We traded e-mails for a few days regarding what would be involved and when I told her that the distances really weren't that long and if she went in to this simply to have a fun experience, I fully suspect she would have a great time.
She wrote back to let me know that what she really likes about me is that I'm not at all competitive. I just take on these challenges to raise money for cancer research and to have fun. I, in turn, wrote her back to confirm that I am quite possibly, the least competitive person she'll ever meet in her life.
But it was interesting that Holly made that comment about my lack of competitiveness, because I was thinking the exact same thing about myself just the other day.
Over the past year, I've participated in four athletic events. What I've determined is that I train for these events so I can complete the event. And I do these events so that I can have the experience. I don't participate so that I can win. I really have no aspirations to beat any one else out there. And I think that's what makes it fun for me.
I love being at the start line and feeling the anticipation. I love having a challenge before me. I love knowing that I'm out there as part of a group who are physically active. I love being inspired to keep doing these events, whenever I look around and see that I'm surrounded by people who are strong and ready to take on the course. I love knowing that while I'm out there doing something good for my body and spirit, the vast majority of the population are still in bed.
But Holly's comment got me thinking.
Why is it that I'm so non-competitive?
I genuinely wonder if my attitude is some kind of defense mechanism?
If I really push myself hard to train only to discover that I don't meet goals that I've set for myself, I will feel like I've failed. And if I fail to meet my own expectations, I'm less likely to do it again. So, it's better to just go in to something with no expectations - except to finish - and enjoy myself while I'm out there.
Last week Michele, a fellow triplet mom who lives in Las Vegas, posted a video of herself flipping over a bar and then, doing a scissor swing, 'round and 'round and 'round.
And then, she had the audacity to dare me to do a back flip off the high bar. Now although I'm not competitive, when I saw that challenge, I was all Charlie, "QUICK! We need to go find a BAR!"
To which my husband replied, "A bar? Why? Do you want to go out drinking?"
(Which - in hindsight - that really might have been a better idea.)
This afternoon, we drove all around our neighborhood to find a bar so that I could attempt to swing my rather large posterior up and over and then back flip off. Why would I do this - you might ask? Because I seriously think someone broke in to our house and gave me a lobotomy while I was sleeping.
Today, the closest thing we could find to a bar were some rings. And those 60 minutes that I spent attempting to flip over the rings didn't go too well for me. Nor did it go well for the woman who was hanging out at the park with her children and after watching me for several minutes - decided to try herself - because she, like I, once was able to do this kind of thing.
Twenty five years ago really seems like just ... YESTERDAY.
Suffice to say, I doubt either one of us will be able to lift our arms to shave our pits for the next week. But notice my husband and four-year-old daughter are able to flip over the bar like a bunch of monkeys.
At least I can still do a cartwheel. And I was just about to attempt my fantastic one-handed cartwheel, but the kids started to have a meltdown and just then, the ice cream truck drove by and ... well.
You know me.
(OK. That's not true. I tried a one-handed cartwheel, which I could honestly do a year ago and I almost face-planted. I think that my mind was totally getting in the way of my athletic ability today. Instead of just GOING FOR IT, I felt the fear. So, I think I might need to spend some time driving around with a cougar in the backseat.)
(Also, this video is flipped 90 degrees because that's what happens when you try to hold a camera upright after your arms are mush because you spent an hour using muscles you haven't attempted to use in 25 years.)
When we returned home, I received an e-mail from my friend, Holly.
She was writing to inform me that she bought a book on triathlons and she will be borrowing her sister's $3,000.00 carbon fiber bicycle. And she'll be buying a wetsuit. So the chances are looking good that unless I bump up my training (as in, START training) someone who has never completed a triathlon before is going to kick my tush in her very first race.
All this to say: If you are just starting out with an exercise program - or you're trying to feel better about yourself on the physical front - let's just say it's SUPER DUPER GREAT to have a friend like me.
*************People, I need a straight YES or NO answer here.
Can you do a flip on a bar or rings?
If yes, I want video proof, your age and what type of vitamin supplements you take.
But please keep in mind, I will not be held liable for any bodily injury that might result from people who want to see if they've still "got it". Also, it's important to note that if you do attempt to fling yourself over on a bar - or rings - you might want to make sure you have someone available to help lift your toddler child in to and out of their crib for a few days.
Take my advice on that.