Friday, April 2, 2010

Loose screws

Technically and astronomically, spring began with the equinox. Here in Michigan, that doesn't mean much in practical terms. Nor do the 80-degree temperatures yesterday and, we're promised, today. That can, and will, relapse overnight. Buds on trees are a better sign, and flowers popping up are an even better one. Our yard is starting to bloom with white things, then purple things, and just this morning yellow things. I can't wait for the tulips to come up, because I know what those are called. But in perhaps the most telling sign, I took the screws out of my running shoes.

We in the ice-storm belt know to keep one pair of running shoes reserved with sheet-metal screws in the soles. Those are the screws with the raised hex heads, and they'll carry you across an icy or unplowed road as well as anything. But I'm feeling cocky that, while we may or may not have seen our last ice- or snowstorm, the aftermath won't last long enough to feel forced to run in it. Besides, swimming is the focus anyway, with Alcatraz coming up.

Speaking of Alcatraz
A week to go! I'm feeling fit and confident, and even ready for the temperatures (meaning my wetsuit fits, and I've dug out the biggest open-water, forehead-covering goggles I own, but I've also swum in those temps before). But I need to take care of two details for you guys in the blogeteria. First, I need to plug the sponsors who are getting me there. Team F.A.S.T. is covering my entry fees, and is helping with my travel expenses. I'm still Midwestern enough to feel a little nervous playing the pitchman, but in the case of TriSports, it's easy because I've been a loyal, vocally happy customer since long before they offered to help out with this trip. I'm a big fan of shopping locally, but I also know that there's sometimes stuff that even the best local shop can't carry, and that a huge amount of localities don't have multi-sports shops. Online shops cover that very nicely, and I've not found a nicer, more professional one than TriSports. Secondly …

Shoulder update
Let the record show I got smart and made an appointment with Michigan State University Sports Medicine. I'll see them Wednesday. Let the record also state that upon further review I don't feel like I was that dumb about it after all. It hasn't even been two weeks since the initial pop, and a wait-and-see-while-you-rest-it approach is, short of severe trauma, generally a good start. I haven't made it worse in the meantime; if I find out that swimming next weekend is going to wreck my season or result in my getting embarrassingly fished out of the bay (and if it's one, it'll probably be the other as well), knowing it a week sooner wouldn't have canceled the cancellation. And if I find out I'm good to go, or good to go with a good Kinesio tape job or something, then the timing is perfect. I'll keep you all posted.

Never pick on NASCAR
Finally, you'd think I'd learn not to use NASCAR jokes or allegories. Jimmy Doom sets me straight in that I couldn't have been more wrong in the whole Last-Supper-portions blog when I claimed most of the "National" Stock Car Auto Racers do not, in fact, come from the same two counties in South Carolina. This wasn't nearly as big a revelation as the news that Jimmy knows about stock car racing. Jimmy's a great friend and I thought I knew him well, but I didn't know that about him. The knockers on the Rumple Minze girls, yes. NASCAR, well, you never know. And for the record, La Professora provided me with the far better analogy I should have used, that the "World" Series of baseball field teams from suspiciously fewer countries than any given other sport's World Cup.


Anonymous said...

I like to shop locally too. I'm glad TriSports is a 10 minute drive from my house.

Jim Smith II said...

Glad to hear that Alcatraz is still on the books (pending shoulder) and that you're ready to go. SF is a great city, and if you're a swimmer, that seems like it would be a fun event (but I'm sure it doesn't hold a candle to Bay To Breakers).

KT tape rocks! I got started using it last year after my first Half. Love it.

About NASCAR - I thought your comment in the last post was funny. That said, it's often a surprise to hear who's a fan - I certainly don't fit the normal demo (Cake, Theater going, liberal, from Seattle), but I'm a huge fan...