Thursday, September 24, 2009

Should I Tri? (Part 3)

(continued from part 2)

“I know that,” said the quaint little red devil. “I’m just joking around. Where I live you really don’t hear much joking or laughter. Trust me on that. And it turns into a real buzz-kill at times. So when I go out on a little road trip I just like to lighten the mood a bit. That’s all. I apologize if anyone’s feelings got hurt. I’m on your side, Big Guy. I know that deep inside, you really want to do a triathlon. We devils have a sixth sense about what lurks in the hearts of men, and women.”

I pursed my lips. “I do want to do a tri,” I said. “I am worried about the swim, and about some maniac clipping my bike during training with his car as he looks down at his Blackberry to fire off a text. But I do want to do a triathlon; to be able to say that I am a marathoning, triathloning, cancer survivor. I also want to do more marathons – I know that. I like the idea of running Nike or Seattle in 2010.”

The little devil stroked his pointy red beard thoughtfully, smiled slyly, and with a snap of his fingers produced a thick document written on some kind of asbestos paper. “What if you did both?” he said. “I know the top guy where I live, and he will cut you a fabulous deal. Do as many events as you want. Get top fundraiser in the country at all of ‘em. Even win them all – not just your age cohort - win the whole race. Win the triathlon. In fact, he will throw in a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic marathon. You’ll be famous! You’ll be rich! All you have to do is agree to a few simple, harmless terms!” He waved the last page in front of me and with another snap of his fingers, produced a tiny fireball for me to read by in the dark. The contract said something about deeding all rights to my immortal soul for eternity or until hell froze over, which ever came last. I squinted at the scrawled signature. “Louis? Lavinious? Oh, Lucifer!” “The Big Man himself,” the little red devil said proudly. “Just sign here, right below his name. Your fingerprint is signature enough – we trust you,” he said with a wink.

The little white angel could see that I was tempted and looked alarmed. “Oh, that is a terrible idea,” she said. “What does a man profit if he gains the world but loses his soul?”

The little red devil was clearly annoyed. “Little angel, you must be a real joy at a party. Look, Art, you don’t lose your soul – you just loan it to my boss for a while,” he said. (“A really long while,” he muttered under his fiery breath.)

“You know,” I said, “I have no interest in making a deal to accomplish something for a good cause. I may do a marathon, I may do a triathlon, but I’ll decide myself and train without any help from some mysterious power, evil or otherwise. Thanks but no thanks. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to finish my run and get ready for work. Goodbye.”

I took off slowly running along the path through the dark woods, feeling my way along with my feet. I could hear the two of them arguing behind me, their voices fading and eventually disappearing as my separation from them increased. I hoped that the little red devil wouldn’t get too agitated and start a conflagration by accident.

Rather than the little angel and devil helping me to clarify things, my dilemma seemed even deeper after this bizarre conversation. There are so many things I can do next for Team in Training, but I can’t really fundraise for more than one event. Each event has its own advantages and disadvantages. How in the name of heaven will I make up my mind with such a devilish impasse? It all keeps coming back to these two related questions: should I run again? Or should I tri? The issues are not red or white, but all kinds of shades of pink.


Shawn said...

Great Story - and yes, quite the dilemma :)

You know, I'm a bit biased, but I vote for doing a tri - and for more then just "I like tris'.

One advantage triathlon training has is built in cross training! Most triathletes find they have few injuries and less aches and pains because of the cross training they are 'required' to do. In fact, many 'pure' runners switch to triathlons for this reason alone!

Whatever you choose, I know you'll do fantastic, and I'll be cheering for you along the way.

Ashley said...

Oh Art, you always have me laughing!!!

And here's my $.02 - you keep bringing up many times have you blogged about it or mentioned it in an email. You're clearly interested in giving it a "tri." ;) I say - GO FOR IT!!! They are SO MUCH FUN! And they will turn you into a more "well-rounded" athlete. You get the advantage of working more muscle groups AND taking it a little easy on the impact your body takes from running alone. Plus, you know you'll get the training and resources you'll need with TNT - what more could you ask for?? :)

Racn4acure said...

Thanks Shawn and Ashley, both successful triathletes. Good advice. I like the thinking about being a better rounded athlete and the built in cross training, plus a little less pounding on the legs and knees. Plus, given my pretty terrible swimming ability, it would sure be entertaining to blog about training.

I am glad that you enjoyed my little story. Art