Friday, February 25, 2011

In Which I Grow Up

A couple posts ago, I referred to Robert Pattinson as “Robert Patterson.” Whatever. You say tomato, I say tamato. The “Twilight” guy was who I was referring to.

Ah shit, man - I can’t be bothered with the insignificant details of pop culture these days.


Because I’ve got an IRONMAN to train for!

Yeah – I does.

I am participating in Ironman Madison 2011.

But I have to be honest - I wasn’t completely sold on the idea.

Well, wait – let me start from the beginning.

See, for the last two years since my first Ironman, I have wanted to do another one. In 2009, I got married on the same day as IM Madison, so that eliminated that year, as well as the following year (because I wasn’t present on-site to sign up – you know, honeymoon in Hawaii and all…) So that bring us to the possibly of 2011.

But a funny thing happened as the last few years went by. The idea of doing another one slowly, slowly started to look…less appealing.

Instead, the idea of starting a family has been at the forefront of my mind. I think especially after the loss of K this past September, the idea of having our own family seemed to be the most important. And honestly, life isn’t about Ironman. Life is about family - and for me and Cheese, it’s about having our own.

But yet…augh!

So this year (2010), I volunteered at the finish line – hoping that unconvinced self would be, well, convinced.

And I watched all the blood, sweat, tears, muscle cramps, dehydration, and all other forms of bodily fluids come across, and honestly, I was even less convinced that this was something I wanted to put my body through again.

I went to bed that night, mulling the decision, and not convinced.

I stood in that line the morning of registration, and still wasn’t convinced.

I walked up to the table to register, slapped down my credit card, and still wasn’t convinced.

And within five minutes, I walked away with a deposit slip for $600, and thought, “Well, now you’re screwed.”

Since that time, I have waffled – and when my sister brings up the issue of having kids at every family dinner lately, it’s hard not to just throw in the (really expensive) Ironman towel and let my ovaries take over.

And Ironman aside, let’s be honest. My uterus isn’t Benjamin Button. The shit’s not getting younger as the rest of me gets older. No, sadly, the fact of the matter is that this body is getting o.l.d.

So with my withering uterus and half-a-heart (okay fine – throw in my utter disdain for swimming, a freezing winter, and ice cold pool), I have really struggled with getting my head in the game.

But at the same time, I kept up a good running base, have ridden the trainer regularly, and am pretty ready to jump into the training full force when it actually officially begins (end of April).

Part of me looks forward to the structure and sorts of good stuff that come with training – total exhaustion at days end, the smell of chlorine on my skin regardless of showering, having a legitimate excuse to wear gym clothes 24/7, and the insatiable appetite that requires nothing short of a feedbag attached to my face just to stand upright.

But then again, part of me doesn’t – the part that loves triathlon and running and fitness but finally sees that there are more important things in life than racing. After so many years of loving my own space and time and disposable income, I feel like it’s time to be less selfish and more – gasp –family oriented.

I mean – I actually FEEL it. Not because someone or society tells me I need to, but because I actually want the next phase of my life. After all these years of swearing I wasn’t going to have kids, I actually can now admit that I want them.

It’s taken me 34 years to say that out loud.

So this means that when it comes to being an adult, I have finally arrived?

Maybe. And that’s not to say that when I’m standing behind screaming kids at the Costco, I don’t second guess all of this. But if I have learned anything in my self-anointed role as World’s Best Aunt, it’s that the good far outweighs the bad. I mean, yeah – these little people are going to scream and whine and make green doody shits up their back that will make you want to just leave them on the changing table and walk right out the door and into the nearest saloon. Ha – and don’t even think of ever sleeping past 8am again!

But the honest-to-god greatest thrill for me is making my 6-month old niece laugh and scrunch her nose up, or having my nephew crawl into my lap to play, or having my other nephew (albeit prompted by his momma) put his arms around my neck for a hug. And don’t even get me started on watching them actually physically and mentally grow from bitty babies, to toddling toddlers, to all-out little boys who run, and fall, and cry, and swing play swords, and make fire houses out of cardboard boxes. My hear swells at the thought of their potential for greatness. And I can only imagine what this feels like as a parent.

