Tag Archives: swim

Breathing Harder

So the reason I was away from the homestead, leaving bereft the children of Awesome Elementary school, was because my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Moving, took place in a half-Iron Man distance triathlon.

In Key West.

Yeah, she was out there running through the very hot morning, while I was puttering around on my rental scooter, darting here and there, with the wind blowing always in my face. She got to splash through the spastic waves of the heaving ocean for more than a mile, while I was sleeping rather later and enjoying a relaxing morning. She was pumping and groaning and heaving her way into the wind on her bicycle for 28 miles, while I raced to catch up to her on my rental scooter.

To sum up: She worked hard. I didn’t. We both, however, had a really good time.

My favorite part of the event itself was when I missed her at the swim-cycle transition area and so had to try and catch her during the cycling course. I hopped on the rental scooter and gunned that powerful motor all the way up to 75 *cough* kph *cough* so it was pretty fast. I scooted out there and finally caught her sometime around 12 miles into the race.

The best thing about it was that she had no idea I was coming. I saw her up ahead of me and just kept coming, right up until I was almost even with her.

“Ah ha!” I shouted. “I found you!” And then scooted on ahead for about a quarter mile before pulling off the side of the road to take pictures.

She shook her fist at me as she passed and I didn’t understand. Apparently, I’d scared her so badly on the bike that she almost fell off it. Oops. Funny, but oops.

After she passed, I put away my futurephone, now full of pictures, back into the official DudePhone pocket and then hopped back onto the rental scooter. I scooted up behind her again and asked if she needed anything. Apparently, she thought I’d turned around. Another wobble.

I don’t know what the rest of them were wining about. I went fast enough to catch them, turned around and then roared back to Key West and I wasn’t sweating at all.

I think it might be all a show to make them look good.

Of course, having said this, I’ve also got to hope that She Who Might Be Reading isn’t living up to her name right now.

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by Richard

When I was growing up in Dallas, I taught her how to swim in our backyard pool. Our families had been friends forever. I went away to college and she grew up, got married and had kids.

This week she buried her youngest son.

The one-car accident occurred when she hit the breaks to avoid a suddenly stopped car ahead of her. Her SUV swerved off the road and crashed. She, her oldest son and her daughter were slightly injured. Her 6-year-old son, who was wearing a lap belt, died on the helicopter that was airlifting him to the hospital.

Her parents were waiting there, at the hospital. Waiting to take custody of their grandchild. Waiting to become the first family members forced to deal with the lifeless body of this once-vibrant, once-laughing young dude.

I never met him, but I kept up with him through Christmas cards, letters, and family gossip. I am the worse for that. We are all the worse for that.

When something like this happens, we all sigh sadly, shake our heads and wonder how the family deals with a tragedy of this magnitude. Let me tell you, no matter what kind of face the family puts on, they deal with it badly. Very, very badly. He was a part of their life. A walking, breathing wonderful and hugging part of their life and he leaves a boy-shaped hole in their hearts that grows bigger with every passing second that goes by without him to fill it.

There really are no words to express the sort of tragedy implicit in this. A child passing before his parents, before his grandparents. Far, far too soon.

I can’t really understand what she’s going through right now. What they all are going through. And, as selfish as it sounds, I hope I never do get that sort of understanding.

What I do know is they are in terrible pain, filled with anger and sadness and inconsolable grief and I wish there was something I could do to ease that pain.

My young dudes never knew him either and keep wondering why I’m hugging them so much these last few days. It’s only natural, I suppose. I want them to know they are loved and treasured and I want to reassure myself that they really are here. And are healthy.

I can only hold her in my thoughts and let her know she is not alone, that there are people who love her and will be there for her and will do anything they can to help.

I might have taught her how to swim, but there are some waters that must be crossed on your own, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

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Dream Date

by Richard

I am not the most reliable person when it comes to dates. I seem to compartmentalize my life. Young dude stuff is over there. She Who Must Be Obeyed’s stuff is over on that other side. My important days are on that side. Sometimes I remember to look at them all together, but don’t count on it.

Which makes for the fact that I’m in charge of schedules all the stranger.

Which might go a long way toward explaining why, when I bought tickets for Dreamgirls, a musical, as a birthday present for my wife, known to me as She Who’s Thirst For Blood Musical Theater Must Be Quenched, I ended up going to see the thing with Hyper Lad as my date.

What I didn’t realize when I bought the non-refundable, non-transferrable tickets, was that She Who Must Swim, Bike And Run, would be gone that weekend on her latest half-Iron Man triathlon. I had the extra ticket and, since no one I knew was interested in subjecting themselves to the show, I had to use them.

Both Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy laughed in exactly the way condemned dudes don’t when I asked if they wanted to go. Hyper Lad, on the other hand, was excited and couldn’t wait for the show date to arrive.

Normally, when play night is date night, we go somewhere nice before the show to have a bit to eat. Hyper Lad and I did the same thing. Since I let him choose the place, we just had different definitions of nice. My pre-show dinner was at Chéz Jack, a.k.a. Jack in the Box. It was especially enjoyable when Hyper Lad began opining on the virtues of the late oughts Dr. Pepper vintages. The kid knows his cokes.

We went straight to the theater from there. I think Hyper Lad might have had more fun going through the parking deck than he did at the show and he really enjoyed the show. His eyes were huge when we walked into the lobby, staring at the circular staircase leading down to the floor seats, checking out the chandelier in the center of the lobby. No matter that we’d just had a filling, delicious bit of the culinary arts just minutes before, we also had to stop by the snack stand for the traditional bag of peanut M&M’s.

He was almost worn out, and that was all before we even walked in to see the stage and find our seats. But that’s a story for tomorrow.

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