Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ugh! What was I thinking?

Well, I did it again. Is there something wrong in my brain that makes me do difficult things just for the fun of it?

My very young daughter (she’s young to me) wanted company as she competed in her first mini triathlon. What could I say? After all, she’s my daughter. I could have said any number of things such as, “Are you nuts?” or “I’m a grandma!” or “It’s at five thousand feet!” Hey, I think I said all of those.

I drug my feet. No training for the 300 meter swim. Swimming is my strong suit. I hadn’t been on a bike in months. It’s too wet outside. Two miles wouldn’t be too difficult, I reasoned. One mile run. One mile is just a warm up, right? Sure, but not after the swim and bike ride, and especially not at five thousand feet!

I touched the pool wall at the same moment as my very young daughter. We were both feeling confident as two swimmers were still splashing away in the pool. Here’s the tricky part – we pulled on tight running pants and shirts over wet swim suits. Slipped into our shoes, sped out of the pool door, around the building, and across the street to another facility containing bikes and an indoor track. Did I mention it was January?

Did I mention we were in Utah?

Five thousand feet?

I’m certain I mentioned that!

Sliding my wet bottom onto the slick bike seat, I began to pedal as fast as my burning lungs would allow. I also began to slip behind. I also began to slide off the bike seat! My very young daughter hit the track about a minute and a half ahead of me.

Then the five thousand feet came into play.

I hit the track and in about a minute and a half I also hit a wall!

I reside and train at a comfortable two thousand feet, my lungs happily filled with dense air. The air at five thousand feet is not so dense! I managed to finish my race, lungs bursting in an attempt to absorb enough oxygen to keep me conscious.

I finished five minutes behind my very young daughter. After all, running is her strong suit.

I ingested about a gallon of water and passed on the bagel and cream cheese. I surveyed my competition.

College students - all of them.

I could be their mother! Oh, except for the old guy. He won the whole thing!

Yay for old guys!

Nothing like playing it safe!

Whoever heard of getting searched at an airport for being righteous? That’s what I was attempting to do when I packed my scriptures for my trip to Puerto Rico. My traveling companion expected to be strip searched. He carries a card requesting such. It’s not weird, just a medical requirement due to his battery operated heart. I, on the other hand, confidently cruise through security, exercising what little patience I have while waiting on my Energizer Bunny traveling companion.

Not so today! Imagine my surprise when a very polite airport security lady asked, “Whose bag is this? I am going to have to search it. Please come with me.” It wasn’t a request. I began a mental checklist of all items, some of them quite personal, packed in my carry on. What liquid or gel might be hiding in that bag? I purposely packed all hair care products, toothpaste, and liquid makeup in the checked bag. In recent years I have modified my travel routine from, “Pack everything you might need in case you get stuck overnight or your baggage is lost,” to “Don’t carry on anything that might interfere with the ease and swiftness of the security check.” I’ve decided if I don’t have it I don’t need it or I can purchase it if necessary. I could think of nothing in my bag that would flag a search.

“Stand right here and don’t reach inside the bag.” A definite command.

Please don’t riffle through everything right here in public!

“Is there anything fragile in here?”

“Just my camera,” I answered. I hoped. What could I be hiding?

Very quickly she located the culprit. Reaching for my very small, very compact set of scriptures, she announced, “I bet this is it! Too dense to scan through. That’s some heavy reading!"

“My scriptures!” Now that was funny. The discovery did not stop her from running a magnet around the inside of the bag, in and around each zippered pocket, and rescanning the entire bag sans scriptures. It passed.

Phew! I am not a terrorist!