Monday, June 21, 2010

Human Proportions

Hello, friends. Long time, no blog, eh?

We moved. Across town. More on that later. But first, three stories of human proportions.

While packing I unearthed a box of photos that never made it into photo albums or scrapbooks. Most were pictures taken around the time of my engagement and early marriage with Spouse. #1, looking over my shoulder, wondered aloud who the girl was. It was me, without wrinkles.

Then I came to a photo of me waterskiing at Flaming Gorge, in the Uinta Mountains in Utah. I had to do a double take to make sure it really was me, because the girl in the photo is laying it out, nearly horizontal on the glassy water with a watery plume of spray behind her. It's a good picture, taken at the peak of my water skiing days.

Typical, unsentimental me, I tossed the other photos but kept the waterskiing picture and posted it on the refrigerator, at eye level to remind me of my former self. Every time I see that photo I feel satisfied. Not because I used to be a good waterskiier. And not because I think that girl is still in me. I feel satisfied that I chose to give that up and not look back. At some point I decided I would stop defining myself as "the girl who used to ski well" and fully embrace my less glamorous, less thrilling life. I don't see myself as giving up, just facing reality and deciding to be happy with it.

My children scrambled out of the jeep and hurried across the pavement to the swimming pool entrance. A few paces behind I watched them inadvertently cut in front of a single man waiting in the line to pay. I apologized and offered to let him go in front of us, but he kindly declined. As we waited for a minute or two for our turn, my mommy-alert-radar went on automatic as I scanned the area for perverts, where the bathrooms were located, hiding places.... just so I could be on guard as I was alone with three kids at a public swimming pool. (I'm not crazy, right?) My suspicions landed on that single man waiting behind us in line.

What was he doing going to a swimming pool in the middle of the day in the middle of the week? Why isn't he at work? He doesn't even have kids with him? Ok, he doesn't look too creepy. He's probably only a little older than me. Hmmm, I'm going to keep my eye on him and if he gets weird we are outta here.

The pool was great; the water was cool and it wasn't crowded. It didn't take long for #2 to start begging to go off the diving board. So I took #3's hand and we walked with him down to "the deep end." I took a seat near the edge of the water to wait. That's when I noticed the single guy from the line. There he was dripping wet, waiting in line for the diving board, standing between children who were only as high as his waist. Suddenly he didn't look so creepy and I was curious. His turn came and I watched him deftly adjust the springs of the board with his feet, walk to the end of the plank, take a deep bounce and holy cow! Double flips high in the air, rotation and smooth straight entrance into the water!

At some point in his life, this now semi overweight, man in his mid 30's must have been some kind of diving superstar. We watched him do this over and over. He would do some kind of crazy dive, swim to the side then walk to the end of the diving line, along with all the belly-flopping, cannon-balling kids. When he finished diving he picked up his towel and left the pool. Probably went back to work.

I was impressed (and sad that I had judged him) that here was someone who had found a way to keep his talent alive. There were no spectators, except me and a bunch of kids; he wasn't going to win a medal or receive any recognition. Apparently he just loved to dive.

I picked the up phone yesterday, it was my brother Miguel. "JL? Guess, what? I ran 26 miles this morning!" My response, "You, freak. You are crazy." It was only two weeks ago that I had listened to a message from him, "Hey JL, call me back. I want to ask you some questions about long distance running." He had recently read a book about how human physiology is uniquely designed for distance running and how people can run a lot farther than they think they can. So he decided one day to see how far he could go. He ran 10 miles. That was two weeks ago.

Although in good health, Miguel is not an athlete. He plays basketball a couple times a week and probably does push ups in his bathroom in the morning.

So, last night after a healthy meal, Miguel decided he was going to see if he could run a marathon. So he woke up at 3 am, ran 26 miles (without gatorade, energy gels, an ipod or proper shoes) showered up and went to work.

What about you? As you mature, how do you balance your talents and interests with reality? What do you do to push yourself?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seriously, It's June?

And just to make it extra special we've enjoyed our first 100+ day. Let the sweating begin!

But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me reminisce on the good ole days of May. Way back in May when we (I!) packed up the jeep and hit the road to meet Spouse's family in beautiful, red, cool St. George, Utah. There was swimming. Lots and lots of swimming. Hiking (in flip flops). Cousins. Late nights. Cool mornings. Too much good food.

For me the cherry on top of the great weekend was discovering a Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery right there in St George, and slowly savoring the rich goodness of a peanut butter cup cupcake. The low point was coming home, stepping on the scale and regretting the rich, peanut buttery goodness of the STFB cupcake.

Water wings? Yes, I did. #2 was far too daring and confident. Those wings kept him humble, he hated them.

Sweet #1, played with #3 and kept her smiling.

We made a pit stop on the way home at the "Navajo Interpretive Center." I don't know what we were supposed to interpret, but the bridge over the Colorado River and these ruins were very cool.

#1 posing with some cousins atop a red rock in Snow Canyon

Feeling proud of #3 for braving our hike I told her she was a "good little hiker." She said, "No, mom. I not good hiker. I #3"