"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ethan's First Triathlon

In between my triathlon in August and my foot surgery in September, I KNEW I wanted to compete in the South Davis Tri in May.  That gave me eight months to fully recover, rebuild flexibility and strength in the foot (and atrophied leg muscles as a result of being rather stationary) and train.  I knew it would be tough coming back from that, but I made it a goal.

My foot healed and I got back to running.  Then swimming, then cycling, and by February I was feeling pretty good about things.  However, I didn't want to do this race alone, because there is something to be said for having a partner with you through the entire race.  Not just at the start line and the finish line, but someone running along side of you, suffering with you, and enduring it.  But as much as I pestered practically everyone I knew, no one wanted to do the race.  I can't say I blame them because it's kind of scary and it's a huge commitment.

One day in early March, I had an idea.  What if I could get Ethan to do the race with me?  Yes, my barely ten year old son.  What if?  So I talked to him about it, and it scared him to death.  And then I remembered that this particular race had a novice level, so I suggested that and he said "Hmmm, I'll think about it."

I pestered him for the better part of a month.  One evening I even bribed him with a DQ Blizzard to just drive around the course with me.  He agreed, and when he saw how "easy" the novive course was, he agreed to start running with me.  So we started running together, and I was blown away by that kid's drive.  We went out one day in April and bought him a very good pair of running shoes, and after that he started begging me every night to take him running.  The rest is history!

Shortly after I told her Ethan was doing the tri and that we were doing the novice level, my good friend Audrey said that she and Samuel (her ten year old and Ethan's good friend) would like to do it too!  I was super excited, to say the least!  Audrey felt pretty intimidated by it, but I kept assuring her that it would be SO AWESOME and that she would have a great time!

My real fear was the weather, because May in Utah is very unpredictable.  One day it will be 80 degrees and sunny, and by that weekend it will be in the 40s and raining or even snowing.  Unfortunately, the forecast for this particular Saturday showed the latter.  No biggie, we would make it through!!  On Friday night our families gathered at Audrey's for a carb loading party, which is kind of the best part of any race!  Takes me back to my swim team days!

5:15 came mighty early the next day, after being up til almost midnight getting everything ready for TWO racers, plus everything set to go for a day of soccer games.  Oh yeah, soccer life didn't stop just because we were doing a triathlon that morning!  Saturday May 10th took a lot of coordination, from getting bikes to the venue, to getting everyone to games on time later that day.  We all met up at the Rec Center and Audrey was pretty nervous, but I kept telling her not to be.  It was going to be incredible, and such a cool thing to share with our boys!  We got all checked in, got numbered up, got our camp set up at transition, found Jay (who was also doing the race) and then headed into the Nadatorium to wait and wait and wait for the waves of swimmers to go.  Because we were doing the novice, we had to wait for everyone else to go first.  The waves took an hour and fifteen minutes.  The longer we sat in the bleachers, the more butterflies grew in our tummies. 

The race was completely amazing, albeit pretty darn cold.  It was super windy when we ran out of the Nadatorium to transition, but adrenaline carried us through so it didn't feel "quite" as cold.  We got rained on quite a bit during the bike.  That leg made me very nervous because I rode ahead of Ethan and had to trust him to not get hurt and to look out for cars.  Even though police and volunteers try to keep you safe, you still have to be on constant alert. 

We saw Enos on the bike leg taking pictures, and then we saw Cody on the running leg taking pictures.  I'll tell you what, even though it was by no means a difficult race for me and even though I was a little disappointed that I wasn't doing the difficult level that I had originally set out to do, there is nothing better than crossing the finish line holding the hand of your son.  It.  Was.  Thrilling.  I brought that boy into this world, and he did a triathlon with me as my equal.  When it was all over (or maybe it was the next day after he wasn't so tired from doing a triathlon in the morning and then playing soccer that afternoon) he said that he couldn't wait to do another triathlon.  I am so excited to take him down this road.  He wore his tri shirt to school that Monday and got to tell his class about the race.  Not many people can say they did their first triathlon when they were only ten years old.

Ethan, Hailey, and Lauren are doing a kid triathlon next month on June 7th.  I can definitely see this becoming a family activity for the long run!  Who knows-  Maybe I'll do the IronMan with my kids one day. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Lake

I hate Sundays.

I hate the days leading up to Sundays, because Sundays are full of triggers for me and most weeks it's all I can do to sit in church and not let my head explode.  Or implode.  This morning as I was getting dressed for church, I felt the walls caving in and I thought I was losing my mind.  I yelled and cried as I made the bed.  I have issues; a lot of issues surrounding God and today many things surmounted and I found myself crying on the bed in the fetal position.  An hour later we were all in the van with lunches packed and we headed north.  100 miles later we were in Bear Lake.  I haven't been to Bear Lake since Ethan was in my belly eleven years ago.  I don't know why Cody chose Bear Lake, but that's where we went.  Poor Cody was my figurative vomit bucket as I spewed all kinds of verbal venom at him on the drive up.  I won't go into details of what compiled to cause my spiritual breakdown today, but it was ugly.

The weather was cold and super windy.  The air temp was in the mid-sixties, but the wind made it feel like forty degrees.  I really, really detest wind.  It's amazing how kids are impervious to extreme weather, though. 