So I guess all of this is to say that I am signed up, but not without reservation. But when Training Week #1 officially rolls around, I will jump in.

And I will do so knowing that, once I cross that finish line, I can finally start the next phase on my life.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yeah, I Said It

Since lately all my thoughts are experienced in short, ADD-bursts, this is how I will relay them to you:

Moments when it’s not exactly helpful to tell your wife you love her? When she’s on her hands and knees cleaning your piss and turd splatters off the toilet bowl. On her day off.

You Know You are Old When…
Well, it finally happened – I am, in fact, too old and too educated to watch MTV. *disclaimer: doesn’t apply to Jersey Shore*

And in case you’re wondering (you’re not – that’s cool – my feelings aren’t hurt) – they DO still play music on MTV. They just run at 2am when all the actual age-appropriate teens are taking a break from hating their parents, dressing inappropriately, and popping their pimples by sleeping, or stumbling in from a pre-weekend bar crawl/Burrito King binge in College Town, USA, while vaguely wondering if they have a quiz in History 101 in the morning. Which begs the question – what exactly am I doing up at this hour?

Things I Could Literally Not Care Less About
1. Charlie Sheen. Seriously, if the guy wants to hole up in his mansion, screw hookers and smoke crack until his lungs collapse, then who are we to judge? I say let him have at it, and then maybe – fingers crossed – "Two and a Half Men" will finally just go away.

2.Moral musing by Justin Bieber.

3.That show – “Who Do You Think You Are?” – that takes celebrities and traces their ancestry, and they get all “wow!” and weepy and whatnot. Listen, I’m gonna be really frank here – who actually gives a fuck about self-centered, narcissistic, world-revolves-around-me individuals walking down the path of self-discovery but who in reality are so far removed and out-of-touch from their real selves? And I don’t think they could have picked bigger a-holes to profile. It’s like the producers stepped back, took a look at Hollywood proper, and said, “Hmm, who are the least tolerable and most self-absorbed people in this town? Let’s cast ‘em in a show that is ALL ABOUT THEMSELVES!” Bitches, please. You know what would be much more enjoyable? Anything. No, I really mean anything. Like, I would rather have my pedicure lady slice up my toes to pull out ingrown nails and mercilessly bring me to painful tears as she scrubs the bottoms of my feet off with a sandpaper rock than sit through this. There are far bigger problems in the world than Sarah Jessica Parker finding out she’s related to Salem witches.

4. What Lindsey Lohan’s going to do next. So could major news sources stop broadcasting stories about her court issues, lip injections, and drug rehab? Again, definately more important things going on in the world...

5. People using the image of Hitler for political protest purposes. And this goes for both political sides – i.e., those protesting things like Obamacare, and those more recently protesting Gov. Walker’s union bill in Madison. I mean, really people – Hitler is responsible for the deaths of literally millions of people. DEATH. MILLIONS. Call me overly-sensitive, but trying to pass a bill that takes issue with collective bargaining hardly seems like a fair comparison to a man who put people in gas chambers and ovens. I'm sure someone's going to try to make the arguement that Hitler also opposed unions, but guess what? In my job, I have to deal with union bullshit/power grabs and all the bureucratic inefficiancy that would make your head explode, and I've since developed a distaste for them as well - does that make me Hitler-like too? So how about this – how ‘bout the only person we compare to Hitler is Hitler himself? Or how ‘bout we save his image for when we want to storm state capitals to protest actual literal mass genocide? Think about. Get back to me.

6. Homeless drug addicts with good voices who abandon their 9 kids and wife. I don’t celebrate your bad life decisions just because you sound good doing voiceovers for Kraft Cheese and Macaroni.

7. Chicago Mayoral Race – because four blocks separates my apartment and having to make an impossible decision between many evils.

8. Oh, and the political endorsements/television ads that come with it. I mean really – are you going to vote for someone just because the Chicago Tribune tells you to? Do you really believe that when Rahm so earnestly looks into the camera and tells you that “city government is not an employment agency,” he’s really going to be looking out for the best interests of the city once he sinks into the overstuffed leather chair behind the Mayor’s desk? If you do, then give me a call – I’ve got some really lucrative investment opportunities for you.