Happiness Is A Spent Body, Draft 1

With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall…

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.

Psalms 18:29; 33-36, NIV


As I type this, my body is sweaty. My fingers trimble. What little that’s left of my hair drips perspiration.

I finished a 17-mile bike sprint before coming inside to work on this chapter. I’m spent. And it feels freaking amazing.

Today is day one of this year’s training. Of this season of life training.

Or at least the “real” training. I’ve been lifting and jogging and recumbent bike riding during the cool days. I can’t bring myself to say winter. We live in the southeast United States.

But today, it’s time to get serious.

Shooting for a half ironman triathlon this year: 1.2 mile swim. 56 mile bike ride. 13.1 mile run.

My guts get kind of squishy just looking at those numbers.

Last your I did an Olympic-length event: 1,500m swim. 40k bike ride. 10k run.

The year before that I did a Triathlon sprint: 750m swim. 20k bike ride. 5k run.

I know, I’m mixing metric and miles. It’s the life of a Triathloner. You get used to it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t jump into an ocean wearing a goofy swimsuit with hundreds of my closest friends, doing our best imitation of trout.

I didn’t bike around the city of Pensacola in spandex with a big number markered on my arm.

And I certainly didn’t run by countless water stations wanting to give up at every stop for a sip.

I admire everyone of those racers who do the things above, but that’s not me. At least not yet.

I’m not racing against anyone but myself.

Like I tell Queen Gwen after every full-length workout, “Well, dear, I would have finished dead last but I didn’t finish dead.”

I’m what you call an “Ultra Clydesdale” when it comes to Triathloning. A category that I don’t believe existed until I just typed that phrase just now.

A typical triathlon athlete weighs about 135 pounds soaking wet. A clydesdale (the heavier competitors) comes in about 175 pounds, give or take the last bowl of pasta.

I tip the scales this morning, on the first day of training, at 215. Two-freakin’-fifteen.

Sounds like an Ultra Clydesdale to me.

So, for now, I compete behind the fence. We’ve got a big backyard with an eight-foot privacy fence all the way around. We’ve got a pool that’s 40×20. We’ve got a stationery tri-trainer that sets on the pool deck.

No reason for me to go anywhere but that backyard.

And work my ass off.

Six days a week.

Until it gets too cold for me to go.


And that’s where we’ll stop for today.
Word count: 489

We’ll edit and add tomorrow or Monday.




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