Monday, December 21, 2009

A man's reach should exceed his gasp

Saturday was early Christmas at my parents' house. The place was packed with family and friends, and two in particular were telling stories on me. Patty, who married me 21 years ago, was talking to Kristi, who baby-sat me 21 years before that.

Kristi was explaining that she asked me back then what I wanted to be when I grew up, and that I had had it narrowed down to two options:

Either a cartoonist or a Harlem Globetrotter.

So I've never been terribly realistic. But hope trumps reality half the time, apparently, and that's enough.

I'm still setting goals in pairs. Triathlon training 2010 begins today. Not that I've been loafing all fall. I've been cycling for fun, running for maintenance and fun, and swimming for maintenance and fun and dramatic improvement of my form and speed. But if we want to assign it some official date, today is as good as any. It's the first day of my 16-week build-up to my spring marathon, the Martian Marathon in Dearborn. And that's one of my two goals for this winter: I'd like to finish in 3:30, which would qualify me for the Boston Marathon. It could be as pointless as wanting to be a Harlem Globetrotter -- this year's Boston is full, and I have no idea if it qualifying in April 2010 would get me into the race for May 2011 -- and probably as realistic.

My other goal for the winter we've already discussed, which is to swim the 500-yard freestyle in 7:30. There's a Masters meet in Grand Haven, a couple hours away, on Feb. 21 that ought to time out about right.

I don't know if there's any kind of a parallel here. Will I meet those goals? Will I meet half of them, the way I became a cartoonist but not a Globetrotter? Will anyone be talking about it 21 years from now?

I don't know. But I suspect after I told Kristi my plans, I wandered off either to dribble a basketball or draw pictures, and now I'm off to go for a swim and a run.



Helen said...

Qualifying for Boston this April (2010) would allow you to run it next April (2011). I highly recommend Boston. The energy and crowd support are amazing, if slightly overwhelming. (I skipped the post race party, because by the time I was done, I just wanted to be alone.)

veloben said...

Goals are good. Set them all the time, myself. They help keep things moving, etc. But the key to achieving any goal is the fun part. Even if the fun means lots of pain, exhaustion and discomfort in the process.

You summed it up with:cycling for fun

Have a great Holiday!

Matt said...

"...or what's a heaven for?"
Thanks for the inspiration-I think I'll sign up for some races, and get my butt in gear.
Jeff, have you ever seen the quirky documentary called "Gizmo"? You'd love it!



Noel said...

You're the only person I know that makes his New Year's Resolution before the first day of Winter.
I hope you enjoyed your off season.(Can 6 days be considered a season?)
Happy Holidays and have a great 2010!

PS: Why not throw in a Spring bike race for laughs? An age group road race with the local bike club is more like a fast group ride with a TT finish.