The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My New Hero

Yesterday the bike club had a tailgate party. There were 4 or 5 different level rides all starting from the same location. We all brought something to share, and when we all returned from our assorted rides, we had a lunch party. My ride went to Manor Park in Larchmont, which is on Long Island Sound. Its a lovely spot and I was talking to Lady B, who lives in Larchmont. She and her husband are long-time club members and are both probably in their mid-60s. She commented that she loves ocean swimming. I told her she should do a triathlon and she started to tell me that she has a whole shelf of triathlon trophies at home but she hasn't competed in about 10 years. She grew up in Far Rockaway and would swim long distances in the open water. She started bike riding as an adult, so when triathlons came into existence, she was 2/3 of the way there. Swimming was her strongest event, so she was usually among the first out of the water. She often acted as a therapists for other swimmers who would start to freak out in the open water (lots of novice traithletes have difficulty making the transition to open water after training in a pool), helping them calm down and get pointed in the right direction. Sometimes she was the only woman competing in her age group, so as long as she finished, she took first place! When someone would comment on how difficult it is to compete in a triathlon, she would tell them, "when you're swimming, you're lying down, when you're riding, you're sitting down, and if the running is tough, you can walk!"

Lady B is my new hero. Even though she is no longer competing, she is still riding and swimming and sailing. She competed in triathlons not to win, but to challenge herself and because it was fun and athletic. She just happened to pick up a whole bunch of trophies along the way. And anyone who looks at triathlons as 1 part lying down, 1 part sitting down and 1 part optional running, well, you gotta love their spirit! Anything that keeps you going and gets you to the finish line. And hats off to Mr. B, who gladly served as cheerleader, equipment manager, and photographer at all those events.

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