neon yellow balloon shorts, circa 1989, this is triathlon, new millenium style. I just got my jersey from Endurance Nation, and gave it a test ride/run brick since we were having such a mild day outdoors. I'm enjoying pushing the workouts on the Power Cranks, and I promise some gear reviews (including the cranks) coming soon! Looking at this picture feels good - I feel STRONG this year, and I am looking forward to really competing this season. I can't believe I'm almost forty-six, I still feel like a kid inside (until I catch a glimpse of my grey hairs that is!)
In other news, my kids' FIRST Tech robotics team that I've been coaching (consisting of six middle- and high-school-aged kids) had a big tournament on Saturday at Oregon State University. Of course, this meant staying up until midnight on Friday night still tinkering with the robot and the programming, even though we had to get up at 5:00 Saturday morning for the competition. Yes, this is an actual photo of my living room at close to midnight. The reason there's a striped bowling ball in there is because one of the tasks that the robot has to be able to accomplish is to push a bowling ball up a ramp.
In their usual, skin-of-the-teeth style, they staged a big comeback, from nearly last place after the first three rounds to making it into the finals, and eventually securing a trip to the State Championships in two weeks. Whew! I was a nervous wreck for the whole day. I swear, I could easily do an Ironman with less effort than it takes to sit back and chew my nails while they compete. It's intense. Yet I am immensely proud of them! They designed, built, and programmed a robot. One that can pick up crates with articulated arms, rotate the crate into position, fill it with raquetballs from the floor, lift it on top of a scissors lift, and push it into the air. Anyone who bemoans the youth of today just needs to meet one of these teams of incredible kids (the competition was full of them) and see what they can do. I tell you, it gives you hope for tomorrow. BTW, the small cutie on the left and the tall goofball on the right are both my kiddos.
While I am definitely enthusiastic for them, and will be so excited to see what they can accomplish at the State Tournament, I'm also itching to dive into triathlon season. The first spring races are now only a couple of months away, and I think I hadn't realized how much I missed competing last year. I know I filled my time with lots of cool stuff, but I do really love the arena of competition and how much it fires me up to do my very best. I feel like I have been very very effective at using my limited time this winter, and I'm going to come out of the gate running strong. Just like our robotics team, I hope that the goal of competition spurs me to do my very best, even more than I think I can accomplish. I also hope that I can compete with the good grace, good sportsmanship, and overall positive attitude that they display at their tournaments.