Triathlete = A 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike and just to show off, a 6 mile run. Sounds intense and slightly crazy to me. Denny, my husband, is an intense and slightly crazy working out kind of guy. Over the weekend he crossed the triathlon finish line in an impressive 2 hours and 30 minutes.
You know what else is pretty intense and slightly crazy though? Being married to a triathlete.
The Months of Training
For months, I’ve been waking up to a 4:30am alarm clock. Denny gears up to run to the gym, lift weights, swims and then runs back home just in time to get ready for work. Not being able to fall back asleep I gear up to clean the house, unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, do laundry, and get ready for work. Sometimes to really challenge myself I’ll do this one handed hushing and hip holding a 7 month old baby boy who woke up way too early.
With a 7:30am start, I’m pretty sure I deserve a gold medal for showering, being somewhat presentable and getting both boys ready and to the race on time. Our presence with mother in law in tow is quickly known as we reach our destination slightly jogging with a stroller, scooter, blankets, camera, sweatshirts, bags luggage filled with snacks, drinks, and hopefully enough toys to keep Blake from eating sand and Dylan from saying he’s bored. Oh and the Good Luck Sign. We couldn’t forget the Good Luck Sign.
The First Road Block
Dylan, god bless his heart, was petrified of the cannon that signified the start of the event. Hyperventilating petrified. Unfortunately there was 8 waves of starters. By the second cannon blast he was in tears, screaming and begging to go home. Yep, we are here people. Everyone near us turned around and gave us the sympathetic “awww” and “they really scare me too.” I gave the “I can’t believe this is my life” smile.
The moms, girlfriends, wives and other supporters of these fabulous athletes race from one transition area to another trying to snap pictures and scream encouragement. This in itself is an Olympic sport. One second you are just hanging out waiting, waiting and waiting. The next second you catch a glimpse of your athlete finishing one event. And it’s your turn to jump up, cheer at the top of your lungs, gather up everything (which for us is the entire house minus the kitchen sink) and full out sprint to the transition area all while trying to be a professional race photographer. Once you get there you nudge and fight for a spot like you are fighting for the front row vip spot at a concert.
Oh no I did not wake up this early with two kids to not get a prime spot and a picture. So you can take your cute little 20 year old solo self cheering on what looks like your Mike Phelps college boyfriend and find your spot behind me. Thank you much. I swear from swim to bike I looked down to grab one Gerber Puff to pacify the baby and by the time I looked back up Denny was long gone. Nooooo.
We reconnected with a mom to two young kids we met the day before at a Fun Run for Dylan. We both exchanged “the look”. The look of holy crap it’s the kids nap time and we still have a long way to go. It’s time to pull out the secret weapons. For Blake the stroller and me standing in one place pushing it back and forth. For Dylan the iPad.
My new race mom friend and I took turns sprinting to the bike racks to try to catch our husbands. I’m pretty sure in some unlikely event I ever am in good enough shape to do a triathlon I would be disqualified because I wouldn’t be able find my bike rake. Luckily, I did see Denny. And even luckier he knew exactly where to park his bike.
He changed from his cycling shoes to his running shoes faster than I change from my heels to flats. And again he was off.
Seeing him turn the corner to complete the last leg of the triathlon seriously gave me goose bumps. When he crossed that finish line and his name was announced I got teary eyed. And then I stopped and really took everything in. And what I saw made me realize just how amazing this triathlon community is.
What I saw were athletes from different colleges cheering their competitors on, perfect strangers screaming “you can do it” to anyone who passes by, all sorts of different body types with the same look of determination, a team of volunteers passing out waters and congratulatory taps on the shoulders, an 80 year old man being greeted by his wife at the finish line, kids running up to their parents with big hugs, and the pride in everyone’s eyes.
Oh yeah this is totally worth it. When’s the next race?
How many blogs and posts and status updates have you seen lately that say things like "I can't compete with those pictures on Pinterest" or "the no-fail brownies failed me!" and how it's okay not to feed your family all organic or live up to the creative lunch box plam trees and rabbit faces out of a turkey sandwich.
The new trend seems to be to be the backlash of the picture perfect life portrayed by the internet and lots of parental confessions about so called "short comings". We seem to be breaking the trend of perfectionism that people feel so pressured to live up to.
