First, let me get the eating of crow out of the way. The "blackout" by the Georgia Bulldogs last night turned into a "knockout" by Alabama. So any hope of a perfect season is out of the way and I don't feel compelled to watch all the games now. I am still a Bulldog fan and will still use that to aggravate Auburn and Alabama fans--but not so much the Bama fans this year.
Second, I apologize for the dearth of posts recently. I am in that part of the ongoing cycle where I have comitted to more than I have time to do. One of those activities is the Coosa River Challenge. It is a multi-discipline race involving trail running, mountain biking, kayaking, rapelling, street running, dirt road running, and some "special challenges" we will not learn of until the day of the race. It is a 4 to 6 hour race, so it is not something to decide the day before that you would like to give a try . I will not list my current responsibilities that compete with "training time" but as the October 4th date draws near, the realization of insufficient training is becoming a very concrete reality. On top of that, as I stretched in preparation for running the Swayback trail Thursday after work, I injured my back. Yes, it is ironic (but not funny) that after mountain biking and crashing and running over hills and rocks and roots that my first injury would come while preparing to run. A trip to my doctor Friday (first day I have called in sick in about 10 years) netted some strong muscle relaxers. Maybe I can get in two more workouts before race day and be well enough to keep moving Saturday. It is also ironic that the trail is named for Swayback Bridge over a section of Lake Jordon that is designed to have a shape very much like my new posture. Turns out, having a swayback does not make you faster on Swayback Bridge Trail. Here is a picture of the famous bridge;
Third, I want to tie my feelings as a college football fan to my thoughts about the Coosa River Challenge. I mentioned my disappointment over Georgia's loss and I do feel a little sense of personal loss, which is silly. I don't have any real relationship with the Georgia football team other than being from that state originally. In fact, after living the first third of my life (so far) in Georgia, I have lived twice as long now in Alabama. When I came here at the tender (and naive) age of 18 people tried to force me to choose between Auburn and Alabama. It seemed that a prerequisite for living in the state was declaration to one team or the other. When I mentioned being from Georgia someone said "So you are a bulldog fan?" Been one ever since. That is about as deep as it goes. However, I have discovered that fans relate very strongly to their chosen teams. If the team is a winner, it indicates that the individual is a winner. Just for having a bumper sticker or window flag. When the team looses, it is devastating for some. I find myself falling into this trap at times. I have sat and watched 18-22 year old kids make mistakes and been frustrated because they did not try harder. I would no doubt be much harder on the kids if that was all I did--sit and watch. Thankfully, I have had opportunities (even as an old guy) to participate in sports competition that motivates me to get out and work my body as it was created for. That competition also forces me to be aware of how difficult it is to keep going at times--when your mouth and throat are parched--when the breathing can't catch up--when you are so hot you think you might throw up--when muscles ache--and when you ask yourself "What difference does all this effort make?" When announcers mention that a linebacker is playing injured, it is just words until I compete while injured. The quarterback has had the flu? He should just suck it up--until I try to run while sick. The more I do myself, the more I appreciate what those players do. And the more I want to be a participant, not just a spectator.
Here is the link if you are interested in the race. http://coosariverchallenge.com/ Come out and play! And here is the quote from Helen Keller that is on the website; "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
LaWanna is going to serve as cheerleader and photographer so we should have some pictures in a week. Hopefully, there will be lots of smiles. Wanna said she plans to watch us come through the transition area twice and then go wait by the ambulance. People have different ideas of what a cheerleader does.