Thursday, September 24, 2009

Should I Tri? (Part 2)

(continued from part 1)

“Get real!” the little red devil chimed in. “Your family has better things to do than watch you go by for 5 seconds on the race course. Of course, at your speed, maybe it would be more like 15 seconds, but still, come on! Step up! Do a triathlon!”

“Art, I saw you attempt to swim the other day,” said the angel. “I was off to the side at the tri team swim practice. And I’ll be plain spoken. You swim about as well as a bucket of iron.”

“You know, I thought I heard a harp playing at the Y, but the lifeguard had the radio on and I figured I just had water in my ears. You didn’t wander into the men’s shower, did you?” I asked. The little angel’s face turned a faint shade of crimson but she said nothing.

The red devil rejoined the debate. “Look, I know you aren’t the world’s best swimmer, but you’re not the world’s worst either, at least assuming that 98 year old one-legged guy I met last week is still alive. But where I live, there are plenty of guys who can help you. They know all sorts of ways to cheat the system and never get caught – at least not in this lifetime. We’ll help you.”

“Art, you can’t cheat!” said the white angel in shock. “Your accomplishment would be meaningless and cheapened. You need to sink or swim on your own. And you tend to sink. Do another marathon, or better yet, another half marathon.”

“By Satan, what is the big deal about cheating just a little bit? It adds spice to life.” The little red devil shook his head in disgust and spat on the ground. I quickly pulled my water bottle off my fuel belt and dumped out half its contents before the smoldering leaves got fanned into a forest fire. “Look, Art. You are capable of doing a triathlon without cheating. You are capable of learning to swim well enough, even though it won’t be pretty. And you already know you can ride a bike, even though it’s been a while. You’ll pick it up again. It’s, it’s… it’s like riding a bicycle!” The tiny devil laughed in delight at his attempt at humor while the little white angel shook her head and started playing a Broadway show tune on her harp to calm down.

She regained her calm and spoke back up. “Art, another thing you might like about the San Francisco Women’s Marathon is the scenery. The Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidium. The Pacific Ocean. Alcatraz. Fisherman’s Warf….”

“24,000 cute women in running shorts and skimpy tops,” interrupted the little red devil. “Now that’s what I call great scenery! Hey, maybe you’d get lucky!”

“That is outrageous!” the little white angel practically shouted! “He’s married!”

“Oh, lighten up, you pompous moralistic little harp-playing flying freak,” mocked the devil. “Like he would have a clue what to do with 24,000 women. Now, there are some guys where I live that, oh, never mind. Anyway, what I meant was maybe he would get lucky and not finish dead last with all those women running. There has got to be at least one that is slower than he is.”

“When have I ever finished dead last in a race, or even close to it? You’re not winning me over, little devil,” I said grimly.

(continue to part 3)

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