My response to all of this is who cares?! No seriously, who.really.cares? Who cares what someone elses lunch box looks like? Who really cares what your brownies looked like versus mine? Who cares if people think you have it all or you have nothing?! Maybe it's just me (I doubt it though) but I just don't seem to get it. I love looking at other peoples photos, sure... but does it suddenly make me feel bad about myself? Absolutely not. I grew up packing my own lunch every day in a brown paper bag, and I'm pretty certain I packed a bagel and cream cheese every.single.day (It's truly shocking that I still love bagels). But after wearing hand-me-downs forever, I still wear my sisters old clothes, and packing my own lunch every day and eating nachos for dinner instead of the organic pan seared kobe beef, I turned out just fine.
When did we become so judgmental and cynical about everyone elses lives? Maybe that mom posting the lunch box that looks straight out of the Cars movie is a stay at home mom with one child and has plenty of time on her hands. Or maybe that mom has 5 kids and works but enjoy cooking and crafts and loves putting lunch boxes together. Who knows? But again... who cares?!
We should be encouraging each other to do what we like doing best, not trying to be each other. If you love making crafts then I'll probably ask you for help with my childs birthday parties. If you love to cook and your food always looks fantastic, I will ask you for some ideas for the next get together. Use what you are good at to help other people too. Let's admire each others strengths.
When Pinterest became an internet sensation is when people started to see what other people do with their spare time and somehow it became a "competition". Shocking. Women, competing?! who would have guessed?! My question is why? Why is there a need to be so much better than someone else?
It's a fact of life, someone out there will always have more than you. Always. Even if you're Oprah, someone still has something better than you, or is skinnier than you, or happier than you, etc... If you lived by everyone elses pictures, quotes, statuses, and happiness meters you would drive yourself insane. Instead, find out what really makes you happy and what you're good at and just stick with that! We are all different and meant to do different things!
I'm pretty good at not caring what people think of me (if you know me well you would agree) but I think it's much better that way! If someone said I was fat that would be fine, because someone somewhere else thinks I'm super skinny. Someone may say I'm the meanest person alive, but a minute later somene will tell me I'm the nicest person they know. Everyone is different and everyone has their own opinions, if you let yourself worry about the little things you will never be happy!
be yourself. stay confident. surround yourself with positive people.
Blake is 7 months old. I’m not going to say that time flew because really isn’t that what everyone says? Who am I kidding? I’m totally going to say it. This is unreal to me. Time really has flown. Warp speed turbo style. Blogging or not I always write my boys letters. Monthly until they are one and yearly on their birthday after that. So here we go...
Happy 7 months here on this earth and in the W household. We have come a long ways since your delivery on January 3.
No more my helpless scared of this great big world newborn. Now you are an infant trying to figure out your own world.
No more witching hours of blood screeching screams from 10p-2a every night. Now most of the time we peacefully put you to bed at 9p not to hear a peep from you until the morning.
No more trying to coax you to open your eyes during the day because of your fear of lights. Now we get to look into those beautiful baby blues whenever you are awake.
No more worrying if you are eating enough. Getting enough nutrients. Now you love your bottle and can’t get enough baby food. There hasn’t a flavor you haven’t liked.
No more laying still in one spot never moving. Now you are crawling all over the place. You like to switch things up with the traditional crawl, inchworm crawl, and will even throw in a little elephant crawl. It doesn’t matter the style you definitely can get to Point A to Point B rather quickly.
No more pacifier to soothe you. Now you prefer you entire hand and anything you can get your hands on. Can you say major baby proofing is necessary?
No more being ignored by big brother. Now Dylan will interact with you. Asking how you are, trying to teach you things, and kissing you on your forehead. The more you learn to do, the more Dylan seems to pay attention to you.
No more newborn clothes. Now you are outfitted in 6-9month attire and have about 3 outfit changes a day due to complete spit ups.
No more scared cries. Now we get smile galore. And your smile.. be still my heart.
You can brighten up anyone’s day with your maga-watts smile. Seriously biggest smile ever. Your entire body feels the impact of your happinesss right down to your little toes on your little feet. Sometimes you can’t even contain that giant smile as you shiver a little after showing it off..
We continue to stalk you on the baby monitor. Daddy even captured you pulling yourself up to a standing position. Stop it. You are getting too big too fast.
The first seven weeks was a little scary for all of us. The doctor didn’t think you were gaining weight fast enough and mentioned the phrase neurologically immature. Now at seven months, we are truly amazed with your development and the milestones and personality you display every single day.
Blak-e Boo, Blak-e Poo, Blak-e Blake, Little B it doesn’t matter what we call you, you are ours forever and ever. The most perfect addition to our family. We are now complete. Our family of four couldn’t be happier.
Blake Martin, thank you for being you.
Happy 7 months. Much Love-Mommy, Daddy and Dylan.