When I thought about it I remembered being in high school and my father inviting me to come along to the local pond with his friend Dick Aubey so that Dick could teach us how to swim for long stretches. My family was about to register for the local sprint in West Brookfield. Or we had already registered, I can't remember EXACTLY how the events unfolded.
I DO remember Dick teaching me how to breath so that I could swim, with or without a correct stroke, for long periods of time. Isn't that cool? That my father and mother were into doing triathlons in their 30's (or so) and that they got their kids into it?
See all you mothers out there. I'm living proof that doing sport while raising kids is a GOOD THING! We entered the West Brookfield sprint triathlon for at least 3 years in a row. I have really good memories of these events. (now that I think about it). I guess my memory COULD be better.
I think the first year we entered as a team. All 5 sibs plus two parents. They must have taken the fastest times I guess. I wish I knew.
The other twp times I had entered once as an individual and once with my mother and sister as a team. I remember saying "I'm doing the ironman". LOL... I honestly thought that was what it was called when you completed a sprint on your own.
Here are two photos from 1984 and 1985 of me in the same spot of the 3.1 mile run. The first is when I ran the "Ironman" the other is when I ran with mom and sis as a team. I had odviously gained my freshman 15 at this point.
In the 10th or 11th grade my parents took my sister and I (not sure why the 3 brothers didn't go) to Iowa to ride the RAGBRAI. The Registers Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. It was a 5 day ride that crossed Iowa. My sister and I both got new touring Nishiki bikes and the necessary accessories. We had those side bags on our bikes and a humungus bento box on the front of the handlebars.
I was young and was looking at all the boys. There were so many cute boys from North Dakota. Of all places. I also got so dammed sunburned I had a scar across my nose for the following 20 years. I am not kidding. Here two photos from the RAGBRAI. The first is me and dad trying to figure out which bags are ours. In the 2nd photo my parent look sickeningly happy. So glad they got to share that.
My parents also shared a running club with their friends in the 1980s. I went to various races with them. I think I mentioned this before. The club was called the Run-A-Mucks. I think the name is really funny. My parents were running marathons at this time and somehow convinced me that I should run the Avon Marathon in Ottawa CA. I was 16.
I wanted to drop out of training for the marathon but my mother, yet again, convinced me not to give up. She was using the "you will regret this" approach. And I bought it. I remember sitting in the kitchen having this very discussion.
When I crossed the line in 4:45 I just bawled. I kept promising myself during the final 15 or so miles I would not have to run a SINGLE step when this was over. And I didn't. Not for a long time. I slowly started running again after about a year.
Here I am crossing the line of the Avon Marathon. I've also added the first race I ever did. The Bonnie Bell. My mother made up these cute T Shirts that read "Mom" and "Kid" with arrows pointing at one another. After my mother left me in the dust I had people asking where "Mom" was.
So there you have it. It really is no wonder that I like triathlon when I think about it.