Friday, February 29, 2008

documenting change: nine.

confessions of a triathlon trainee.

Confession 1. I skipped my Wednesday bike ride. I could not bring myself to ride around in the cold, dreary weather. I also could not bring myself to the gym to ride stationary. I could not. This is the first time I’ve skipped a workout, and I felt pretty guilty.

Confession 2. I feel like a big dork when I wear a helmet. Today, as if to make up for the fact that I skipped a workout this week, and also simply because it is a beautiful day, I rode my bike to the coffee shop. I did not wear a helmet. Why should I be worried about whether I'm a dork or not? Who cares, right? (Me, me, me, I care.)

My triathalon instructor, who is a young and sort of soft-spoken guy, says, with as much authority as he can muster, “There are only two kinds of cyclists. The ones who’ve crashed and the ones who haven’t crashed yet.” Somehow seeing this young guy get all coach-like makes me feel like laughing.

Maybe it’s just the rebellious student in me. Maybe it’s generational; I did not grow up with the helmet, and I’ve secretly mocked little kids who have to wear helmets while riding around their neighborhoods. Poor sucker, I’ve thought to myself.

Confession 3. This evening I’m supposed to do a 45-minute run. I’m looking forward to it. This is tremendously out of character, but I am really, really looking forward to it. Am I beginning to enjoy running? Is that possible?

There is a 15-year-old girl who is a super-cute in my class. On Tuesday, a few of us practically dragged her by the sleeve to make her finish the run with us. She hates the running and cycling. It is apparent on her face and in her body language in the way that only a 15-year-old is capable of demonstrating disinterest, boredom and dislike. Top lip curled up, eyes narrowed and vacuous at once, arms folded beneath chest, shoulders slouched forward. Loud sighs every few minutes.

One day as our triathalon instructor was saying to her, “Come on V.! Finish the lap!” she responded, in a tone of suffering and injustice, “I’m only in HIGH school!”

Thursday, she told me she’s not doing a triathlon anymore, so she’s only going to come to the swim classes from now on. In fact, the only reason she’s taking the class is so she can get her lifeguard certification to be a lifeguard at her neighborhood pool this summer. She needs to have swam a certain distance consecutively before she can be certified. Truthfully, she doesn't act like she enjoys the swimming all that much either, and I don't know if I'd want my kid to go under with her in the lifeguard seat.

I tried to convince her she should do the triathlon that I am doing since the distances are so short for all of the events. Our conversation went like this:

Her: Yeah, but I’m not athletic AT ALL.
Me: I’m not either.
Her: No, I mean, I’m not at ALL. Like all I ever do is homework. And watch TV.
Me: I’m really not athletic at all either.
Her: But I mean, were you ever? Like in high school, were you ever on any kind of track team or anything?
Me: Never.
Her: I mean anything? (Exasperated.) Like did you at least walk around your block? Cause I don’t even do that.
Me: My high school P.E. was yoga.
Her: I don’t even take P.E.

So. I couldn’t convince her. I really like having this 15-year-old in the class, with all of her feigned disinterest. I love that feigned disinterest toward life.

Maybe I should be a lifeguard at a neighborhood pool this summer? Just kidding. Sort of.

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