I actually started this post a couple of hours ago and had in mind to tell the whole story of my weekend in vivid detail. Then I said to myself, "Who would really read all that?"
And I've recently found a blog that I find interesting and fascinating called 22 Words. Every post is written in...yes, exactly 22 words. I'm definitely not able to do that this time, but I think I can successfully cut out a good bit while still giving you a picture of our experience.
So here are the highlights!
:: Sarah, our traveling companion, was an excellent driver in the torrential rains and a great conversationalist. Her mom picked her up from our hotel in Scranton so she could spend a couple weeks at home.
:: Trying to find the house where my parents were living when I was born. We couldn't find the house, but we walked up and down N Hyde Park and tried to imagine what it looked like 40 years ago.
:: Practicing swimming in a wetsuit in the hotel pool. Yes, I did. I didn't see any rule against it!
:: Getting a little lost despite having Lola along and "accidentally" finding a great hole-in-the-wall pizza place for supper on Friday night!
:: Meeting Maureen (another newbie) on Saturday afternoon in the line to get our bikes serviced. We were both petrified, both questioning our sanity, both feeling a little out of our element... She was warm and funny and comforting. And she introduced me to her friend, Patience, who was also new to the scene. What an answer to my panicked whispered prayers to God.
:: And then meeting Ryan, Melanie, Chuck, and Marsha that same day. Ryan and Chuck were competing for the first time; their girls were there to support them. They were the nicest people. They helped me get my bike seat on, offered to meet up with Sam for the race the next day so he'd have someone to hang out with, and reassured me with kind words and high-fives. Another answer to prayer!
:: Having my age advertised on my calf all day (actually it's still there and it's Tuesday night) for all to see. No, this was not a highlight, but it was kind of fun to look around at everyone else and know how old he/she was with one look at the calf. And so when I passed a man out on the bike course and was feeling kind of smug about it, it didn't take me long to get humble as soon as I saw he was 68!!
:: Good conversations with Sam during our "3" game that we invented. And watching Discovery Health in the hotel room and getting grossed out together.
:: Coming home to Mark who showed marked improvement since Friday morning. He was walking around and feeling much better. And he had flowers for me!!! So special!!
:: Reading this account from the announcer at the race on Sunday with Mark when I got home, and starting to understand how one could get bitten by the Triathlon bug! I'd do it again, for sure!!