We ended up eating in the car at the park because I was freezing.  We had forgotten the little boys' jackets- win for Mom and Dad.  The kids got out to play on the playground toys, then we headed down the boardwalk to the beach and not a soul was in sight.  It was cold, but it was beautiful.  The kids played with the sand toys for a long time and it's amazing how sticks and rocks and broken shells brought them so much joy.  I strolled along and took pictures while my mind wandered.

Tonight I made a 94% on an exam and a 100% on a quiz.  Things feel a little better, but I dread next Sunday all over again.  Maybe we'll end up hiking in the mountains somewhere- who knows.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

34 Facts About Veronica

I turned 34 years old today at 9:14 p.m.  In the spirit of things, I figure I should do a little documenting about myself.  I spend so much of my time chronicling and documenting the lives of other people, but I need to sit down and do it about myself once in a while.

1. I am much more confidant in myself in my mid-thirties than I was this time ten years ago.

2. I detest the misuse of apostrophes and reflexive pronouns.

3. I am the middle child of seven kids.  I have two older brothers, one older sister, two younger brothers, and one younger sister.  I get a little lost in the mix.

4. I always always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was little.  Now I realize it is not the path for me and it makes me a little sad.

5.  I don't open up to people easily.  I love to listen to people.  I love to hear their stories and learn what makes them tick.  I love helping people with their problems, but I am not one to divulge my problems or my story to many people. 

6. I met my best friend in kindergarten and she remained my best friend all through high school.  She is still a very important part of my life, even though we see each other once in a blue moon.

7. I absolutely love hidden camera shows, namely practical joke shows.

8. My husband is my best friend.

9. I always wanted six kids- three boys and three girls.  When I got married I said I wanted two boys and two girls.  We ended up with three boys and two girls and we're right where we were meant to be.

10.  I would have another baby in a heartbeat if it was meant to happen, but it's not.

11.  I have a freakishly strong abdomen.  You would never know it by looking at me, but those muscles are crazy strong on the inside.  I can stand on my head for a super long time and grown men can stand on my core while I lay on the ground and I can hold them there.  It's very weird.

12.  My first car was a 1986 Nissan 200SX.  I paid $3,000 for it and put $5,000 into it before I'd had it for five years.  I made several round trips between Texas and Utah in it.  The FM radio quit working right after I got it, it didn't have a cassette player (and definitely didn't have a CD player) so I listened to a lot of AM talk radio. 

13.  I struggle with the concept of organized religion and have most of my adult life.

14.  I love working my body to brink of exhaustion, whether it's doing yard work all day or doing a triathlon.  My body is an amazing machine and I appreciate it more and more the older I get.  I take far better care of it in my 30s than I did in my teens (that's probably true for most people).

15.  I fought a prescription drug addiction for the better part of three years and I know firsthand the nightmare of detoxing. 

16.  My stomach is covered in stretch marks.  I try to look at them as battle scars to be proud of, but  don't.  I think they are ugly, although I do appreciate what they symbolize.

17.  I can quote "The Labyrinth" by heart, almost word for word.  The entire movie.  I still have a huge crush on David Bowie, just as I did when I was a kid.

18.  I am beyond terrified of plumbing in swimming pools.  It's a very irrational fear and I can't explain it.  Pool drains scare the ever living $h#@ out of me.  This is strange because I have spent my whole life in swimming pools.

19.  I hate milk.  The only way I drink it is on cereal, and it must be SKIM milk, partially watered down.

20.  I don't have a large number of close friends.  I have a very small number of close friends, and it normally takes me a while to get to the point of "good friend" with a person.  I am fiercely loyal to my close friends.  Fiercely.

21. I love making homemade ice cream.

22.  I miss spring time in Texas so much it hurts every year when I know it's wildflower season.

23.  I miss almost everything about Texas, almost all of the time.  It doesn't mean I don't appreciate the place where  live now, but a huge part of my soul is Texas and that will never change. 

24.  I am not a very good cook.  There are a few dishes that I make very well, but overall, it is not my strong area.

25.  I have an almost debilitating fear of my children getting severely injured or deathly ill....and dying.  Probably because I have witnessed that pain firsthand more than a person should.  I actually see a therapist on a weekly basis to help me with this particular problem. 

26.  Exercising outdoors is a huge stress relief for me.  There is nothing more calming that running or biking into a sunset.

27.  I sometimes wish I had gone to school to be an engineer.  I come from a line of engineering minds and I think I got that gene.

28.  My happy place is my garage when I am tinkering, building, and using power tools.  The smell of sawdust is euphoric to me.

29.  The smell of citronella on a summer night is euphoric to me.

30.  I have never ever squatted to pee.  I have never ever peed in/on anything that was not a toilet, a latrine, or a port-a-potty.

31.  I had my last baby exactly 6 weeks before I turned 31 years old.

32.  I play the piano when I am hurting inside.

33.  I never learned the correct way to type, although I can type fairly fast.  However, I kick myself for hating my fourth grade teacher enough to NOT learn to keyboard from her.

34.  I will never ever ever be too old to not need my parents.  I love my parents and my siblings more as I get older.  Maybe it's because life seems to be speeding up and I realize that time is fleeting.  I cherish my family more than anything else in the world.