Monday, November 7, 2011

What Triathlete Priests Do As Winter Approaches

The other week, I went to Sisters, OR for a retreat with the ECW.
This is what Lake Suttle looks like.  And yes, I did think:  Open water... running trail... wide open roads...
who else is thinking TRAINING SERIES?  

We focused on the theme of miracles, led by a lovely retreat leader.  She's a novelist.  I am constantly amazed at the incredible people here.  It goes to show that my psyche is settling down... and perhaps how warped my evil brain had become.  Working in the trauma hospitals for the last 4 or so years, I had started to think that everyone who came in was insane and/or hiding a meth addiction, at least.  I had lost my perception of normal.  Trauma hospitals really do warp your sense of reality.

I'd forgotten there were normal people out in the world.  Being back in the "regular world",  is like finally taking a deep breath after swimming under water for a while.

I do love chaplaincy... but I'm not called to general medicine.  Hmm... it's an interesting project, figuring out how to live out one's call as a chaplain when certain avenues of chaplaincy are closed and one still loves the parish.  I mean, you really can't beat the flexible schedule and the fun to be incredibly creative with the writing and the teaching.  And how many jobs come with a soundtrack of little kids playing music down the hall?  The jingle bells may be cacophonous, but they are not boring.

On the way home from the Sisters retreat, I took the chance to drive over the McKenzie pass.  Each winter, the pass closes due to snow.  Each spring, they open the pass to cyclists about a month before it opens to cars.  I wanted to see how steep it was and think about which angle I might want to approach it from.  I'm thinking a Sisters approach and descent off the other side.  I don't know if this is kosher, and I'm sure real hard core climbers would go up and down both sides, stopping only on the top for a drink of mountain-fresh rain water.
Lava fields!  Sisters is a bunch of volcanoes!  I live near volcanoes now!

Heck to that.  I would climb up, sit down at the top, and eat me a sandwich.  Then I'd descend the other side, rack my bike, and go home and devastate every carbohydrate in the town of Eugene.

Anyway... now that tri season is officially in the "getting ready for next season" stage, we have officially joined the Multisport Advantage training center.  I went to TRX class the other day and Coach Cristina taught me a move called "The Pike".  You put your feet in straps, put your hands on the ground, and pull your hips up so your body is in the shape of a V, while you envision yourself in Cirque Du Soleil.  I wish I could blame my pathetic performance on my still-sore hand and elbow, but the reality is that my abs are mush these days.  That might have been the single most painful ab exercise I have done since high school.

For the winter, my goal is to try to whittle the rest of this CT pudge.  I'm down a solid seven pounds since we moved, and that was eating like a horse.  (I tried eating Paleo style, but with the endurance work, I really needed those carbs.  There's just no other way to fuel for long bike rides and runs.)  So I had a nutrition evaluation.  The Coach gave me the sad news that chocolate-chip-yogurt-bowls aren't necessarily the BEST idea every night, and so I'm going to be virtuous for a while.
For a lecture, one parishioner made this for dessert.  

For the Needle Arts Guild Potluck, I made these.  (Crustless quiche cups).  
Oh, virtue, I suffer so.

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