Wednesday, March 11, 2009

what's in you wednesday

Charlie is part of a relay team that will be competing in a half-iron man triathlon at the end of this month. My husband will be doing the the one-mile ocean swim, one of our neighbors will be completing the 56-mile bike ride, and one of Charlie's co-workers is planning to run the half-marathon of 13.1-miles ... most of which are in sand.

To prepare for this big event, Charlie has been in the pool, three days a week, at 6:00 AM training with a Swim Masters group. He joined the group in early January, and after having swum with them for the past 10 weeks, has recently decided that he needed to expand his training to the ocean.

Considering swimming in a pool at night is a big deal for Charlie, swimming in the ocean is an even bigger deal because he gets a little nervous when he can't see what's in the water around him.

Still, over the past three weekends, my husband has made an effort to get out of bed before the break of dawn and join various open-water swim groups. This past Sunday, the whole family tagged along to support him as he made the two-mile ocean swim from the La Jolla Cove to the La Jolla Shores and back again. The two-mile round-trip swim, took him just over forty minutes, which I think is incredible considering it takes me about thirty minutes to run two miles.

When he came out of the water on Sunday he was feeling really good about himself. He told me that he could see and feel a dramatic improvement with his overall strength, endurance and speed. He wasn't nearly as nervous as he had been, even though he did let out an underwater scream when he spotted a diver emerging from the depths and again, when he swam through a kelp forest and thought he saw a fish or more likely, a ravenous Great White shark swimming in the ominous seaweedy abyss beneath him.

After finishing his ocean swim, my husband confided in me that his pool training has been going so well that he is now one of the fastest swimmers in his group. He added, "With Tom riding upwards of 200 miles a week and Carl running a 7-minute mile pace, I wouldn't be at all surprised if our team is the fastest relay."

As he smiled to himself, I could just imagine my fit husband stepping up on the podium to accept a bouquet of flowers and his hard-earned medal.

As he has done for the past 10 weeks, this past Monday morning, Charlie jumped out of bed early and hit the pool. When he returned from his training, I could immediately see that my husband's strong confidence from the day prior, had been diminished. Once he poured his morning cup of coffee, he turned to me with a dejected look in his eyes.

When I asked him what had happened, he told me that when he arrived at the pool, he noticed several new people had shown up to swim with his group. They were younger men, in their early 20's and they were lean. Everyone jumped in to the pool and started swimming and almost instantly, my husband was passed by a pod of young men.

Before he had finished his first lap - they had completed two.

He was looking underwater as they sped by trying to see if they were wearing fins. Or paddles. Or something that would allow them to swim so damn fast. But he couldn't spot anything out of the ordinary and soon, he felt like a cork bobbing along in their wake while he was lapped by men half his age.

When the swim session was over, Charlie asked one of the coaches who these dolphin-like men were? As it turns out, they were Olympic hopefuls for the US Triathlon Team that are currently stationed at the nearby Olympic Training Facility.

I was so intrigued by the physical strength that my husband was describing that I asked, "So, you say that they were fast. But how fast? I mean, if you swam with paddles on your hands - do you think you could keep up with them?" Charlie sipped his coffee and giving me a frown, shook his head no.

So I asked, "What if you had fins AND paddles? Do you think you could keep up with them, then?" He put down his cup of coffee and said, "Jen, listen. These guys were so fast, I wouldn't be able to keep with them if I had paddles on both hands, fins on both feet and a propeller strapped to my ass."

And so it goes...

In every facet of life, there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

But it takes a lot of courage to get out there and go for it, anyway.

And it takes even more courage to flex for your wife who is holding a camera while yelling, "Come on!! Show me your BIG muscles!!"

This coming Saturday, I am supposed to get out and run for 11 (ELEVEN!!) miles with my Team-In-Training group. If I'm being perfectly honest, I really wish we had a propeller I could strap to my backside.

So how are you doing with your goals?


Five weeks ago, we started a fundraising campaign for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Thirty five days later, we have raised almost $8,000.00 for cancer research.

Included within the totals are several checks that have been received and have not yet been deposited to our accounts. But the vast majority of the donations have come from readers of this blog and for that, I am tremendously thankful. But I'm not nearly as thankful as the scores of people who are battling cancer and relying upon research to find a cure.

Tonight, I took all the people who entered to win the Melissa & Doug easel and Melissa & Doug easel companion set and for every $5.00 donation entered them once in to the raffle. Then, I plugged the total number of entries in to an Excel spreadsheet and calculated a winner using a random number generator.

The winner of the easel set is LurkerGirl, Lynn!

Lynn, please send me an e-mail to: TheAmazingTrips(at) with your address and I will get that easel off to you as soon as possible. Hopefully, you'll do it before Saturday because I fear that after I run for 11 (ELEVEN!!) miles, I might be incapacitated for the rest of the month.


  1. Good luck on Saturday!!!

    I signed up and have almost completed a beginners Adult swim class. I can actually swim 200 m before I stop and gasp for air and cough out half of the pool. For me? That's progress. I am even signing up for the intermediate classes.

    And I've lost 3 pounds because I can't bring myself to touch the thin mints (among other things) sitting in the freezer after swimming in the pool for an hour every evening. How strong am I?

  2. Go Charlie!! Go!!!

    Look at those muscles!!!

  3. You have an uncanny ability to blog about fitness without making the whole thing about how you look and that is truly refreshing.
    After having my third baby in September I'm up to 209#(!) and feeling awful. Of course I have issues with how I look but what finally got me committed was the plantar facsiitis (it HURTS!) and the very real threat of diabetes. Then there is the very heavy burden of modeling good eating habits for my 3 girls.
    It's still early and there's been a few stops and starts but I'm on my way. I read so many different bloggers who talk about working out and body issues but when I come here, it's all about keeping active and feeling better. Do you feel like you have body issues and you just don't talk about it here? Or do you not struggle with it all that much? Either way, great respect!

  4. Hair. Charles has too much hair. That is slowing him way up I tell you. Taking minutes off the clock before he even starts:)

  5. $8,000+?!?!? That is fantastic! Do you know how many people cringe when their child brings home the wrapping paper fundraising sale info? Very few would even think of tackling what you're doing.
    Your Amazing Trips (& H) have Amazing parents!

  6. You Go Charlie! I am so proud of you. However, I do suggest that you must shave ALL YOU BODY HAIR if you want to go faster.

  7. Jen - Good luck with your 11 mile run. I'm supposed to run 6 on Sunday. I'm pretty hopeful. I finished 5 last Sunday and 3 on Saturday...both outside! I'm definitely slower outside. Pretty close to a 10 minute mile. Still, I'm not even 1/2 way through the training, so maybe that speed will improve.

    Also - I've missed the "HOW" to contribute to your fund raising. I definitely want to help.

  8. I found that easel on Amazon and now I really want one... thanks for that! Oh well... I have time before my little one is at the point where he needs the easel ;~)

    Gotta say... GO CHARLIE! What an awesome guy! You guys make one hell of a team! Good luck on your run!

  9. Yikes Jen. Did Charlie ever see the movie "Jaws"? (Don't tell him I said that...he'll never go back in the water again. The movie was released in 1976 and I still don't.)

    LOL :)


  10. I was just gonna suggest an outboard motor, when he proposed the propeller... :D


    ~Cindy! :)