The night before Mother's Day, my siblings and I sat around my parents' dining room table. We were all taking part in a semi-serious game of chicken. The game was to see who would pull the trigger and register for a slightly-less-than-Olympic-distance triathlon. For whatever dumbass reason, I cackled my way over to the computer and dropped the eighty bucks on registration fees. By doing so, I threw down the gauntlet on an event I didn't fully understand and was certainly not prepared for. My brothers and Suz quickly registered as well, and a week or two later, my Dad also accepted the challenge of becoming a triathlete.
My parents raised the four of us out on Cape Cod for a couple of weeks a year. We swam in the freshwater kettle ponds, often forming a floatilla of canoe/inflatable boats and boogy-board-kicking kids as we swam across the various ponds. We grew up proficient swimmers, having gone to many way-to-early swim lessons with the Sneeringers at SUNY Albany. We also were lucky enough to spend many days by one pool or another, using our skills for chicken fighting and other forms of waterlogged combat. I've always taken being able to swim for granted, but over the past two weeks, I've come to greatly appreciate my parents and Susie for getting us in the water so regularly. Training for the swimming portion of this triathlon is brutal, and without that swimming foundation, I would be in deep trouble.