Monday, February 9, 2015

Making The Triathlife Work

We had a relatively minor but rather interesting intrusion into our lives this past weekend. And as part of that fun we were asked the question (and I'm paraphrasing here) -

"What makes Team Schmitty work?"

I immediately deferred to Jen and left her stranded to field this query solo. My mind was swimming. Mostly because I am immediately reminded of a couple of folks ("friends" at the time) who were so convinced that my marrying Jen was the most egregious of life decisions, that they individually (and independently) wrote me letters telling me as much. That's right. Jen and I weren't going to last. Our relationship had no chance.

And we've toasted to those doubters on every September 13th since. Touché.

What do the kids say? Haters gonna hate.

But back to the question at hand...and to the person who asked it. I kinda feel I still owe you an answer.

First, Jen and I had the good fortune -- life's great benefit -- of having incredible role models. Our parents and four sets of grandparents. Literally hundreds of years of marriage and rock solid partnerships. We are lucky in that respect. They left us the treasure map. Life's building plans.

But here's the thing. Those "friends" of mine we're kinda right. I wasn't ready for Jen. My private life was in major upheaval. I needed some ripening and Jen pretty much had the unfortunate front row seat to watch me gain my footing...for the first several years of our marriage (heck probably even a little bit still to this day). She didn't deserve that. But true to form, with complete grace and unwavering patience, she waited me out and eventually I caught up to her. And even with all that mess I still truly believe our meeting and it's timing was Providence. My faith tells me that it could not have happened any other way.

But again, back to the original question...the one thing that rang true for me the very first day we met...the reason why we work....quite simply, she is my compliment. She balanced the equation for me. We became fast friends and are even better pals now. I like who I am when I'm with her. I am better because of her. We have many of the same interests but approach those interests in our own unique way. So every life experience is a new adventure. And, so far, any adversity has brought us closer - individually fragile but together we own it.

Are we perfect? Um, quite humorously, no. Absolutely not. But we do pretty good. It works for us as individuals, as a couple, as working professionals, as age group triathletes and as doggie parents (woof!)

Now, if I could only convince her to come wait in line with me to see the next Star Wars movie in December...then maybe we'd really have something special ;)


Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 - So what did we learn?

  • Foo Fighters are still the worlds greatest rock and roll band 
  • The journey of 140.6 miles begins with a trip to the port-a-potty 
  • My wife is the strongest person I know
  • No cuts, no buts, no coconuts
  • Coach Liz is very wise
  • I'm a fairly proficient air drummer
  • Rest is still training
  • Have you checked your bus for sleeping children? Well, have you?
  • Watch ye for ye know not when the intestinal devil cometh
  • If one beer is good and two beers is better...then five beers will have you agreeing to do an ultra-marathon
  • The Triathlife is becoming less about speed and more about longevity (I know, I heard it as soon as I typed it). 
  • But podiums at any age and any distance are still pretty cool
  • Be pro-active with your health...like seriously...you are responsible for you...get on that.
  • Science still hasn't come up with a pill or potion that can replace hard work and good decisions
  • Be kind
  • Hug it out
  • Wear brightly colored socks
-- HIM

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday Scramble: December 18, 2014

Grey? Gray? Or December in Chicago
My Magic Kingdom for some sun
I really wish the Walt Disney World Marathon would get here (Jan 11th). Not because I'm tired of training in the cold (although that is quickly becoming true) and not because I want marathon training to be over. I want it to be here so I can be reminded that somewhere in the world the sun still shines. Schmitty's cue ball good lucks aren't just form, they are functional. My head is like a freakin human solar panel. I need the sun. I love the sun. Why no sun? SUNSHINE WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!!!!!!

But I digest.

Gadgets!
The Triathlife is now outfitted with the Jawbone Up. It's a fitness tracking band thing worn on the wrist. It tracks my steps by day and my by sleep by night. And it syncs to my iPhone via bluetooth with a clever little smartphone app to collect and track all this data.

Gracious! What did we ever do before the Jawbone Up? How did our ancestors survive? We live in such miraculous times - where you can order a burrito using a smartphone app and then find out how many steps it took to walk from the car to the counter for in-store pick up. SCIENCE!

Jen loves this stuff. It appeals to her Type A nature. To me it's more of a game. And it looks pretty cool on my wrist so there's that.

Like I said, it's called the Jawbone Up but I call it my "jib jab" because for the longest time, out of shear laziness or maybe my contrarian attitude, I refused to put the ever so clever - "Jawbone" - to memory. Kind of like a little boy who can't pronounce his sister's name so she forever becomes known by the cute moniker he created for her. But apparently it's not so cute when a 42 year old man does it. Of course if I were older it would just be kind of sad, like -- "ohhhh, Schmitty is really slipping, isn't he?" Instead I am the recipient of Jen's shaking head and rolling eyes of derision.

In addition to tracking steps, sleep and looking cool, the Jawbone serves as my new alarm clock. It's supposed to buzz me awake during my lightest sleep closest to the set alarm time...the theory is that I will wake more refreshed. The experiment is ongoing and the data collected so far is inconclusive. Though I think it's just a matter of time, one of these mornings, that I throw the damn thing across the room. Light sleep or not.

You know what really grinds my gears?
  • Drivers who back into parking spaces and garages. 
  • The guy at the gym who leaves his sweaty clothes in a festering stink pile under the bench when he goes to shower.
  • Other runners who don't say good morning
  • Men's tapered, ankle, cuff pants. (Don't. Just...no.)
  • Those shifty eyed squirrels and their yo-yo diets. 
-- HIM