Thursday, September 24, 2009

Should I Tri?

With no moon shining, it was quite dark as I moved along the path through the woods a couple of hours before dawn. I was concentrating on not tripping over something or turning an ankle in the dark, but I was also preoccupied with another dilemma. Not since I debated the half vs. full marathon question with the little red devil and the little white angel have I been so conflicted over an issue. In a way, this one is an even tougher question. In 2010, should I do a marathon once more for Team in Training? Or should I do my first triathlon? All of the options kept tumbling through my brain.

The flash of a tiny thunderbolt very close by jolted me out of my thoughts! My nose wrinkled at the malodorous scent of sulfur as it wafted on the breeze on this cool morning. Seconds later, the melodious sound of a harp gently caressed my eardrums. “Oh no!” I said. “Not you two again!”

My old “friend”, the little red devil, blew some smoke rings and displayed a somewhat false looking smile as he placed a little asbestos pillow on a branch to my left and sat down. “Hear you’re having a tough time making up your mind again. I wanted you to know that I’m here to help anyway I can, Big Guy” he said.

On my right, I heard a tender feminine voice speaking, and turned to see the same little white angel that I had met earlier this year fluttering in the air. “He’s not here to help you,” she said with conviction. “He is going to try to confuse you. But I’m here to help. I know you are conflicted once again. Let me help you sort things out!” She plucked an E-flat on her harp to accent her words.

“Look,” I said, “It’s true that I am going back on forth on this, but I don’t see how having this conversation with the two of you can do anything but make me late for work. And I don’t think my boss is going to believe me if I tell him why I am late!”

“Come on, Art! We can be done with this conversation in less than a minute,” said the little red devil. “You know damn” – he chuckled with glee as he said this word – “well that you want to do a triathlon. Break the mold. Think outside the race course. Do something different. Earn a TNT tri pin for your hat! 2010 is your year!”

“No, Art. It is too difficult, too dangerous,” said the little white angel. “You could drown. You could flip your bike and crush your skull. Do the marathon again. Maybe a tri in 2011 would make sense.”

The red devil laughed so hard that tears poured from his glowing vermilion eyes and sizzled down his face, disappearing in little puffs of steam. “Crush his skull? Oh, now that is funny! Like that would hurt him!” He doubled over with laughter.

“Laugh it up, you sulfurous little glow worm,” I said. “I know that it doesn’t always show, but I do have a brain in there – somewhere. Besides, as much as I want to do a triathlon, I really like the idea of doing a marathon in San Francisco. The Nike Womens’ Marathon. I have family there.”

“Family is so important!” The little white angel was quick to capitalize on my words. “Think how cool it would be to have your sister, nieces, and nephew cheering for you on the race course. Oh, you would love that!”

(continue to part 2)

1 comment:

Holly MacNaughton said...

Hi Art. Thank you for your words. This is a difficult time as you know and we need tons of support. Her name is Ashley Lefkow in Seattle, WA.
God speed, Art!