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.
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.