Tim: Welcome back, Gentle Readers! We’ve missed both of you, too. If you’re reading this, neither of us won half a billion dollars in the lottery. Pity, that.
We’ve taken a few weeks off; the Circle of Life cares not for blogs or RA elections or tolls or that thing called Silver Line Phase 2, whatever that is. Karen will speak more about it (the Circle of Life I hope, not the Silver Line); I’m not able yet. I will proceed directly to the pith.
For those of you unfamiliar with our story, Karen and I are Restonians of a Certain Age who are using the Reston Sprint Triathlon as motivation to regain some level of physical fitness. To date, we are failing in the most spectacular fashion.
With nine weeks to go, I decided it was time to break out the bike from winter storage and see if my legs had not completely atrophied from six months on the couch. We pumped up our tires and departed from the Tall Oaks Delivered Pizza Mecca and pedaled the bike-unfriendly Blue Trail to Lake Anne.
We rode triumphantly into the plaza, acting like a two-mile bike ride was an actual accomplishment. I laughed and pointed as we rode past the “No Bike Riding on the Plaza” sign. I'm such a rebel. Karen shouted, “Let’s take a picture of you and the Mr. Simon statue for the blog!” I was about to concur when I suddenly saw Mr. Robert E. Simon himself, holding court in that concrete playground of geometric shapes. Then I asked Karen one of those questions you know (as you ask it) you will never ask again in your entire life:
“Should we take the picture with bronze Mr. Simon or flesh-and-blood Mr. Simon?”
We have both previously met Mr. Simon and are very fond of the man. Karen has a crush on him, truth be told. We approached and introduced ourselves as "Celebrity Bloggers for Reston Patch" training for the Reston Sprint Triathlon. A lovely lady in his entourage said, “Oh, I’ve read that blog!” I exclaimed “That’s US!” and watched as a look of complete indifference crossed her face.
In other Triathlon News, my cousin Lori (in just-down-the-road Chantilly) posted "Heading off to the International Town and Country Club Triathlon." on her facebook page this past Tuesday with the same casual air you or I would post "Heading to Safeway for beer." I didn’t know Lori was training for a Triathlon; this was the first I’d heard of it.
Several hours later, she posts she has won the Bronze medal! It was then I discovered this particular Triathlon is comprised of Tennis, Golf, and Lunch. I am not making this up. Lori subsequently reported "... really kicked ass during the lunch part."
The Reston Sprint Sprint Triathlon is swimming, biking, and running gigantic distances. I didn’t know there were other options. Gentle readers, what three events would comprise your ideal Triathlon? And keep it clean; this is a family blog.
Karen: For anyone who noticed, we’ve been absent the past few weeks. In short, we had a death in the family. Pete O’Kane (Tim’s father) was a magnificent, vivacious man who died in his 85th year. Until the day before the massive stroke that eventually took his life, he walked five miles every day, told ribald jokes, and was the life of the party wherever he went.
Pete exhibited what infomercial-at-3 a.m. doctors describe as “compression of morbidity” and it is a goal to which we should all aspire. It means not only living longer, but living well for as long as we can. It comes from maintaining one’s health and vitality for as long as possible into old age. In truth, it was the reason I first put “complete a triathlon” on my Bucket List in the first place.
What Pete’s death has meant, in terms of our triathlon training, however, is that we took a hiatus. We did not run or bike or swim for the past few weeks. There were condolence casseroles and comfort-food binges to be consumed as we dealt with the loss of this amazing, adorable man.
I think we have recaptured our groove, however. We both took a nice long bike ride along the path of the triathlon today. We dodged the minivans and the hybrids at the intersections and the kid-strollers on the sidewalks. We’re back. And in case you didn’t notice, Reston is a gorgeous place in spring. There are redbuds and dogwoods and pears in blossom, Hidden Creek golf course is verdant and undulating, Robert Simon holds court at Lake Anne, and all is right in the world. Onward and upwards, my friends. Namaste.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or fitness experts. Read this blog at your own risk. And definitely don't model your fitness program around anything we do; that would be plain silly. But people seem to give weight to anecdotal testimony from amateurs rather than advice from actual experts with real education and training. We'll never understand that, but maybe that's the instinct that kept our ancestors from being eaten by Giant Cave Bears.