Monday, June 27, 2011

Chicken connection -- aka a poultry post

Today marks the first full week of summer vacation, and already I am antsy.

Granted, my days are not wasted in a hammock, dreaming of greener pastures. They are, indeed, filled with lists of to-do and not-to-do, places to see, people to visit, projects to collaborate. And yet, I remain restless. As always.

This past weekend I had the great fortune (and I do consider myself fortunate) to compete in the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon, Olympic distance. After a tough race last year, I prayed that my body would improve from injuries, and it has. Thanks to cooperative weather, I managed to decrease my finish time by 24 minutes, bringing my final time to 3:06. I went in hoping to beat 3:15, so I was pleased.

But the best part, however, was meeting new folks who also embrace multi-sport. I’m not saying that running people are much different, for they aren’t. But triathletes are not only about performance. They are also all about the toys. And I secretly drooled over quite a few. I know that I will never shell out more than I already have for a bike, and I am rather happy riding a road bike instead of a tri bike. But along with the wide range of machines, the people are just so easygoing and outgoing.

Both at the expo and during the race, I met up with several folks who were just positively keepers.

Some included Chip, a true dude that I met through Facebook since we had mutual friends and mutual interests. He, too, is a runner as well as triathlete. And he's quite an interesting and charming fellow - with an affable pooch appropriately named Kona - who invited me to crash the food soiree at the Philly Tri tent after the race. (Didn't he realize how much food I consume?)

And then there were two absolute angels in my age group who immediately sensed how cold I was before the swim. (A warm-up swim had given me a serious case of the chills, and my teeth were literally chattering.) Without saying more than 30 or so words, they sat next to me before our wave took off and both started rubbing my arms to ward away my goose bumps. And then right before we went off, the race director yelled that some woman broke her goggles. Did anyone have a spare pair? Immediately three people volunteered.

After the race, I met up with Sharon, a pro racer, whose name I know from the circuit. As we spoke, I told her of the common man in our lives: Bill.

I love Bill. She loves Bill. What’s not to love about Bill. Bill is our butcher. Mr. Bill. Organic, free-range chicken man about town. A-town. Bill sends chicken to Sharon. Bill hands me chicken over the counter. Anyway, we had a bit of a conversation about her connection to Bill. It made me crave one of his spinach-feta chicken burgers. But in the end, I congratulated her on her race, she did the same to me.

It is a small world, indeed. And maybe that’s why I’m so antsy, because there’s just not enough time left before all of our eggs hatch.