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Life in the Fit Lane

I did a triathlon couple of Sundays ago. Hey, I can hear all of you already, “Wow, Ken did a triathlon?! At his age? And he even walks with a cane. What a guy!”

But before the accolades get out of hand we need to talk. Remember the tactic used by President William Jefferson Clinton when he relied on semantics to get himself out of, shall we say, an embarrassing situation. So, here’s an analogy. Someone says to you “Let’s do lunch.” Well, here we need to define the word “do.” You really didn’t “do” lunch you just met your friend there for lunch.

Well, here comes the disclaimer — I only attended a triathlon. The event was at the tony Stonebridge Ranch Beach and Tennis Club in McKinney. Our son came from New York to compete and spend a long weekend with us, and my wife Marge and I were there to cheer him on.

This was our son’s third sprint triathlon. He competed in his first one last year in West Point, New York, did another one earlier this year in Sleepy Hollow, New York — and yes, that’s the town where Ichabod Crane was pursued by the Headless Horseman.

And for those not quite familiar with sprint triathlons here’s the scenario of the three segment event: you jump in the lake and swim half a mile, once back on shore you run like the proverbial bat out of you-know-where and then mount your bicycle and pedal furiously for 11 miles. And for the last leg, no pun intended, you run a 5k.

And for the record our son did very well, coming in at number 60 out of 168 competitors.Well, Mom was smiling as proud as can be, Dad was beaming and our son, modest as he is, said he was a bit tired.

There’s another side to these events — the post-race party with food (all that’s good for you, of course), drinks, music, awards and an array of vendors for the health conscious. Now that was interesting. Want some coconut water? It’s there for the taking. Or how about some chocolate flavored sport beans to help rebuild those aching muscles after the race? Grab a packet or two. Anyway, you get the idea. Simply put, it’s a direct opposite of what’s being hawked at the Texas State Fair right now.

The harsh reality of life is that there are those who are fit, a smaller number of extremely fit, with most of us in the “so-so” category. And if you just happen to be coming home this morning with a dozen donuts, ready to scarf them down, toss me a couple of those glazed ones…