This blog is titled Chapters as in the different Chapters that I am going through in life and in the completion of sections or parts that create and write my journey. But within those Chapters that make up the Book of Marty are the individual pages that we read. The characters we get to know and love. The experiences we laugh and cry at. No one page is more important than the other. No one Chapter carries more weight. Because without each word, each page, each character and chapter there would not be this journey, this experience, this book. My book is largely about movement. It's about steps. Sometimes baby steps and sometimes leaps of faith. It is about growth, development, change and letting go. Cycles of life, blessings, love and impermanence.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. ~ Walt Disney
Two months ago, I started this Iron Man Chapter of life and it has been nothing short of a good read for me thus far. How exciting for you?? To mill over my words of laps in the pool, heart rates while running and working to increase the cadence on the bike .....maybe not. Yawn....though this is very much a big part of my everyday life.....stretch and yawn. So I have decided to spare you paragraphs on how I am testing out hydrating every 15 minutes and trying to consume close to 200 calories every hour of training. BIG YAWN. This is the material and the words that fill my pages right now in life to create this journey/chapter to Cozumel. Along with that super exciting stuff are a few moments of laughter, oddities, achievements, firsts and hurdles. Here now are a few......
|What do you mean I can't wear Board Shorts??|
Page on Day 1 of swimming. Well, not the first time I ever swam but certainly the first time I've gone to Master's Swim Class. In a pool with ropes and lanes. Where people wear bathing caps and goggles.....crap, I need goggles. But what are the good kind? I head out to Target and hit the sports section...Speedo Goggles....heck they make bathing suits they must make decent goggles. Ok, got my goggles I am all set. Masters Swim huh? Master's I think that must mean for older people not like kids swim lessons but masters swim lessons right? I find it odd though that there are several Master Swim classes offerred at the gym. Are there that many adult newbies to swimming? Wow. Now at the front desk they said to just introduce myself the the instructor and let him know I am here for my first time. No need for that, he saw me coming a mile away. I am still about 15 feet away from him and approaching when he states, "First Time?" How did he know, I wonder. Damn, it is the speedo goggles! I knew I should have gone to that Tri store near work. I'm gonna be the only peson in class with Speedo Goggles. I am already the outcast of class and I haven't even stepped into the water yet. "Yes" I say. "Are you the teacher?" "Yep, what are you looking to get out of the class?" he asks. "Well, I'm starting to train for a race and I need to know how to properly swim. I've grown up in and around the water my whole life a pool, the ocean, surfing etc but I never learned how to breathe and turn my head and move my arms in a rythm." "Cool, he says doing a tri?" "Yep, first one" "Which?" "IM Cozumel." Here is where I think I picked his jaw up from the ground. He teetered a little bit but held his knees tight and didn't go down. "Quite ambitious since you have never done a tri before Great goal...Well, if you are going to do a tri and an IM and attend masters Swim class, do myself and yourself a favor?" "Sure", I eagerly say. "No more board shorts", he turns and walks away to start class.
Page on Jamestown. For those of you not aware Boulder is a triathlon mecca. San Diego and Boulder run neck and neck of the highest concentration of triathletes in the United States. With that comes a lot of road riding and cyclists as well. Along with swimming, road riding is not something I am all too familiar with. Heck, I road down California PC 1 with rugby buddies years ago on my Cannondale Mtn bike. Now single track and cross country riding....I feel comfortable with. peddling on a road for hours and on hills never seemed to draw my interest too much. Let's see......I'm learning how to swim and really getting adjusted to road riding for the first time in my life. Only two key components to a tri, but I've got plenty of time kinda sorta to get this all straightened out. Bella Nera.....my beautiful girl. My Cannondale Slice Time Trial bike. We have gotten used to one another and learning each others nuances. We have thus far sprinted together, increased cadence together, learned how to get out of the saddle and have gone out for up to 3 hours together. In the beginning I wasn't sure I was going to be able to turn a corner with her and leaning on the aero bars without wiping out.
