Can Couch Potatoes Change?… or Don’t We All Start as Spuds?

It's all about choice.

It’s official.  I registered (and paid) for the triathlon scheduled for July 16.  Pretty good for someone who—until very recently—thought triathlon was spelled Tri-ath-A-lon! 

If you’ve read any of my last three posts or A Running Journal diary, you’ll know I rather dubiously started running via the barefoot mode to lose a few pounds; a last-ditch effort.  It’s been only a month since I’ve done more than walk or weed the garden.

Some friends and relatives have been surprised by this change and are trying to understand why I’ve gone so extreme. 

The theories:

1.  This is my last chance to stay young and bridge the age gap with my cradle-robbed husband who just turned 50.

            There could be some truth here.  Yes, I’m turning 56 in a few days and all this running, swimming, and biking does make me feel younger, so I guess it’s working.  A new dimension has been added to our relationship as my husband is thrilled I’m working out and much of the time is right there with me.  Plus, we have all kinds of new things to talk about like what’s a tri-suit, should we plan a biking vacation on the East Coast, and how to calculate meters into miles

Let's start with basic black...

2.  This is just an extension of who I am because I like to try new things and when I do, I throw myself in full force.      

            Instead of being content with just doing a 5K run (that’s 3.1 miles with my new conversion knowledge), I’m going for the whole triathlon enchilada. 

            Ok, so this is also true.  I do like to learn and apply to the fullest extent I can.

             But even Danger-Girl knows her limits.  Example:  After a 20 year hiatus I got all decked out in brand new matching gear for a skiing excursion.  I felt fear (and instability) in my knees when I saw all the snowboarders added to the mix, so I took myself off the steep slopes.  I still have a really nice ski jacket, though.  🙂

3.  I’m addicted to endorphins.

            Uh, okay, whatever that means.  If it means I feel good when I’m done and can’t wait to do it again… well, I haven’t reached that point.  This morning I did not jump out of bed to go work out but… I relish the feeling I get when it’s over and I’m sleeping more soundly.

            And, I admit, if I don’t do a daily workout, I feel something is missing.  Maybe I am  addicted.

4.  I like challenges.

            That’s true; underneath my sweet little smile beats a competitive heart.  This time, competing in a triathlon means finishing.   

            As my husband explained to someone who expressed disbelief I could finish:  “You  know what they call a person who finishes last in medical school?  A doctor.”  Thanks, honey!

5.  I’m rebellious and like to shock people? 

            To those who know me; your call!

6.  Let’s not forget I’m trying to lose a few pounds and be healthier.  (This might lead back to #1 or go on to #7.)

7.  Someone got really sick and I took a look at my life.

            A good friend’s husband, who is much younger than me, received a bad diagnosis around the time I decided to do the triathlon.  I’d already started running, but when I heard the news, everything stopped.  Everything.  I just sat in a fog, paralyzed as I imagined myself in his shoes and in her shoes.  Life is not fair.  We only have so much time and we never know how much that is.

            Who am I to keep frittering away my life rearranging piles of disorganized papers, and clothes that might fit me someday?  (I keep going back to Peter Walsh and how we spend so much time looking for and sorting things, we aren’t really enjoying our lives.) 

            Something clicked and I decided to quit spinning my wheels.  It’s time.  “When I grow  up” is here.  Everything flows from being healthy.  I have health—for now.  I’d like to enjoy it; flex my muscles, gain confidence, and go forward in all directions.

So, why am I doing a triathlon?  Why not?  ~JD here. 


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7 Responses to Can Couch Potatoes Change?… or Don’t We All Start as Spuds?

  1. What a delightful entry. All of this makes perfect sense to me…but 1) I don’t have a nice ski jacket and 2) I am not running. Not yet. But you are pretty darn convincing!!

  2. paula says:

    I believe hanging out with the Palmwidow gave you pause – what happens to the body when one is a competitive couch potato!

  3. Janean says:

    Thank you, JD. So glad you’re my friend. Excited for you on your triathlon journey – and now I know how to spell it too. I love your gumption and adventurous spirit. Your determination too. Glad you’re grabbing life by the horns and living for today because sometimes life throws your curve balls that knock you off your feet. We’re getting up and dustin’ off. Takin’ it as it comes. I’ll ring you for that pep talk and join you on the trail eventually. maybe in my own brand new pair of barefoot shoes. Love, Janean

    • JD says:

      Love you too, Janean! Sometimes taking steps is the only thing you can do. You don’t always know the reason or have to know the reason, only that you have to do it. Look forward to seeing YOUR barefoot shoes. 🙂

  4. Pingback: I never said I was Popeye. | Sit. Desk. Write.

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