Saturday, October 3, 2009
I've never been afraid of a road trip. In fact, I think I secretly love them. It began in jr. high youth group. I loved the road trip as much as the destination. I loved being in a van full of friends, singing, laughing. talking and discussing things. When there wasn't quite enough room I was allowed (or I begged) to sit on the floor between the driver and passenger chairs. Right over the engine. It got very, very hot, but I loved it. It was just a warm, safe, happy place where I could talk and enjoy those around me. Of course, now that I have my own kids I'd not be very happy about having my own child on the floor without a seat belt but it did not bother me at all then with my own life.
In high school the trend continued; I loved the van trips. I loved the travel to camp, to retreats, to disneyland, on drama tours. Our group grew too big for vans so our drama team would utilized busses. I loved the bus trips! Listening to music, books, taking a million pictures, making silly signs with the funny quotes that we'd say and plastering it all around the bus. I'm not sure I'd find the quotes funny today but back then it was hilarious! And things happen on trips; buses break down. Keys got locked in the vehicle. Vans broke down. Side windows got shattered. More bus "owies". Youth leaders get pulled over for speeding, more break downs, more opportunities to be together and have fun and have a great attitude. I always was sure that it would all work out fine. It always did, and it was just FUN. I think I had more fun during the break downs than any other time! Interestingly enough, nearly every outing had at least some sort of mishap. It was the mishaps that made it more memorable.
Of course, today, "mishaps" make me shudder. No longer are they opportunities for fun or praise or community. Perhaps it's because I am an adult and am supposed to prevent things and make things go as smoothly as possible. Perhaps because I no longer have the attitude and assurance that things will all work out well. I no longer like the unexpected.
Though I don't look forward to break downs today and no longer embrace the journey as much as I do the destination, I still enjoy road trips. Even with 3 kids I don't hesitate to put them all in the car and drive. Last February we took all of them and two brave friends with us on a trip to Solvang to see the time trials there for the Tour of California. It was a great time. Yesterday, with one of the same friends (obviously haven't scared him away yet!) we drove for 3 hours to attend a triathlon. It was a flawless road trip, the kids were pretty good, car worked just fine. It was great.
And yet.... always an adventure! I'm accustomed to a life of sports. Being married to David has conditioned me to a life of getting up early and watching his many sporting endeavors. It used to be surfing. Surf seems to be better at 6:30 or 7 in the morning. (I don't know why this is, but it always is) It's usually cold. And usually, I watch for what seems like hours and nothing happens and as soon as give up and start reading my book, FINALLY David catches a wave and I miss it!
Triathlons are a bit similar. They start early. At least half of them have started out really cold or had some type of less than ideal weather conditions. The one was went to today started out foggy and cold, and then turned windy. Beautiful day, but windy. We left the hotel at 6:30, thinking that would give us plenty of time before the 8:45 wave start..... only we could not predict that David would leave his wallet on the TV in the hotel room! So we get there and immediately realize that David can't register without a valid I.D. So, knowing it would be very close, we loaded up the three kids and raced back to the hotel, grabbed the wallet, and raced back. I had no idea if David made it or not; we went directly to the boat ramp to watch the olympic distance wave start. This is a small event; they let the entire olympic distance triathletes go at the same time instead of splitting them up in age groups. I missed the initial start, but luckily got a few pictures of both David and later his friend Clyde, emerging from the water. I was happy to get a few photos and My kids tried really hard to run up the ramp with their daddy, but he wasn't slowing down! Later we camped by the side of the road to catch a glimpse of David and friends as they were on their bikes and later their runs. Again, I was happy to get pictures of all 3 FCA-E athletes on their bike ride.
I discovered later that David barely got registered in time. His buddies helped him put on his wetsuit, plastered his race number to his helmet, affixed the number to his bike and his little belt thing to be worn for the bike and run portion. They missed their swim warm up to help their fellow teammate, and did so happily. Before their help David did not think he'd be able to make it but they were determined. Of course, while doing this, they gave him a bad time about forgetting his wallet!
The truly ironic thing: For a race he nearly missed, he wound up coming in first place for his age group! I know, you are thinking my husband is a stud, and I'd agree of course, but it's all relative: There were 8 people in his age group. The person that came in 2nd was a full 10 minutes behind David. Still, it was fun cheering for David as his name was called and he stepped up onto the first place podium step, accepted his plaque and smiled broadly. He did have a good race, it was hilly and a different challenge than the other triathlons offered. The location, on a lake away from a busy city was beautiful, Perhaps that best part was being among friends and racing with FCA-E in this smaller venue that really had a strong community feel as I realized how many people knew each other and enjoyed being with each other.
So, another successful road trip, despite the fact that David forgot his wallet and nearly became a spectator instead of a racer. (and that would've been hard: he loves to race!) This race was his slowest time yet, but it's hard to compare, as this was a different course, with hills. Total time for an Olympic (international) distance triathlon? 2 hours 40 minutes.
Our next road trip: A U2 concert! Can't wait!
Posted by victoria at 10/03/2009 08:01:00 PM