Before I was A Wannabe Travelwriter, I was a wannabe pretend athlete.
I have occasionally traveled so I could participate in an ostensibly recreational fitness-related event.
For instance, some years ago, I had the not-so-bright idea I should do something athletic to commemorate the big 4-0 birthday; so I did my first legitimate triathlon, up near Donner Lake, by Lake Tahoe. I must have had amnesia because I did it again when I turned the big 5-0; the second time, it about did me in.
There are plenty of people who travel great distances to submit themselves to tremendous levels of discomfort.
After watching a show on T.V. the other night on the subject of the Western States 100 foot race, I realized I had a long way to go to the highest levels of competition for self inflicted pain.
Do you know what the difference was between ground hamburger and some of the runner’s feet during the event? Absolutely nothing.
Other people find themselves traveling due to family or work related tasks and rather than–or possibly in addition to–hanging out in the hotel bar, decide to maintain some base level of fitness, as it leaves us a lot faster than we earn it.
A simple Google search on travel fitness yielded eight or nine million hits. Among the eight or nine million, the familiar Outside magazine tackled the issue some time ago with a few part article.
Apparently cruise ships are rife with opportunities to burn off maybe 100 calories of the 12,000 consumed the day before. So far, I have been in the wrong demographic to set sail–on a ship that has none– on a cruise.
Over the years I have traveled to various towns to participate in so-called fun runs. I say “so-called” as I think the term “fun run” is the epitome of either an oxymoron or a non sequitur (I as still waiting for Grammar Girl to answer my phone call on this one).
Just last Saturday, I subjected myself to a 10K run, which felt, mostly due to my own lack of anything approaching proper preparation, more like 62 miles, rather than the 6.2 that we supposedly covered. The picture tells the tale of not a fun run but more of a labored jog.
Rather than bemoan my typically timed events–please no jokes about using a calendar rather than a stop watch to time me–I console myself by the fact that at least I am getting my body moving, albeit at a slow speed.
Of course, that still doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate kudos over satirical comments.
Last Saturday the first thing I heard from one of the race organizers upon my completion at probably less than Olympic qualification speed was,
“Gee, that took you a long time, Frank!”
But that comment was almost trumped by the woman who walked the entire six miles in her preparation for the upcoming Bay To Breakers…and almost beat my time.
Now that would have inflicted pain not easily remedied by a soaking in the hot tub or only a couple of beers.