After four laps I’m gasping—only four laps in; I would have thought I’d have made it a bit farther, given that in the old days I could crank out a 20 lap warm up without even thinking about it. Then the real workout would begin. But this morning, after a decade and a half of shoulder injuries and a plethora of other minor excuses—the lamest being that I’m a 49 year old paraplegic—I’m back in the lane. Bound for glory, or an extremely anti-climactic drowning, which, based upon my performance this morning, is as real a possibility as any.
It’s as if my heart is pumping tar through my veins, like I’m an old car in need of an oil change. Its okay, I think to myself as I linger too long on the sixth turn at the wall. The triathlon isn’t until September. Triathlon—what? That’s right, half mile swim, 12 mile hand-cycle and 3 mile push. I had to go and sign up last week. As a former member of the U.S. International Disabled Swim Team in the late eighties and early nineties, I figure I’ve got the swim covered, as long as I don’t embarrass myself by prematurely dying while training in the YMCA pool. The hand-cycling could be doable; I own an old one, but sadly, I’ve probably put in a total of 12 miles over the past 5 or 6 summers. As for the 3 mile wheelchair road race, I’ve never done an actual race-paced push; in fact I don’t own or even know where to get my hands on an actual racing chair, so that part of the puzzle is still a mystery.
So begins another typical chapter in my life: a triathlon, what better activity to sign onto when I’m ill-equipped and out of shape—what am I waiting for?
I’ll check in again and let you know how the training is going; that is if I survive the first twenty laps.
To be continued….