Friday, December 30, 2011

Me versus the majorette

I recently found an 8x10 photo from my days as a majorette at Nitro Junior High School. I scanned it and posted it as my profile pic on Facebook.

I don't spend much time worrying about aging. I've been using quality moisturizers since I was 21, and will continue to do so, I have good genes (my grandmother's skin is softer than mine) and I quit going to the tanning bed years ago.

But when I did the math on how many years it had been since the picture was taken, I let my curiosity take me down a fun road: I wanted to see how much older I really looked.

So, I cropped the majorette picture and juxtaposed it with a mug shot taken of me late this summer.

You can clearly see some aging on the image to the right (above). I wouldn't go so far as to call it a wiser countenance, but definitely one that reveals experience, hardship and certainly plenty of adventure.

I seem to have more freckles today, and I stopped using Sun-In years ago so that the hair color you see today is all natural. And I definitely don't look 14 anymore.

But I don't look 50 either.

The picture was shot 22 years ago. When I consider that, I'm pretty pleased with how the ruggedness of life has treated me. I certainly could have aged much more rapidly these last years.

Of course, because by now speaking of the topic I will have jinxed it, the picture that will be taken of me 22 years from now will undoubtedly reveal a horrid old lady.

I hope you'll still be reading to find out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Free cup of Joe has big payoff

Courtesy Holtfield Station
The drive-through line at Holtfield Coffee Station was moving along pretty quickly as usual. When I reached the microphone, I began placing my order.

"Just a regular cup of coffee, please," I replied after the voice had asked me what I wanted. I frequent this small town treasure so often, sometimes they greet me and tell me to just "go ahead and pull on up," already knowing what I want. It's a "Cheers" kind of moment.

When I reached the window, the manager, Tina, told me that the person in the car in front of me had just paid for my coffee.

"What? Really? You're kidding," I said, my mind now trying to recapture any detail from the vehicle that might clue me in as to who this sweet person was.

"No kidding," Tina said.

With no one behind me and Tina taking care of other business, I noticed someone I knew waiting on his morning beverage inside the store.

"Brent, do you know who that was by chance?" I asked, hollering in at him.

He moved in a little closer to say: "No, I sure don't," but he did try to describe her.

Well, I knew it was a her at least.

Stories are being told by media outlets around our area, including our very own Hillsboro Times-Gazette and Wilmington News Journal, about individuals anonymously paying off the layaway balances of those indebted this holiday season.

Perhaps this lady felt inspired to do something benevolent having read these stories. Perhaps she's the very reason for those stories in the first place. Nonetheless, I may never know who she is and, therefore, certainly never discover why she bought my coffee Tuesday, Dec. 20, but that isn't the point, is it?

Generosity such as hers makes you stop and consider your blessings, brings out humility and greatly inspires you to pay that kindness forward.

Thank you, ma'am, for the coffee. It only cost you $1.29, but it restored my faith in mankind this holiday season. Furthermore, that state of "grateful flabbergastedness" in which your kindness left me was an important reminder of how I feel each time I think about what Jesus did on the cross.

"What? You did that for me? Why, I didn't do anything to deserve that!"

No, I certainly didn't ... and that's the point of Christmas.

Please have a wonderful holiday season, everyone. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top 5 things to do when you're a sidelined triathlete

5) Register for a crazy race ... like an Ironman
There is no better time than when you're not training to decide to push your body to the limits. Galvanizing the courage to register for an Ironman is easier when the terrorizing headwind from yesterday's 30-mile bike doesn't remind you of how extreme this sport is.

4) Promise yourself a PR ... right after an injury
You've been out of the game - for a long time. Once the doctor gives you the go ahead, you've stored up enough determination to resolve that the next season is going to rock. Why should your focus just be on remaining injury free? Why shouldn't it include a PR from the get-go?

3) Live with regret
Nothing signifies a hopeful look toward the future like a forlorn expression in the rear view mirror.

2) Blame it on the gear
Pretend that every piece of equipment or gear you don't have could be the one that makes you the triathlete you've always wanted to be ... because we all know time in the saddle has nothing to ultimately do with performance.

1) Blog about being a sidelined triathlete
Hey, there's a gem in every experience ... or non experience.

Clearly Digging for Blog Material

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I've lost it

I knew that being off the last five months because of feet injuries could lead to difficulties getting back in the game; I just didn't believe it could be this difficult.

The pain in my feet comes and goes. Just when I think the pain has left the body, a whisper of its existence reaches out to the soles of my feet. I will finally see the physical therapist. I promise. Really I will.

The least I could do, of course, is to strength train in the interim, right?

Yes. Of course!

I went to the Y on a Monday night three weeks ago and did a little of that. I haven't been back since.

I could also be swimming, too, right?

Yes. Of course!

Unfortunately, my swim suit is ruined and I haven't had the chance to travel an hour to a big city to shop for a replacement.

I have to be brutally honest with myself: I've gotten out of the habit, succumbed to laziness, have lost the fire and motivation to kick butt when it comes to triathlon training and am clearly making excuses.

I think I need to register for a half iron-distance race which will, I guarantee, scare me into getting motivated.

That really is what I'm going to have to do. I've got my eyes on the half-distance portion of the American Triple-T in Portsmouth, OH. I will definitely have more to share with you about that race in an upcoming post, so be on the lookout.

Cheers and Merry Christmas, everyone!


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