|First Week in May, it's snowing and I'm learning how to swim.|
Well on Sunday, I decided to attempt another first with her and take her to Jamestown. To me this was/is a big step in our relationship. You see, in a non bicyclist mind, who lives in Boulder, you hear things like up Left Hand Canyon to Jamestown, Lee Hill to Old Stage Road, Flagstaff Hill Climb, Magnolia Road, Peak to Peak and they all draw fear into your heart and mind. Those are rides that real bicyclists do...... 8% grade for miles, rides that last 8 hours. They are bench marks for the cycling community. Riding groups meet in North Boulder at Amante and off they go doing their best impression of Lance Armstong or Alberto Contador and taking on the roads west of Broadway. When I first started to ride, I would ask around, "Where do I go?" "What roads are best?" Many a response was, "Just stay east of Broadway and there are tons of rides to do." "I've raced in 10 Tris and I never have gone west of Broadway" I'd hear them but I knew I wouldn't listen and that in time I would turn left off Broadway and go west. The thought of a sleepy little moutain town, Jamestown started to creep in my head.
|Jamestown is a Statutory Town located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. The population was 205 at the 2000 census. It was named for James Smith, an early discoverer of gold|
Two weeks ago, I saddled up for my long ride with the mindset of Jamestown but Bella wouldn't turn left. She kept going straight and took me to the lovely town of Lyons for a great ride. But Jamestown stuck in my head. Later that day I was looking through facebook and saw that a dear friend had attempted and rode Old Stage for the first time. Sammi told about her mailbox to mailbox motivation and her strategic walking between a few driveways and that she had assistance from some fellow riders and she credits them for helping her get to the top. I had a huge smile on my face reading her words as I am so proud for Sammi and know the mental game that must have been going through her mind before she attempted. That's it, next week I am doing it, I thought but I am going to solicit the help of a friend. But who...........
|Ladies and Gentlemen....Mr. Nick Wilde|
Nick and I have had a few conversation about riding and I knew that he somewhat experienced at climbing. I trust him and he's a good friend.
and off we went. Nick took the lead once we made that left turn and very nicely kept peeking back at me to ensure I was ok. Every once in a while I would get...."How are you doing Brother?" "Hanging in there my man" was always my reply. It is amazing how much our minds can run away from us if we let them. And this is all because of the fear of the unknown. At the end of the day I hope through most of my life I meet these fears and don't allow them to cripple me but rather have them be just another exerience in my life. Just another page that makes up a chapter that allows me to experience and live. This wasn't the easiest ride in the world but I'll be damned if I didn't turn this mole hill into a mountain in my own minds eye before I even put on my helmet. Slow and steady, granny gearing it, in the saddle, out of the saddle. Looking at the white line and thinking steps, baby steps, one step at a time, one peddle at a time, one crank at a time, one page at a time. Sure not gonna kill me. I even attempted humor once or twice as we were going up hill and around a corner there was a speed sign stating 20MPH. I reminded Nick not to break the law. I think I would be lucky if I was going 1 mph at that point. I didn't have mailboxes like Sammi but I had Nick, leading the way and there was no way I was stepping off the bike. No need to, it wasn't that tough. The only trouble I had was with my Garmin watch. You see I am trying to increase my cadence and I set the watch to beep and yell at me if I fall below a certain number. Well as you can imagine, I certainly was not hitting that goal on this hill and the damn watch kept beeping at me and I would beep right back at it laughing to myself the entire way.
|Nick, Bella & I in Jamestown|
Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have ~ Louis Boone
The ride up from my house took us 1hr 15min the ride down about 31min. Nick didn't have to yell at me, call me a wimp or give me tissues to cry in. I enjoyed the peddle up, a quick hello in Jamestown and a screaming descent down. Pretty cool passing two skateboarders flying down the hill with a chaperone car behind them warding off traffic. I think I was passed by ten people or so on my way to Jamestown, I certainly didn't pass anyone and I certainly didn't care one way or another. Some of them literally flying by me. On the downhill, a little bit of a different story as I allowed my bike to be a bike and just cruise on by. I was proud that I did this ride and more importantly that I took another step in conquering a fear of the unknown and meeting it head on. What a great morning ride and page in my book.
Thanks to Nick and Sammi for being a character in my book and on this page, I am sure they will continue to play a role in many more pages to come.