity patterns I described them as "opportunistic and utilitarian." I'll jump into a game if I have time and I'll ride my bike if it gets me somewhere, but I've known that I hate gyms and jogging for awhile now. This focus group was on Thursday, a timely discussion with the first-ever Georgia Marathon taking place this weekend.
A marathon is about as far from opportunistic as you can get. I have been talking a lot with Liza about her training for the marathon, which I witnessed today. And yesterday I had the opportunity to have dinner with the Ironman himself, Chuck. Chuck's done at least 8 full Ironman races and several other races, such as the Iceman Mountain Bike Race. The Ironman is something that baffles me. I may never have the capacity to understand how it is possible. I think I need to see it, and today I got a glimpse of it by following the marathoners around Atlanta on my bike.
Chuck's a good source for information and advice on how to keep going all the way to the finish line, in a figurative and literal sense. While watching the Tour de Georgia a few years ago at Brasstown Bald he gave non-race riders encouragement all the wat up the hill and told me that you just "gotta keep turnin' it over" in that situation. I keep that in mind when I ride today on my comparatively simple routes. For the prospective marathoners he says to take it easy early on, "once you take it out of the tank, you can't put it back in."
Well, Chuck & Liza, I gotta say that you make me think about my motivations and whether or not I can really do something like that. That's what inspiring people do. Maybe you can expect some calls from me about how to get into this stuff, what kind of bike to ride and maybe you'll even see me at the Iceman one year. And, Chuck, I'm always here to answer your questions and perhaps provide some inspiration if you're thinking about a blog.
And here's a pic of me and a probable future ironman; Chuck's grandson, Bodhi.