I know it has been ages since I posted. I've gotten emails to remind me of this. Comments on my blog to nudge me that direction. Wall posts on Facebook to remind me I author a blog. And finally, the coup-de-grace, a not so subtle "I bet there are a lot of people missing your blogs, er, posts, hon!" from my mother just this morning. I sighed. Audibly. And she responded … "but I guess you aren't accountable to us!" in a sort of sing-song way.
"Mother," I said, "I've been trying to tell you that for YEARS!"
We both laughed.
The truth is, however, that I am – sort of – in a way accountable to people who read this blog. Not accountable in the I-have-to-do-what-you-say way but accountable in the I-try-to-give-it-my-best way. And sometimes, when I get out of the habit of writing, I feel like my best is pretty bad indeed. Uninteresting. Dull. Dry. Functional but not fun. Sort of like tofu. Without the dangerous levels of estrogen. Uh. That may not be true either.
The longer it goes between postings, the harder it is. There's too much to catch up on. There's too much to say. The slightly insignificant but somewhat interesting stuff seems trivial. And the big stuff – well, writing about the big stuff after not writing for a while is a little like meeting an old friend for lunch and leading with "I have cancer, what's new with you?"
And I, of all people, know how well that goes over. Cue lead balloon.
So this morning as I sit and contemplate how to break the ice with this blog again and hope that somehow as I type I'll channel a meth addict's energy and Hemmingway's talent I'm reminded that whenever I'm feeling out of touch with my friend HOLLIE! I just send an email of bullet points. Just bullet points. Although less wordy (well, sometimes) and less interesting (in my opinion, HOLLIE loves the BPEs) it gets the job done. It catches her up and somehow catches me up too. And more than that, it lets me off the hook for not keeping in touch better and sets the stage for a renewed connection. So that the next 12 emails and conversations that run deep and wide make sense and can be sent without guilt. Sort of like when you eat at a fancy restaurant and the dude with the weird spatula comes by after the main course and scrapes your table clean. The meal is still in your belly but you feel much better about indulging in dessert what with the evidence of what got you here wiped away.
Come to think of it, I guess I could accomplish the same thing with a good belch.
Regardless, here goes a BPP (Bullet Point Post):
- My triathlon at the end of May (eek! Has it been that long???) was amazing. Really and truly amazing. Not only did I complete it but I smiled nearly the whole time. In fact, I almost wish I hadn't smiled SO much as the pictures make it look a little too easy! It was so amazing, in fact, that I competed in another triathlon just a couple weeks later. And … well, I'll leave that news for a bullet point of its own.
- No dead bodies floated up during the swim for either event. Which is, for some reason (Jaws maybe?) one of my greatest fears of open water swimming. I'm convinced … CONVINCED … it will happen when I'm swimming. I'll just be there minding my own watery business when (cue spooky music) BLAAAAAA … here comes a dead body. But, it didn't happen in either swim.
- However, at one point perhaps ¾ of the way through the swim of the first tri, I looked down to see something in the water below me. I took a breath to the side then put my face back in the brown/green murk and looked again. It was definitely something. I took a breath on the other side lowered my face and tried to NOT look a third time. That never works. Suddenly, I thought Holy Mother of Mothers, those are LEGS below me!! And boy did my heart rate shoot up. Now I know you are waiting for me to say, "but it wasn't legs, it was tree branches" or something like that but it turns out they were indeed legs. I was in the process of swimming OVER some poor sap trying to do the breast stroke. I apologized as I saw his blue swim cap pass below me. Not to him, more to the universe. I don't need that swim karma coming back on me!
- Which brings me to this important bullet point – I'm doing a half-ironman triathlon in just under 7 weeks. What? Huh? I know. How in the H-E-Double-Wetsuit-Leg did I go from not ever doing anything like this ever in my life ever. ever. to doing a half-ironman I will never know. It's crazy and awesome and I'm so very excited about it.
- 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. In that order. (I'm assuming that was your next question. Which reminds me of something funny. I was having dinner with some college friends the other night and the Ironman came up … probably because I said "Hey! I'm doing a half Ironman!" and Troy asked what it entailed and I answered just as I did above "a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run". I waited for the oohs and ahhs only to hear Troy say "Wow. That's a long bike.")
- Which I guess is why I haven't posted much lately. I've been training my fanny off. Sort of literally, but not really, unfortunately. I'm very hungry these days. There is a lot to do to get ready for a race of this distance. A lot of training hours. Plus, as you know, the Breast Cancer 3 Day season has started and I'm on the road quite a bit.
- That was supposed to be a bullet point of its own. The 3 Day season has started. We are, in fact, 3 events in already. And it is incredible as always.
- HOLLIE got married a month ago. To Rob. Rob is my best bud from college.
- I can't believe I just used the term "best bud"
- About a month ago I had my first mammogram. It wasn't great. But I was quite impressed to see – for the first time – that much boob out in front of me. Flat as a crepe boob but boob nonetheless. More about this later.
- I miss my dad lately. It's very odd, this missing. I often encounter people at various speaking engagements or events that have lost someone and I tell them nearly every time "there is no cure for grief but grieving." And I believe it. But lately I've been feeling like there is no cure for grief. Period. It floors me at times that I can be 25 years past my father's death and still feel the cold burn in my chest of his absence. Maybe there is just a Daddy shaped hole that nothing will ever fill or should ever fill. Or maybe I will continue to miss him as I enter new phases of my life. Or maybe I haven't totally grieved his loss. Maybe deep down I'm still a little girl who needs the approval of her father. Or maybe it's none of those things. Maybe it's all. Maybe I should go onto another bullet point.
- I had my 40th birthday a couple of weeks ago and I can honestly say it wasn't that big of a deal. I'm not sure what I expected but I didn't by any means suddenly feel old or really even middle-aged. In fact, I feel better than I have for a long time. And, at the risk of sounding, well, however this will sound … I think I look better than I have for a long time too. I have the training and the cancer to thank for this. It's taken more than 2 years but I finally recognize the face in the mirror again. A little older. More smile lines and wrinkles around the eyes, but I can see myself looking back at me again. There was a time when I thought I had gone away for good. Or for bad.
- And finally, I have to say one of the things I love about having a blog is old friends popping up out of nowhere. And, just so we're clear, I'm not talking about Kathy who, according to her now deleted comment, "wanaa have an adventure with a man who knows how to treat a woman…" Okay then.