A married father of two riding his way through the crazy life of parenthood, trying to balance family, work and training for an upcoming marathon and Half Ironman triathlon. It's a process. It's a gift. It's life. LIVE IT!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Caution: The Barge is Motoring

Craziness at work and a lot going on with the family has kept me very simplistic in my workouts. Get in what you can, when you can. I'm finding success is even possible when it's not completely mapped out. In my effort to find out if I was going to sink or swim in my new pursuit to improve my water efficacy, last night — alas — a minor breakthrough.

To give you proper context, on more than one occasion during my swim class with Texas Iron I have had more than fleeting thoughts of throwing in the proverbial towel. My confidence was shaken, my resolve to continue was very low. I couldn't figure out why I didn't seem to be making any progress. I had just run a marathon, but couldn't get my breathing and stroke down well enough to keep consistent effort for more than a few lengths without throwing my stroke into chaos and sending me struggling to recover. Mind you, I never really had grandiose thoughts of becoming a strong, contender of a swimmer...I just wanted progress. I even battled 68-degree water (holy shrinkage!) at Deep Eddy pool to get some extra reps, drills and time in the pool one morning last week. And finally, there it was, staring me right in the face, small progress.

I was finding it easy to recover while continuing a solid pace. In fact, I was even keeping up with the others in my lane, which was a big confidence boost. As we wrapped up the session, the most telling part of making progress was I wanted to keep going. Talk about a pendulum shift. I'm not saying I've turned the corner on enjoying the swimming thing like I do the bike and even the run. But maybe I've turned one of many corners. At least I'm not dreading it...at least not now.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pure Intentions

There are so many quick moments in life that we sometimes forget to stop, take a moment, and realize the totality of all of those experiences and moments....and more importantly what they collectively mean to our lives. Spence and I met up early for a 7 mile tempo run. We were both trying to get a workout in before tackling some family commitments. My wife was leaving for a few days for a girls' weekend and Spence's little fella was celebrating his 2nd birthday. It was the first weekend run we'd tackled since the marathon and enjoyed seeing so many other people out on the trail in pursuit of "their" goals and races. We passed training group after training group. I was excited for them knowing they were on their way to accomplishing something big. We did our run and averaged just over 9 minute mile pace. I was just along for the ride. Spence was doing the heavy lifting of setting the pace and pushing us faster.

Shortly after the run, we all said goodbye to Mommy and Mommy said hello to some much needed (and well deserved) time away from Chicklet and Happy. Sink or swim we're on our own. Thank goodness we had plans to go to a birthday party. Watching 1, 2, and 3 year olds play at a birthday party, I was quickly reminded of the immense responsibilities we have to each other -- not just our children or spouse -- but to each other.

Chicklet and Spence's little man are quickly becoming good friends and to watch them interact is always so revealing. There is no pretense. They don't like each other out of obligation or because one of them looks a certain way or has a certain job or "status". They like each other because, well, they like each other. There is no outside, superficial crud that gets in the way. I am mindful of that crud more and more as I watch Chicklet's pure interactions with other kids. We should all be so lucky to have great examples to follow.

That's all for now...."Mr. Mom" has some serious business to tend to in the kitchen...oh who am I kidding, "Who wants to go out for dinner?"